Categories for 2018
SLHA News ...
News 2018
Lectures and Conferences

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The Cornhill Quarter
A century of development in the centre of Lincoln

On the snowy afternoon of Sunday 18 March Beryl George shared her recent research into the streets and buildings around the Lincoln’s Cornhill. She has worked closely with the Lincolnshire Co-op who, as principal property owners, are redeveloping the area.

The Lincoln Corn Exchange and Market Company was established 1847 and immediately built the first Corn Exchange on Corn Hill (architect W A Nicholson). It was replaced by a larger building on an adjoining site to the north in 1879 (architect Bellamy & Hardy).

Trading in corn and other agricultural products was confined to Fridays and the spacious buildings were regularly used for as venues for public meetings and entertainment.

Market areas were created alongside and to the east of the first Corn Exchange and then in the ground floor of the second.

Sincil Street, to the east of these buildings, has always housed a range of small retail businesses. This type of occupancy is likely to continue after the present restoration works.

Lincoln's second Corn Exchange

March 2018

Mud and Stud Buildings
Report on recent research

The technique of building in mud and stud is commonly associated with Lincolnshire but, as Jenne Pape pointed out in a talk to SLHA members at Jews’ Court on 18 March, it is not confined, as usually supposed, to an area near the southern end of the Wolds nor is it only found in small cottages.

The walls of a typical M&S building are created from simple frames of ‘hedgerow’ timber to which are attached vertical laths. A thick daub of mud is then applied and the external surfaces limewashed for weatherproofing. The roof is thatched with a centrally placed chimney in brick or M&S.

Research involving vernacular buildings across the county and their related documentation reveals that the technique has been very widespread and that it was being deployed from the sixteenth century though to the Victorian period.

It is also clear that it was used for buildings of both high and low status. Its fall in fashion and acceptability came in the nineteenth century when brick began to be used instead or in many instances used as a simple skin to cover a mud and stud construction.

Withern Cottage, a typical mud and stud building (now at The Village, Skegness)

March 2018

Roman Leicester
Recent Archaeological discoveries

Gavin Speed of the University of Leicester Archaeological Services (ULAS) gave an account of Leicester’s Roman legacy to an audience of fifty members and friends at St Hugh’s Hall on 14 March.

Archaeological excavations at various times have brought to light many significant buildings and artefacts of the Roman period in Leicester. Recent large scale redevelopment of large areas near the city centre has allowed sites to be revisited and new ones investigated.

The only Roman structure above ground is the Jewry Wall, now understood to be part of a bath house complex. Other public buildings of Roman Leicester (Ratae Corieltauvorum) identified include the forum (130m x 90m), a temple, macellum or market hall and an odeon or theatre.

Town houses have been investigated, some of which have fine mosaic floors and hypocausts. A large range of everyday objects (including coins, rings, tweezers, brooches, spoons, a flute) have been collected and catalogued.

More information about ULAS can be seen on their website



March 2018

Built in Gainsborough
Submarines for World War II

On 21 Feb at St Hugh’s Hall, Lincoln, SLHA members were treated to a talk by Lt Cdr Sandy Powell, RN Rtd, on the building of X Class submarines by Marshalls of Gainsborough.

A large audience listened attentively to the speaker (himself a distinguished submariner) as the story of the building of 12 miniature (4-man crew) submarines in great secrecy during WWII unfolded. Manufacture was distributed between various contractors for security reasons and Marshalls built three, X24 Expeditious, X25 Xema and XE9, Unexpected, built to a Far East specification.

Only 15.7m long, powered by a bus engine and capable of diving to nearly 100m depth, these submarines were designed to carry two large canisters of explosive which could be placed under the hulls of enemy ships in harbour by one of the crew who was also a diver.

Clearly this was an extremely hazardous task and many brave crew members lost their lives. This is reflected in the large numbers of medals awarded to the crews, including 4 VCs, 8 DSOs and 15 DSCs.

The X-Craft also carried out reconnaissance immediately prior to the Normandy landings and provided essential navigational guidance during the landings themselves.

X24 Expeditious was conspicuously successful and survived the war to be displayed in the Submarine Museum at Gosport.

February 2018

The lecture room at Jews’ Court was packed with members and friends on 21 January who had braved inclement weather to attend the first Sunday Special of 2018.

The ever-enthusiastic Adam Daubney, Finds Liaison Officer for Lincolnshire, spoke about some recent archaeological finds in the county including coin hoards in Riseholme (late Iron Age) and Ewerby (English Civil War). He also highlighted a sixth-century ivory bag ring found in the Wolds and a Visigothic silver buckle clasp – a unique find in Lincolnshire.

Naomi Field’s illustrated talk showed examples of Lincolnshire farm buildings on which she had undertaken recording work. These included sites in Appleby, Burton upon Stather and Laughton. Naomi described the importance of recording these historic structures before their conversion or demolition made this impossible. She urged anyone interested in helping with this work to join the society’s Building Recording group.

Chris Padley’s talk on John Fowler’s 1850 Torksey Bridge began with him demonstrating the advantages of box-girders with the aid of a cardboard box and two dumbbells. He described the construction, history and closure of the bridge to rail traffic followed by the lengthy process of it being saved for the use of walkers.

Torksey railway bridge

January 2018