After leaving Lincoln we headed south west towards our next destination of Derby. Our first stop on the way there for breakfast was the small town of West Bridgford near Nottingham. The town grew in size considerably after the First World War, having nearly doubled in population from 7,018 in 1901 to 13346 in 1921. The Waterstones is located on the main shopping street – the building was originally an electrical store owned by a local family who sadly went into liquidation in 2016 after 101 years of trading.
Now a registry office and wedding venue, Bridgford Hall was built in 1768 by Mundy Musters who was ‘Lord of the Estates’ of the area. It was initially rented out before being bought by Lewis Heymann, the son of the last tenant, a prominent lace manufacturer called Albert Heymann. The Heymann family lived there until 1923 when the house and grounds were sold to the council and the park created on the land for permanent public use. The Hall is now one of the most popular civil wedding venues in the county.
We spent the day in the car exploring the county of Lincolnshire driving a circuitous route, first to Grantham, then onto Boston and Skegness before returning to Lincoln in the late afternoon. The Waterstones in Boston is located in a modern building in the main shopping area.
St Botolph’s Church
For some reason my I have lost most of the photos I took this day, but I had taken some of St Botolph’s church, known locally as ‘The Stump’. The church’s tower is so tall that it used to be used as a navigation tool by sailors.
Credit for the above images, taken from Wikipedia and used with permission, goes to (clockwise from top left) Martin Clark, the National Churches Trust and BardofL
The second Waterstones in Lincoln is also in the ‘Downhill’ area and is situated in the Cornhall Quarter. This area has recently been regenerated whilst retaining some character buildings, including the Old Corn Exchange, built in 1847 and replaced by a larger building in 1879. This branch of Waterstones is located in the older of the two corn exchange buildings.
The Corn Exchange Buildings
The white building is the old Corn Exchange Building, and the red and inside shots are the new.
Stonebow and Guildhall
The Stonebow building was finished in 1520 – the name comes from the Norse word ‘stennibogi’ which means stone arch. The building houses the Guildhall on the first floor. It is open to the public, and, according to Tripadvisor, is well worth a visit – unfortunately I didn’t know this when we were there or we would probably have gone for a look around.
High Bridge, which crosses the River Witham, was built around 1160 and is the oldest bridge in the UK to still have buildings on it. The buildings themselves date from the mid-1500s.
Lincoln is a cathedral city and the county town of Lincolnshire. The city is compact which makes it easy to explore, and is steeped in history. At the top of Steep Hill (which lives up to its name!) is the oldest part of the city, dominated by a gothic cathedral. A central tower was added to the cathedral in 1311 which made it the tallest structure in the world for over 200 years. This area is colloquially known as ‘uphill’ and as well as many gorgeous buildings it also has a castle! After spending the morning in this area, we walked back down into the town to ‘downhill’ to visit the first of the two Waterstones here. This branch was formerly a hotel called the Saracens Head which closed in 1959.
Below clockwise from the left – the castle grounds, a view of the cathedral, Leigh-Pemberton house – a merchant’s house built in 1543 and now the Tourist Information office.
There is a public footpath through the castle grounds, so it is possible to walk through without paying!
The remains of a third century Roman is said to be the oldest arch in the United Kingdom still used by traffic.
Our next stop on our way to Lincoln, which was to be our ‘home’ for the next three nights, was Grimsby. Unfortunately it was raining so heavily that we didn’t venture outside of the shopping centre in which Waterstones is located, so I don’t have any of my own photographs of the town to share. I would have liked to have visited the Docks – they have a large Victorian chimney which apparently can be seen for miles around. It was such a prominent landmark that during the Second World War the-powers-that-be considered demolishing it in case the Luftwaffe used it as a marker to find Liverpool!
Grimsby Dock Tower
Pictures used under the Wikimedia Commons Licence – picture 1 is owned by David Wright and picture 2 is owned by Colin Westley. Both photos have been resized by me (as allowed under the terms of the Licence).
After three nights in Beverley we headed south to stay in Lincoln, stopping off at the University of Hull campus on the way. The university was founded in 1927 and the poet Philip Larkin worked there as a librarian from 1955 until his death in 1985. The Waterstones here is in a modern concrete building – the inside is almost brutalist in style.
The university, and the city of Hull, are rightly proud of Larkin and he is commemorated by a city trail and with a statue at the railway station. The statue and its accompanying slate plaques featuring some of Larkin’s verses were created by sculptor Martin Jennings.
