Sunday, 20 January 2019

It's About Lincoln: The Bridge of Sighs

It's About Lincoln: The Bridge of Sighs: James Mayfield was a boot and shoe dealer at 19 Waterside North (a little west of the present Mayfield Bridge), he was born in Louth in 180...

The Bridge of Sighs

James Mayfield was a boot and shoe dealer at 19 Waterside North (a little west of the present Mayfield Bridge), he was born in Louth in 1805. 


James noticed that the shops in the Sincil Street area south of the river were much busier than his was. The nearest crossings of the river were at High Bridge and Magpies Bridge, he had little passing trade from the Sincil Street area. In November 1867 he asked the Corporation to contact the Great Northern Railway (the lessees of the river Witham) to get permission to build a bridge over the river at the north end of Sincil Street.

“The Mayor remarked that there was already an order on the books for the erection of a bridge on the site Mr Mayfield mentioned, and when the funds of the Corporation admitted of it, no doubt the bridge would be erected. (Laughter)” - Lincolnshire Chronicle 23/11/1867.



The original bridge, photograph taken in the 1930s prior to the slum clearance on Waterside North. The 'Sackville' lanterns have been replaced by more conventional lamps 

The Corporation asked for tenders for the manufacture and erection of the bridge, the following quotations were received: M Penistan, Lincoln, £147; D Barnes, Lincoln, £160; F Binns, Lincoln, £170 6s; C de Berne and Co., Manchester, £185; J T B Porter and Co., Lincoln, £216 3s.

The Corporation had received about £65 from public subscriptions and agreed that the lowest quotation would be accepted providing the promoters of the bridge (headed by James Mayfield) provide £70 within 14 days of the meeting. “Mr Brogden said the thanks of the public were due to Mr Mayfield for the energy and perseverance he had displayed in promoting the movement, and he would suggest that the structure should be named ‘The Mayfield Bridge’.” (Laughter)

The bridge was completed in April 1869 at a total cost of £154 2s (£154.10) and designed by Drury and Mortimer of Lincoln. ‘Sackville’ gas lanterns were fitted at each end of the bridge; patented by Gregg and Son of Dublin they were circular in plan and free from sidebars which would otherwise cast broad shadows, a reflector in the top enhanced the light from the lantern.




The 1869 bridge, the New Bridge Inn on the left and Savoy cinema on the right. 



Penney and Porter Ltd surveyed the bridge in 1923, in their opinion the bridge was unsafe and submitted a quotation for the supply and erection of the ironwork for a new bridge. The bridge was periodically repaired but no major restoration works were completed.


The condition of the bridge was next raised at a Corporation meeting in March 1940. It was at this meeting that the nickname for the bridge was coined: ‘The Bridge of Sighs’ due its poor condition. There were concerns about movement of “people from places of entertainment in the case of an air raid”, due to its condition and lack of width. The bridge was further discussed in September of the same year and it was agreed that due to the war it would be difficult to find sufficient materials to restore or replace the bridge. 

The original bridge was eventually replaced in 1958, this bridge was replaced in 1991 and again in 2001.



The 1869 bridge and the 1958 bridge shortly before the removal of the earlier bridge. Note the wooden planks used to support the side of the 1869 bridge.


The 1958 Bridge


​What of James Mayfield? James sold his boot and shoe business to Thomas Mawby in 1874 and became licensee of the Globe Inn on Waterside South, moving to Edmonton, London in 1881 to open a boot and shoe shop; he died there in 1887.


It's About Lincoln has its own groups on Facebook where you can read about the city and county, and contribute to the growing knowledge of our members or just read the posts.

The Lincoln group can be found at:

The Lincolnshire group can be found at:


Wednesday, 22 November 2017

The Old House on Corporation Street

The opening of Yarborough Road in the 1880s and growth of housing in West Parade had a dramatic effect on traffic entering the northern part of the High Street.  The City Corporation took the decision to build a new road to join West Parade to the High Street and across to Butchery Street (now known as Clasketgate).  This road is Corporation Street.

