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Time-honoured Lancaster ... Historic notes on the ancient borough of Lancaster online

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Baltic timber, 'and are formed of fine ribs or arches, each with a proper framework
laid upon them to produce the level railway ; each rib is formed of 16 thicknesses ol
3-inch plank : the 4 ribs on which the rails are laid are 15 inches wide each, and the
other rib on which the footpath runs is 12 inches wide. The footpath is open to the
public, and is reached by a staircase on each side of the riser. The bridge spanning
the branch line of the North-Western Railway to Morecambe is 620 feet in length.
It spans the river diagonally in the form of a segment, is a combination of curve and
skew, the curve being 590 feet radius, the skew at an angle of 40 degrees. On the
summit of fhe pile-piers are iron shoes from which spring laminated arches of 3-inch
plank. The railway is a little above the spring of the arches, and is suspended from
them by iron rods or bolts of 20 tons power each, which pass through the upright
timbers. Ninety-eight tons were placed on one arch to test its strength when
finished, and the deflection was five-eighths of an inch. The railway from Lancaster
to 1'pulton was opened June 12th, 184S.

Source of the River Lune. The Lancaster Canal.

It may be apposite to remark at this point that the Loyn,
Lon, or Lune, rises at a place called Lune Head, near Ronald's
Kirk, in the fells of Westmorland, and passing- Kirkby Lonsdale
enters Lancashire near the ancient Roman station of Overborough,
known as Bremetonacae. (Some hold that Lancaster was the
Roman Bremetonacae.) The river then sweeps nearly across the
Hundred of Lonsdale, in a north-western direction through a valley
bearing its own name, passes Hornby and Lancaster and falls into
the Bay of Morecambe, the Mwr Cwm of British days, or "great
hollow by the mountain crest." It falls into this ha\ at Sunderland
Point. In its course this broad river, famed for its salmon,
receives the Leek, the Greta, and the Wenning, and is navigable
for small vessels up to Lancaster. At Glasson there is a spacious
dock into which vessels of greater burthen can be moored. From
Dillkirk Park to Killing-ton the Lune forms the boundary of York-
shire and Westmorland. Its first source is composed of two
rivulets which flow from Ravenstonedale and Shap Fells and unite
at Tebay. A glance at the Aqueduct and the Custom House may



n6 TIME-HONOURED LANCASTER.



fitly end our notes in connection with the river. The Aqueduct
conveys the canal over the river Lune. This structure is formed of
five semi-circular arches, each 70 feet in span, springing' from piers
of a rustic character fixed upon piles driven to a depth of 30 feet.
The height from the surface of the river to the canal is 51 feet, and
the total height from the pier foundations to the summit of the
battlement is nearly 90 feet. In length it is 664 feet. The bridge is
surmounted by balustrades of turned freestone, below which is a
projecting cornice of great elegance.

On the north-east side of the aqueduct is inscribed in
large letters

"TO PUBLIC PROSPERITY."

On the south-west side is the following inscription :

"Ql\T: DEERAN I ADEUNT : SOCIANTUR DISSITA :

MERCES FLUMINA CONVENIUNT ARTE DATURA NOBIS.

A.D. MDCCXCVII. INC. 1. RENNIE EXTRUX A.

STEVENS. P. ET. F."

Translation.

" Things that loere wanting are brought together; things remote are
connected ; rivers themselves meet by the assistance of art, to afford

new objects of commerce."

This aqueduct was erected at the close of the last century
from designs by that eminent engineer, John Rennie, and its cost
was close on ^,'50,000. There is a charming view from this bridge
on a clear day. The canal which this series of arches carries over
the Lune was the result of an Act obtained in the 32nd of George
111., and gave the company a power of raising ^414,000 in shares.
A second Act, passed in 33rd of George III., enabled the
company to make another branch from the village of Galgate to
Glasson Dock. A fourth Act, passed in the 47th of George III.,
empowered the company to make railways ; and a fifth, in the 59th



