Tuesday, 17 March 2020

The Virgin Mary and the Wain Well

Eastgate from Bailgate

The above image shows Eastgate from the Bailgate junction. 

The present road runs east-north-east from Bailgate to the the site of the Roman east gate. The junction of Bailgate and Eastgate would be north of Gordon Road and would run directly east to the gate in Roman times . The road heading west from the junction is now beneath Lincoln Castle, the west gate of the Roman settlement is below and to the north of the Castle’s present day west gate. The position of the road was probably moved during the medieval period to enable easier access to the east gate of Lincoln castle.  

The building on the right of Eastgate is The White Hart Hotel, a former coaching inn dating from the 14th century.  On the left of the junction was an ancient inn, the Angel; a gate to the Cathedral Close stood at this junction between the White Hart and the Angel.  The Angel Yard remains behind the Post Office.

Further down on the left is an Indian restaurant, this was once was The Black Horse Inn dating from 1674, the White Horse Inn was nearby. 

 Across the road, in front of the Cathedral, there is a stone wall which was once a row of buildings; there is a stone head in this wall, the head is possibly one of those removed during the Civil War by Cromwell's men.

In the grounds of the Lincoln Hotel is the base of the north side of the Roman east gate, the gate was still standing, with medieval additions until Sir Christopher Wray had it demolished to extend the garden of Eastgate House. 

The Lincoln Hotel was built in the early 1960s, previously the Eastgate Hotel, and attached to the west wing of the former Eastgate House.  Alfred Shuttleworth, the son of one of the founders of Clayton, Shuttleworth & Co, lived here from the 1890s.  Across the road from Eastgate House once stood the Dolphin Inn and other buildings. Alfred bought all the buildings and had them demolished because they spoilt his view of the Cathedral; he did a great service to the City of Lincoln by doing this but it was very unpopular at the time as the Dolphins was a popular inn.

On the corner of Eastgate and Priorygate stands “The Rest”. The Rest is a late 17th century building which was renovated by Alfred Shuttleworth in 1899 with sham timber cladding. At one time it was available for use by people who had ascended Lindum Road and needed a rest.

St Peter in Eastgate church is on the left side of Eastgate. In common with many churches in Lincoln, St Peter’s was badly damaged during the Civil War. The church was demolished in 1776, a new church was built in 1781 but was inadequate for the growing population of the 19th century and a new church was designed by Sir Arthur Blomfield and completed in 1870. In 1914 the south aisle, west porch and the choir vestry were added due to the generosity of Alfred Shuttleworth. At the same time, the Nave ceiling was enclosed as a ‘barrel roof’, the Rood Screen erected and St. Margaret’s Chapel, dedicated.

At the Langworthgate and Greetwellgate fork, there was once a well, the Wain Well, which, on 11th August 1498, Joanna Burton fell in. The well was about 66 feet deep plus 6 feet of water so her survival of the fall seemed doubtful, “but according to sworn testimony of nine women”, she was in the well for an hour and she was carried from the well in the arms of the Virgin Mary. It seems strange to me that this wasn’t seen as a miracle, England was still a Roman Catholic country at that time.

Friday, 28 February 2020

Cold Bath House

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 was the miller until his son, George, took over in
July 1839 on the death of his father, age 62:   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. 

The house was designed by Michael Drury, the Lincoln Architect.  Tenders for the erection of the house between £1,579 and £1,849 were received, the lowest price was from Robert Young, builder and contractor, his tender was accepted, a large quantity of materials from existing buildings was used.  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 in 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 and 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 Ruins of Cold Bath House
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, 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:

  • 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.

  • 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
  • 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 Arboretum to celebrate the Coronation of H M Queen Elizabeth II in 1953.

The Former Gazebo

Location of the spring. The spring is below the dome shape. The sound of  
water can be heard when listening at the gate.

 Views though the lower gate into the cellar

All colour images © Phil Gresham 2020, all rights reserved

Friday, 21 February 2020

Did Bail Gate Stand Here?

Bailgate  is one of Lincoln's  oldest  streets  roughly following the  line of  the  Roman Ermine Street, it is also part of an area historically known as "The Bail", from the outer bailey of the castle.
Norman House
In the Middle Ages Lincoln was made up of four self governing areas, the City, Beaumont Fee, the Close and the Bail.   These areas were managed through their own courts and by-laws.  The freemen made the laws and carried them out.  The system was as democratic as it could be, as only freemen were allowed, and expected, to be involved in the running of a district.

The Bail was an area which included Castle Hill and Bailgate from the north of Christ's Hospital Terrace to Newport Arch.

All these areas of Lincoln were physically divided from each other by gates: the gates into the Bail were Newport Arch, a gate from the Close at the junction of Bailgate and Eastgate, Exchequer gate, the now lost western gate of which spanned the road east of Bailgate, and the Bail gate.