Unfortunately, this once grand house stood in the way and had to be demolished.  It was a large, well-built house, originally enclosing three sides of a square, leaving the south side open; the east side, next to the High Street, had been altered over the years but the north and west sides remained comparatively unaltered. The main staircase was inside the north-west angle, and led up to large rooms on the first floor, in one of which, the one with a four-light mullioned window in the photo above, had some good oak panelling of early 17th-century date. The room with the seven-light window (three of which are blocked) of late Tudor date, was also large, and above all was a false roof running around the north and west sides. The east side was supported by three large buttresses and can be seen in the view, the centre one being the best and strongest.



The house was probably built as a private house and was about 50 yards north of Park Lane.  It is obvious from the photo that the house had suffered many years of neglect.


It's About Lincoln has its own group on Facebook where you can read about the county and contribute to the growing knowledge of our members or just read the posts.



The Lincoln group can be found at:

The Lincolnshire group can be found at:


Monday, 29 May 2017

The Church that Moved – or did it?

The church that stood on the corner of High Street and Silver Street was known as St Peter at Arches, the “Arches” came from its position close to The Stonebow.
There is evidence that by the 11th Century two St Peters stood in the churchyard: St Peter at Arches and St Peter at Pleas (so-called because of its proximity to the Moot Stone which was located near Ruddock's shop).
19th century drawing of St Peter at Arches
18th-century drawing of St Peter at Arches Church
In 1719 an application for a brief for rebuilding the church of St Peter at Arches was made to the City Council.  A loan of 1000 shillings ( the equivalent of about £4,500 today) was taken up at interest by the city for the rebuilding of the church, repayable over 10 years.  The church was built by William Smith and consecrated in 1724 as the Corporation church.
Some notes from the Corporation records:
In 1722 Lord Thanet donated 40s. towards the rebuilding.
In 1723 a further 600s. was voted by the Corporation for the completion of the church
In 1738 “two persons” gave 8s. for a clock and chimes at St Peter's
In 1786 4s. granted in addition to 6s. already granted to be distributed by the minister and churchwardens of St. Peter-at-Arches among such persons as shall sing or perform upon any musical instrument in that church during divine service on the Lord’s day.
St Peter at Arches was closed in 1929 and demolished in 1933.
St Giles church was designed by W G Watkins and built in 1936 on the new St Giles estate northeast of Lincoln in the same style as St Peter at Arches.  Much of the decorative stonework was used but the structural stone was replaced by brick.  It can be seen from the pictures that an additional bay was added to the building of St Giles Church.
St Giles Church shortly after its completion in 1936
St Giles Church shortly after completion in 1936

The 1794 organ, built by J Lincoln of London and restored by “Father” Henry Willis of Henry Willis & Sons, was also moved to St Giles and installed by 
Cousans, Sons and Co.  The 8 bells of 1728 were installed together with the peal board of 1756, the oldest surviving in the county
St Giles Church is quite unique in that it is one of the few churches with its altar at the west end of the church, the probable reason for this is that it was built opposite St Giles Junior School with its main door facing the school.



It's About Lincoln has its own group on Facebook where you can read about the county and contribute to the growing knowledge of our members or just read the posts.



The Lincoln group can be found at:


The Lincolnshire group can be found at:




Banks and High Bridge

Joseph banks, high bridge, horncastle canal
Joseph Banks, painted 1773
by Sir Joshua Reynolds.
Sir Joseph Banks is well-known as a naturalist and botanist, the son of William Banks a wealthy Lincolnshire land owner.  Joseph was also a farmer and business man and was instrumental in promoting the Horncastle Canal.
An Act of Parliament was passed in 1792 approving the building of the canal: the canal was completed by 1802 but was partially in use some years before this.
In order to make the canal viable it was essential that barges could navigate to and from the Trent: the only route was through Lincoln.  
High bridge, lincoln, 1836
High Bridge and Obelisk c 1836
Richard Ellison had acquired a 999 year lease for the Fosdyke Canal and river Witham in 1740, he dredged and improved the canal and the river east of Lincoln but was prevented by Lincoln Corporation from improving the navigation below High Bridge. Lincoln Corporation earned valuable revenue from porterage fees, barges were unloaded one side of the Bridge and reloaded the other.  The problem was so severe that in exceptionally dry summers it was possible to drive a coach across the bed of the river west of High Bridge.
The building of the Great Northern Railway from Lincoln to Boston in 1848 dramatically increased the traffic on the Horncastle Canal but in 1854 a line was opened from Kirkstead to Horncastle: the canal closed in 1889.The reluctance of the Corporation to act on the navigation under High Bridge forced Joseph Banks to look at alternative routes.  William Jessop, the noted canal builder (locally he built the Grantham and Sleaford canals), was commissioned to investigate a likely route.  Jessop put forward a scheme to route barges from the Fosdyke southwards on the upper Witham to Sincil Drain, in effect by-passing Lincoln.  The Corporation realised this would be devastating for the economy of the city and, in 1795, the bed of the river beneath High Bridge was lowered at the expense of the proprietors of the Horncastle Canal.  To celebrate the event boards were laid on the dry river bed and a dance took place under the bridge.
The building of the Great Northern Railway from Lincoln to Boston in 1848 dramatically increased the traffic on the Horncastle Canal but in 1854 a line was opened from Kirkstead to Horncastle: the canal closed in 1889. 
Horncastle Canal Walk:  https://goo.gl/WvlMq3


