Church site?

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Thread Topic: Church site?
Topic Originator: Mike Laughton
Post Date September 21, 2012 @ 9:26 AM
 Church site?
 RE: Church site?
 Church site?
 Church site/I was a hippy
 Church stone wall
 RE: Church site?
 RE: Church site?
 RE: Church site?
 RE: Church site?
 RE: Church site?
 Church site?/Eleanor Cross
 Church site/a dig?
  Church site/New Town
 Church/unresolved:still checking
 Church site/cannons
  Church site/secret
 Church site? paddock
  Church site photos
 RE: Church site?
  Church site?

Mike Laughton
September 21, 2012 @ 9:26 AM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

It is common knowledge and a matter of record that the "Green Hill" near Stamford Bus Station is the site of the former St Peter's Church.
But does anyone know which of Stamford's medieval churches stood on the similar walled site at the bottom of Empingham Road? (The walled copse between Empingham Road, Eight Acres and the Waitrose Car Park)
If this was the site of a church it would have been a very small one and in the middle ages the site would have been several hundred yards outside the town walls.
I understand that at one time Stamford had 17 medieval churches although some of these were probably attached to monasteries or friaries.

John Tyers
September 21, 2012 @ 4:25 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

Regret I can't be of help in identifying the church you query!  However you mentioned St.Peter's on the site of the current bus station and it reminded me of when I lived in St.Peter's Street as a nipper.  When going down into town with my mother, I would look to the right at the slum housing before it's demolishment and the redevelopment first as a car park. She would invariably give me a jolt and tell me in no uncertain manner to look to my front; she was frightened at what my impressionable little mind might witness of the inhabitants behaviour!

Roger Partridge
September 22, 2012 @ 7:57 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

"The Religious Foundations of Medieval Stamford" by John Hartley and Alan Rogers (pub 1974) makes no direct reference to any religious building on this site. However there are a few buildings they cannot positively identify the sites of.

Gillian Hendy
September 23, 2012 @ 4:26 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

I worked on an archaeological dig in that location.   I worked on the area to the left of the path/alley way that takes you down to the Kings Mill Dairy end of Bath Row.  This was of course prior to the houses that have since been built in that area.   I have no idea what was found if anything as I wasn't there long.  I was 16, a hippy and not really very "focussed on work" :)   I can remember the person in charge was called Christine though.

September 23, 2012 @ 9:40 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

¬Stamford Past` by Christopher Davies shows Speeds 1610 Map of Stamford. All of the churches are marked on it. There is nothing on the triangle at the bottom of Empingham Road except a tree showing it was uncultivated. It must have looked much as it does now but it would be interesting to know who built the stone wall around it.
The Churches which have diappeared or not in use as such are:-
St. Paul`s (now Stamford School Chapel).
St.Michael (now retail)
St. Mary Bynwerk West Street (behind the bastion in Lamb`s car park)
St. Peter`s
St. Clement (in the garden of Barn hill House).
All Saints by the Bridge (at the entrance to Water Street on the river bank).
St.Michael in Cornstall (St. Leonard`s Street, now Cornstall Buiuldings).
Holy Trinity and St.Stephen (at the junction of East Street and St.Paul`s Street).
St.Andrew (Broad Street opposite the Catholic Church).

If you add the Friary`s (White,Grey, Black,  Austin and the Nunneries) it makes you wonder how a small town could support them all.
The other thing we can wonder about is whether ¬The Finest Stone Town in England¬ was largely built from stone `robbed` from the closed religious buildings. If so, a large part of them has remained in the town

keith Hansell
September 23, 2012 @ 9:53 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

Mike..where did you get the info that there was, or might, be a church in the area you mentioned?

Mike Laughton
September 25, 2012 @ 8:57 AM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

I can't remember exactly who told me a church once stood on the site.
It may have been someone at the museum 20 years ago or a long-dead town councillor.
The Christine in charge of archaeological digs in Stamford was Christine Mahoney.
I think she is still around; she always used to drink in the Arts Centre bar.

Roger Partridge
September 25, 2012 @ 7:52 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

The archaeologist was Christine Mahany.

September 25, 2012 @ 9:01 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

You are not getting mixed up with the windmill that was about a hundred yards further up the Empingham Road on the right are you?

Mike Laughton
September 26, 2012 @ 12:40 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

So, if a church did not stand on this site..... what did? And why was it important enough to be walled off?