After leaving the university we drove to the cemetery in nearby Cottingham where Philip Larkin is buried to look at his grave, but it was it was pouring with rain but unfortunately, despite extensive searching, I failed to find it.
We hopped on the train from Beverley and headed to Scarborough (or Scarbados, as the train guard would have it!) for the day. Unlike yesterday the weather was amazing – definitely no coats required! Scarborough is a popular seaside town on the north Yorkshire coast with a pretty harbour and long sandy beaches overlooked by a ruined castle! The town centre slopes down to the sea which can also be accessed by a funicular railway! The Waterstones here is situated in an attractive building, but I haven’t been able to find out any history of it.
Anne Brontë died of tuberculosis in Scarborough in 1849 aged just 29 and is buried in St Mary’s church. Her gravestone is badly eroded – the Brontë Society placed a new plaque at the site in 2011 which shows the wording of the original and also corrects an error on the earlier headstone.
Scarborough Castle (English Heritage) and the coast
Sunday was very rainy so we decided to head out in the car to the North York Moors, which is an area we know reasonably well and is very beautiful. We stopped in the pretty town of Pickering for coffee and then headed north, passing through Goathland (the fictional Aidensfield of the ITV drama Heartbeat) on our way to the market town of Northallerton. The Waterstones here is located in an attractive Grade 2 listed, red-bricked three storey building (although the shop itself has only two floors of books) in the main High Street.
After leaving Northallerton we drove to Thirsk for lunch. Thirsk the birthplace of the founder of Lord’s Cricket Ground in London, Thomas Lord. It was also the location of the veterinary practice where James Alfred Wight, who was better known by his pen-name of James Herriot, lived and worked for many years. The latter building is now a museum to Wight’s career and the TV show that was based on his many books.
Thomas Lord’s birthplace
The Veterinary Practice of “James Herriot”
Kingston upon Hull is a port city in south east Yorkshire which stands on the river Hull near the Humber estuary and is probably most famous for the bridge and for the poet Philip Larkin! We were staying in the nearby pretty market town of Beverley for a few days, so we stopped in Hull for lunch and to visit the Waterstones, which is in a modern shop in the town centre and has a spacious feel to it.
After visiting the shop we had a wander round the city, which has some stunning architecture. We visited a very interesting (and free) museum of transport called Streetlife and the cathedral, which was quite attractive inside, but dominated by a large vinyl record sale, so it was quite noisy!
Some of Hull’s attractive architecture
Hull has one unique feature – its telephone boxes! In the early 1900s when telephones were being introduced, Hull was given a licence to operate its own system, and opted for cream telephone boxes, so whilst the rest of the country adopted standard red boxes for what was to eventually become British Telecom, Hull has its own telephone company, and therefore different coloured boxes!
We were heading to the north east for a few days and stopped overnight in Nuneaton on the way. One of Nuneaton’s most famous residents was Mary Ann Evans – better known as Victorian author George Eliot – who was born in Nuneaton in 1819. Many of the fictional places in her novels are set in the area and the town is very rightly proud of her. There are many references to the novelist in Nuneaton including a local hospital named after her, a hotel, a large building in the centre of town and a statue! The Waterstones here is in a modern building set over two floors. Due to the market it was difficult to get far enough back to take a good photograph of the front of the shop.
George Eliot statue
There are plaques on the side, one listing her notable works and the others read:
“1819 – 1880 Born at Arbury, Nuneaton. Unveiled by Jonathan G. Ouvry president of the George Eliot Fellowship, Great, Great Grandson of G. H. Lewes. March 22nd 1986. Erected by public subscription.”
“Mary Ann Evans (George Eliot). Novelist, essayist, journalist and poet. Lived at Griff House until 1840 when she moved to Coventry and later to London. From 1854 to 1878 she lived with G. H. Lewes who encouraged her to write fiction. Her novels brought her world wide fame. In May 1880, she married J. W. Cross and died in December at 4, Cheyne Walk, Chelsea. She is buried in Highgate Cemetery, London.”
We liked the town. There was a large, lively Saturday market and there are some beautiful buildings if you remember to look up! One of these, a former Co-op, is currently being redeveloped and will be an ‘Escape’ room. I’m pleased to read that they’re keeping the gorgeous Art Deco façade. We also thought the Town Hall building very attractive.
Currently reading Follow You Home by Mark Edwards, and listening to A Litter of Bones (DCI Logan #1) by J D Kirk