It's About Lincoln has its own group on Facebook where you can read about the county and contribute to the growing knowledge of our members or just read the posts.



The Lincoln group can be found at:


The Lincolnshire group can be found at:




Monday, 13 February 2017

Lincoln's High Bridge, Unique In This Country



High Bridge on Lincoln’s High Street is the oldest surviving bridge with buildings on, in this
High Bridge & Obelisk early 19th-century

country.  It marks the spot where the Roman Ermine Street crossed the Witham by way of a ford, a bridge was built c 2nd century.

The river was much wider than today and High Bridge was thought to be made of five arches, today only one arch remains.

There were many bridges like High Bridge in the middle ages, London Bridge for example, but all the others have long since disappeared, the only other bridges with buildings on in England are Frome Bridge dating from 1667 and Bath’s Pulteney Bridge of 1773.
The obelisk from the High Street (1815)

At the Reformation there were as many as 52 religious buildings in Lincoln, one of them was the chapel dedicated St Thomas the Martyr which stood on the eastern side over the vaulted arch of the bridge. The chapel was paid for by Lincoln Corporation c 1200. Following the Reformation the Corporation converted the chapel into a house,  it was let as a hall to the Company of Tanners and Butchers, and finally a warehouse until it was demolished in 1763. An obelisk was then erected which was also a water conduit which brought water from near Nettleham.  The original pipes for this were laid by the brothers of Greyfriars in the early 16th century.  The obelisk was removed in 1939 due to concerns about the strength of the arch supporting it.  A reconstruction of the obelisk can be seen at St Marks Shopping Centre.
The river route under the bridge was once named "The Murder Hole", bodies could be dropped in the water here without being seen and, with luck, would float downriver to Boston and onto the Wash.  The maximum height of 9 feet and width of 22 feet together with an awkward angle under the bridge sets a limit on the size of vessels that can use the Witham from Brayford Pool to Boston, and vice versa.  It now has the much happier name "The Glory Hole", this may come from the difficulty of getting large vessels through, there would be some "glory" when a boatman made it through!

Glory Hole showing medieval ribbing
Until the 1790’s the river was not navigable all year, in summer the bed of the river was often dry; there are tales of horse and coaches driven across the river in summer just west of High Bridge.  Joseph Banks (1743-1820), the botanist and naturalist had commissioned the building of the Horncastle Canal, he could see that revenues on his canal would by severely restricted by the problems at High Bridge.  The Corporation was reluctant to improve the navigation under the bridge because they earned porterage from the transshipping of cargoes.  This reluctance forced Joseph Banks to look at alternative routes. William Jessop (1745-1814), the noted canal builder (locally he built the Grantham and Sleaford canals), was commissioned to investigate a likely route.  Jessop put forward a scheme to route barges from the Brayford southwards on the upper Witham to Sincil Drain, in effect by-passing Lincoln.  The Corporation realised this would be devastating for the economy of the city and, in 1795, the bed of the river beneath High Bridge was lowered at the expense of the proprietors of the Horncastle Canal.  To celebrate the event boards were laid on the dry river bed and a dance took place under the bridge.