The Bail gate stood, according to Adam Stark, about ninety feet south of the location of the Roman south gate of the upper town.  This distance places the gate at the south-west corner of The Norman House (formerly known as Aaron the Jews House). Records of this gate are scant and there is no accurate indication of its location but the image on the right shows a repair to the south-west corner of the Norman House, the small medieval stone, compared to the larger worked stone of the "repair".  Is this where the east side of the Bail gate stood?  The west side of the gate would be near the southern corner of Wordsworth Street; all the buildings on that side were cleared when the County Hospital was built in the late 18th century so we can not see where the west side of the gate would be.  This is a likely location as Steep Hill, Bailgate, Michaelgate and Christ's Hospital Terrace all meet here.  The entrance to Bailgate (the street) would be narrower than it is now.  The gate was still standing in 1810.

Wordsworth Street did not exist at the time of the Bail gate, it was built after Christopher Wordsworth's death in 1885, He was bishop of Lincoln from 1869 until his death.

This is an 18th century drawing of Newland Gate,
was Bail Gate a similar design?

Read more about Lincoln's Gates 

Thursday, 13 February 2020

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.  
Richard Ellison had acquired a 999 year lease for the Fossdyke 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.

High bridge, lincoln, 1836
High Bridge c 1836
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 Fossdyke 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.  

Wednesday, 12 February 2020

Pardon Me Boy, Is This The Nottingham Choo Choo?

Lincoln was one of the last major towns or cities to be linked by rail, a line from London to Cambridge had been proposed in 1825 and would have extended to York via Lincoln, this route was abandoned. In the event, the London to York line followed a route to the west of the River Trent mainly due to the lobbying of Doncaster’s MP, who believed that a line running through Lincoln would be detrimental to his town. 

Railway promoters became active again in 1833 when three routes were proposed through Lincoln. In March 1835 a Lincoln committee under the chairmanship of Thomas Norton, the City’s mayor, reported on the alternative routes. Again, nothing came of this move to bring the railway to Lincoln.

In 1845 a meeting of 6,000 people at the Beast Market ended in a free fight when the chairman, the Lincoln mayor, announced that the London to York line had won the right to serve Lincoln. Opponents complained that labourers had been brought at 2/- (10p) a piece to vote for the London to York project. George Hudson, “The Railway King“, had spent a lot of money opposing the line in favour of his Midland Railway. His boast was that he would bring a railway to Lincolnshire while the rest were still talking about it!

Hudson’s boast came true when the Midland Railway brought the first route into Lincoln from Nottingham. The line opened on 3rd August 1846, the first train left Nottingham at 9 am, stopping off at the various villages en route to pick up those invited to celebrate the new enterprise, and arriving at Lincoln at 11 am.

It was an important day for the city: the buildings and streets were decorated, the bells of the Cathedral and churches ringing peals at intervals, the band of the 4th Irish Dragoons played the “Railway Waltz” as two trains left the Midland Station, carrying local dignitaries and cannon were fired. The journey to Nottingham took almost 2 hours. The return journey was in heavy rain. A banquet was held in the National School in Silver Street.

Unfortunately there was a casualty of all the merriment: a man called Paul Harden has his leg shattered by the bursting of a cannon in the station yard. He was taken to the County Hospital where his leg was amputated.

The Great Northern Railway opened in 1848, this line was routed from Peterborough through rural Lincolnshire, via Sleaford. Lincoln now had two railways crossing the High Street. The town clerk was sent to London to enquire whether both lines could be routed through one crossing, but he was assured that the crossings would not have a detrimental affect on the flow of the road traffic using the High Street.
The Elegant Entrance Portico of the Midland Railway Station,
now part of St Mark's Shopping Centre

The coming of the railways completely transformed Lincoln’s communications with other parts of the country. The produce of Lincolnshire’s farms and factories could be easily transported and in return coal for homes and industry could be brought into the county. Travelling by mail coach to London took 13 hours whereas by train it would take a mere 4 hours: a businessman could leave Lincoln early in the morning transact his business in London and return home in the evening to sleep in his own bed. In less than 5 years railway lines radiated from Lincoln in all directions.

Prince Albert passed through Lincoln in 1849 to lay the foundation stone of the Grimsby docks.

On the 27th August 1851 Queen Victoria, Prince Albert and the Prince of Wales had a brief stop at Lincoln, en route for Balmoral. An address was read by the Mayor and he presented the keys of the city, following Her Majesty’s reply some grapes That had been grown by Richard Ellison of Sudbrooke Holm. The Prince of Wales, later King Edward VII, was a regular visitor to the city by train, mainly for the horse racing, as a guest of Henry Chaplin of Blankney Hall.

The Midland Station, otherwise known as St Mark’s Station, closed 11 May 1985, the Great Northern Station, now known as the Central Station continues to operate from St Mary’s Street.

First published on Wordpress 10th October 2013

Tuesday, 11 February 2020

By Mail Coach to London


Stonebow Mail Coach
"Royal Mail" coach operated from
the Reindeer and the Saracens Head.

1828 Pigot & Co Directory
1828 Pigot & Co Directory
Before the arrival of the railways getting from point A to point B wasn't easy. Walking was probably the most common form of travel for most people, travelling by horse was for those who could afford it but the more fortunate would travel by Mail Coach.