September 26, 2012 @ 1:55 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

The 1610 Map marks Clock House as the traditional site of the Eleanor Cross. Maybe it was actually in the triangle on the other side of the road.

September 26, 2012 @ 6:01 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

Pehaps the mystery of the triangle could be solved if the Town Council (Hi Clem) could persuade the County archaeologists to put a trench across the site.

Roger Partridge
September 26, 2012 @ 8:51 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

This area of Stamford was known as New Town and developed in the early 19th century. Martin Smith's "The Story of Stamford" places the site of the Eleanor Cross just off Casterton Road, very near this piece of land but probably not actually on it.

Clem Walden
September 26, 2012 @ 9:31 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

Hi Mike. Thats a good question! what stood in this small stone walled green area? could it perhaps have been the Original Eleanor Cross? That is detailed as being originaly sited within the Scotgate area? The original Eleanor Cross most certainly was not in the Sheep Market! Perhaps one needs to do more reasearch?
Patrick mentions all the Churches I have records of. And the publication of J.H. & A.R. 1974 that Roger mentions makes no reference to a Church on this Empingham road site. There were of course many medieval Churches within Stamford some of which may have been wooden structures. The St Peters you mention "as you may be aware was one such structure and was privatly owned by a man called "Albert". The mention in the Domesday Book, suggests it was in existence well before the Conquest. It may have been encompassed by the castle walls, when they were built in the 12th century. However  its interesting to note St Peters was amalgamated with the St Mary Bynnewerk Church that was known as St Mary the Lesser;extra burgum-or outside the Town walls. By 1209 it had the name "de Binnewerk, from which we can take it that the new walls extended beyond its site. St Peters and St Marys are both described as being in disrepair and ruinous states for a long time. St Clements Church parish is noted as being administerd by All Saints in 1547. And St Peters became amalgamated with All Saints in the 16th century. Regarding the site at  Empingham Road I do wish more info was available. The Windmill Syd mentions was a little further up. And from the numerious information I have looked at and researched it seems your "Walled area" was never used as a Church site. And still remains a mystery to all of us.
Kate: Lots of info. there, thanks Clem

September 27, 2012 @ 8:28 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

The original remarks about St.Peter`s Church reminded me that the Crimean War cannons that stood on the site were removed in 1940 `to make munitions`together with all the wrougjht and cast iron railings in front of houses in the town they were stacked in the Station Yard. They were still there in 1946 when they were taken away to be melted down. It emerged later that they had been taken away in 1940 to bring home to people that we were in a war.

Clem Walden
September 27, 2012 @ 9:39 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

Hi Patrick, I think thats a sound idea "get the Archaeologist involved". But I am not sure in this present economic climate if the relevant Authorities would be interested?  The site is owned by SKDC and at present I believe work is being carried out on the surrounding stone wall. However what I can do is to draw this Empingham Road site to the attention of the relevant individuals in the hopes that they will be willing to help us find out a little more about this "Walled Green area  and the Secrete it holds"?  But please understand I can make no promises regarding any posible satisfactory action. My powers unforunatley against the might of SKDC & LCC are limited. It would have course been very different pre-1974? When Stamford T.C. owned the site.

keith hansell
September 28, 2012 @ 9:36 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

It is believed by some that the Eleanor cross was further up Casterton Road, possibly as far as Foxdale.
There may be a simpler explanation regarding the walled area. The area behind Rock Road is called eight acres, after the eight acre farm that used to be there.  If I am right, the position now occupied by Clarks the plumbers was also part of the farm, or at least had animals there. The area therefore could have been used as a paddock. The front portion of the wall fronting Empingham road may have been built purely to retain the soil.

Mike Laughton
October 27, 2012 @ 11:18 AM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

I've taken a couple of pictures of the site so that everyone knows what we are talking about.
The site certainly seems big enough for a small church or chapel but it would have been well outside the walls of the medieval town.
Could it have been a burial site for plague victims or something like that?
If it was it would have been hallowed ground and that would explain why it was walled off.
Green Site Empingham Road

Green Site Empingham Road

Click on photo - click on Actions, click on all sizes - to get larger image.
Thanks Mike.

October 30, 2012 @ 7:13 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

Hi Mike. Really excellent photographs. They make the site look more interesting. I`d still like to see a trench put across it.12

ann edgeley
February 27, 2013 @ 4:23 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

Was there a church at st peters hill in the 1940s .I used to stay at st peters hill at one of the cottages opposite with aggie and roger baxter  she was my dads cousin and i seem to remember something there or perhaps it was just the hill