1902/3 Reconstruction
The buildings on High Bridge were renovated and put back to their original half-timbered design in 1902/3 under the direction of architect William Watkins.  Jettied forward of the first-floor are carvings of King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra.
The High Bridge remains an architectural gem opposite some of the ugliest buildings of the 1960s and 70s.  Stokes coffee shop is an excellent place to enjoy a coffee.  R W Stokes Co. has ground and blended coffee here for over 100 years.
Either side of the shops on High Bridge there are steep narrow steps leading towards Lincoln’s Brayford, where barges and ships loaded and unloaded their cargoes.  From the footpaths on the west side you can get an excellent view of the rear of the shops.


It's About Lincoln has its own group on Facebook where you can read about the county and contribute to the growing knowledge of our members or just read the posts.



The Lincoln group can be found at:


The Lincolnshire group can be found at:




Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Cold Bath House

Cottam's Mill by W N Tollerton
(Lincoln Central Library Collection)

Cold Bath House parish was created in 1837.  It had an area of one acre and was situated at the top of the Arboretum at the junction of Lindum Terrace and Eastfield Road.

A windmill,  Cold  Bath  Mill, had been on the site for  many  years. Robert Cottam had been the miller until his son, George, took over in the late 1830s:   George probably died about 1865.  By this time windmills were becoming redundant and steam powered mills were taking over.
Henry Kirk Hebb, solicitor, clerk to the urban sanitary committee, town clerk to Lincoln Corporation for 30 years and chairman of the Lincoln and Lindsey Bank had Cold Bath House built in about 1867. 


Image © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
The house was designed by Michael Drury, the Lincoln Architect and built by Robert Young, builder and contractor.  The location of the house perched on the cliff edge must have been very impressive. There was a room in the house designed to entertain the entire City County.  A spring ran the cellar, possibly the reason for the name of the area. 

Hebb lived at the house until his death in 1902.
The site of Cold Bath House
In 1905 Mrs Matilda Richardson lived at the house, she was the widow of William Wright Richardson, a director of Doughty, Son & Richardson Ltd.

In 1907 all the Lincoln parishes were incorporated into a single Lincoln parish, after 70 years Cold Bath House parish was relegated to the history books.  Cold Bath House was the only building in the parish and the number of residents stayed static at 5.  This 1 acre, single house parish was the smallest in Lincoln both in size and number of residents.
During the First World War the house became home to the headmaster of the Lincoln School and its boarders.
After the First World War Cold Bath House became Mrs Swan’s Nursing Home.  The nursing home continued until 2nd August 1942, when the County Hospital and the nursing home were attacked by a German bomber.  The main damage at the County Hospital was to the Nurses home, the operating theatre, the board room and the massage room but windows of two of the wards were damaged and some of the patients suffered injuries from flying glass.  Mrs Swan’s Nursing Home was almost totally destroyed, the building was demolished in 1945.

A bomb also dropped on the allotments nearby on St Anne’s Road.  It is thought the crew of the aircraft spotted the chimney at the hospital and thought it was a factory.

Unfortunately I have not located an image of the undamaged house.
A list of the dead and injured:
Deaths
  • Lt. Harry Sidney COLLARD, Royal Engineers.  He is buried at Newport Cemetery, Lincoln.  The Royal Engineers occupied part of the house during the Second World War.

Injured
The Former Gazebo
  • R.S.M. Fred LEGGE, Royal Engineers
  • Lt Cpl. William James PRINCE, Royal Engineers
  • Sister D.M.B. CURRY
  • Nurse WARNER, 20,
  • Miss G.M. JAMES, a masseuse
  • Nurse Myra RANDS, 20,
  • Nurse GRUNELL

Injured patients
Location of the spring. The spring is
below the dome shape. The sound of
water can be heard when listening at
the gate.
  • Mrs Irene HIGGINGS, 22
  • Mrs Daisy HORSFIELD, 25
  • Keith HINCH, 3 weeks.
The site was cleared and was a small holding until late in 1952.
The southern part of the grounds of Cold Bath House were landscaped and incorporated into the Aboretum to celebrate the Coronation of H M Queen Elizabeth II in 1953.




 Views though the lower gate into the cellar

All colour images © Phil Gresham 2016, all rights reserved


It's About Lincoln has its own group on Facebook where you can read about the county and contribute to the growing knowledge of our members or just read the posts.



The Lincoln group can be found at:


The Lincolnshire group can be found at:









It's About Lincoln: The Bridge of Sighs

It's About Lincoln: The Bridge of Sighs : James Mayfield was a boot and shoe dealer at 19 Waterside North (a little west of the present ...