The Mail Coach came into being in the late 18th century.  The period from 1810 to 1830 was the "Golden Age" of coach travel, road surfaces had improved and coaches could attain average speeds of 12 mph.

This is a record of the Journey by mail coach from Lincoln to London, before the arrival of the railway:
"Leaving Lincoln by the mail at 2 p.m., supping at Peterborough at 9, the traveller, after composing himself for an uneasy slumber about Yaxley Barracks (from whence the waters of Whittlesea Mere might be seen shimmering in the moonlight), grumbling through a weary night at the obstinate legs of his opposite neighbour, and sorely pinched in the small of the back, was only delivered, cold and cross, at the Spread Eagle, Gracechurch Street, about 5 the next morning. He had then the choice of going to bed, with feet like ice, in a fireless room, opening out on an open-air gallery (where a box was fixed for the barber to shave travellers), or of sulking in a fusty coffee-room till the waiters were astir and the world was aired." - The Lincoln Pocket Guide, Sir Charles H J Anderson.

Fifteen hours to London may seem slow to us today but in the early 19th century it must have been quite rapid.

People made their wills before they were "received into the York stage-coach, which performed the journey to London (if God permitted) in four days."

In 1786 the cost of a coach from Lincoln to London via Newark, Grantham, Stamford, etc. was £1 11s 6d (£1.58) for inside passengers and 15s 9d (£0.79) for the less fortunate on the outside.  To put the price into perspective, in 1797 an agricultural labourer earned £30.03 per annum and surgeons £174.95 per annum.

Denbigh Hall bridge which took the railway over Watling Street
With the arrival of the railways some enterprising coach operators saw an opportunity to take advantage of the faster method of travel.  In April 1838 Denbigh Hall Station opened at Denbigh near what is now Milton Keynes.  Denbigh Hall was a temporary terminus of the London and Birmingham railway.  A coach named "The Railway" departed from Lincoln's Saracen's Head Inn at Six o'clock Monday to Saturday mornings, breakfasting at eight at Sleaford, passing through Folkingham at 9.15, Bourne at 10.15, Greatford 11.00, Stamford 11.30, Duddington 12.00pm, Weldon 1.00, Kettering 2.00, Northampton for dinner at 3.30, arriving at Denbigh Hall at 6.15.  The 48 miles from there to Euston station, London took 2 hours by steam train.

Denbigh Hall Station closed in November 1838 when the railway continued north west to Birmingham.

It was noted in the Lincolnshire Chronicle of 10 May 1839, "Horses at our great April fair at Lincoln have not sold so well as usual, neither can they be expected, for the railways are superseding coaches and posting, and in a few years we shall neither require horses nor the oats to feed them".

Travelling by coach wasn't always plain sailing,
Lincolnshire Chronicle 13 July 1838
By 1841 the Lincoln Railway Coach was connecting at Blisworth railway station, an eleven hour journey.  Long distance coaching from Lincoln had more or less ceased by the late 1840s.

The demise of long distance coach travel had a retrograde effect on taverns and inns, in particular the hamlet of Spital-in-the-Street where the number of coaches supported two inns.

Click here to learn more about travel by mail coach

Please visit our  Facebook  page to read more about Lincoln & Lincolnshire, its places and people.  You are welcome to contribute anything relevant to Lincoln.

Saturday, 8 February 2020

The Schoolboy who Killed a King

John Hutchinson
Charles Brandon,
1st Duke of Norfolk
St Katherines Priory was a religious house of the Gilbertine Order, it stood on a site west of St Catherines, south of Sincil Drain and north of Hamilton Road. William Griffith, the last prior, surrendered the priory in 1535 to an agent of King Henry VIII. The property, and most of the monastic lands of Lincolnshire, was granted to Henry’s former brother in law, 

The stone from the priory was used to build, St Katherine’s Hall, a grand Elizabethan house. The house became the property of Sir Thomas Grantham, member of Parliament for Lincoln from 1604 to 1629, on the death of his father Vincent when Thomas was still a minor. The Grantham family had been prominent in Lincoln since the early 1400s and made their fortune as wool merchants.

In 1603 King James I stayed at St Katherine’s Hall on his journey to London, during his stay he knighted Thomas.

Some years later John Hutchinson, a pupil of Lincoln Grammar School at Greyfriars, lived at the Hall as a guest of Sir Thomas.  Hutchinson was more interested in military matters than academic subjects and later became a colonel on the parliamentarian side. During the Civil War Hutchinson was governor of Nottingham castle and refused on three occasions to surrender it to his Royalist Opponents.

Hutchinson was one of the 39 signatories of the death warrant of James I’s son, Charles I.

In October 1663 Hutchinson was arrested on suspicion of being concerned in what was known as the Farnley Wood Plot. Hutchinson was to be transported to the Isle Man, but instead was sent to Sandown Castle in Kent in May 1664, he died of a fever there on 11 September 1664, aged 49.

He was buried at St Margaret's Church, Owthorpe, Nottinghamshire.