TIME-HONOURED LANCASTER u



of that sovereign, to amend and alter the former Acts. The
aqueduct bridge previously alluded to was said to have one defect,
viz., that of being' too shallow to admit of deeply-laden vessels.
The canal, commenced about 1792, begins at Kendal, being fed bv
a rivulet about a mile beyond that town. It proceeds southwards,
entering Lancashire near Burton, having passed underground for
about 378 yards at this point. At Borwick, a little south of
Burton, it falls to its mid-level, which it retains for nearly 42 miles,
making for this purpose a most devious course. It crosses the
Lune a little above Lancaster, as we have seen, and at Garstang
crosses the Wyre, having here a westward tendency ; it comes
within two miles of Kirkham, then winds on to Preston, crossing
the Ribble, and ascending then through a series of locks, it joins
the Leeds and Liverpool Canal, and reaches its highest level, on
which it binds eastward of Chorley, across the Douglas, through
Haigh, noted for its eannel pits, and bending to the east of Wigan
arrives at its termination at Westhoughton. The whole of this
length is 75 miles. The fall from Kendal to the mid-level is 65 feet,
and the rise from thence on the southern side 222 feet. A collateral
cut near Chorley is about three miles in length, another near
Borwick nearly two and a half; and a third from the dock at
Glasson to the mouth of the Lune is about four miles long. The
canal passes through a great coal and lime stone country, and its
object was to form a communication between the port of Lancaster
and the interior parts north and south. All the country north of
Chorley is destitute of coal, and prior to the canal scheme the
north portion was supplied by a heavy land carriage, or by coast-
wise navigation by means of the Douglas canal to the mouth of
the Ribble. But the north countrv fov 16 miles to the south of
Kendal is full of lime stone, the southern part of Lancashire being
entirely devoid of such. For 20 years the canal went no further
than Tewit Field, and when it was ultimately extended to Kendal
the work was by no means easy.

The Lancaster and Kendal extension was opened on the 18th
of June, 1 8 1 9, and the occasion was marked by considerable display
and rejoicings.



ii,S TIME-HONOURED LANCASTER



The first vessel to sail on the extended canal was a packet
called " The Lune," with the Mayor of Lancaster onboard and John
Bond, Esq. Then followed a packet full of ladies, and another
containing the Canal Committee, the Corporation barge also, and a
long train of boats. Several bands of music were included in the
procession, which moved towards Kendal. There were three packets
and five vessels belonging to " Widow " Welch and Son, Hargreaves,
and others, the latter being laden with coal and timber. Altogether
there were sixteen boats. At the King's Arms a Ball was given,
and at a Banquet held before, the heartiest toast seems to have been
that proposed by the Rev. H. Sill, in honour o( John Wakefield,
Esq., who had done so much to forward the making of the water-
way between the two towns.

From Lancaster to Preston by canal is thirty miles, by rail
twenty-one ; from Lancaster to Kendal twenty-seven, by rail twenty-
two. Formerlv packets used to sail from Preston to Lancaster, and
jolly doings were the rule when pleasure parties decided to see the
country by means of this circuitous route of water. Solicitors
travelled to Lancaster Assizes in this manner very often, and nine
hours were consumed in the journey. The custom was to drive to
the Roe Buck Inn, Salwick, seven miles from Preston, and then by
the time a previously ordered dinner was consumed, the packet which
had started from Preston an hour before them would give the signal
bv means of bell or horn, and the gentlemen of law would at once
"go on board." Travelling on the canal in this fashion commenced
on May ist, 1820, and the fore cabin fare to Kendal was 6s., the
after cabin fare qs. The voyageur would begin his journey about
6 a.m., and arrive at his destination, Kendal, about 9 in the evening.
Some of the faster boats would accomplish the journey in eight
hours.

Two of the old canal packets are still in existence, and are
kept in a shed abutting on that part o\ the canal near to AldclifFe
Lane. They were named the " Waterwitch " and the " Swiftsure."
The first commenced running on the 2nd July, 1833, leaving Kendal



TIME-HONOURED LANCASTER. tig



at 6 a.m. and reaching' Preston at i p.m. ; returning from Preston at
1-30 and arriving at Kendal at 8-45 p.m.

Mr. Anthony Hewitson says in " Places and Faces " that the
chief stopping places between Preston and Kendal were " Salwick,
Garstang, Potter Brook, Galgate, Lancaster, Hest Rank, Bolton-le-
Sands, Carhforth, Borwick, Tewit Eield, Burton and Holme, Tail-
ton, Crooklands, Hincaster, and Sedgwick." The water for the
canal when it ended at Tewit Field, was gathered from the Keer,
near Borwick, and when extended to Kendal, it was obained from a
large reservoir between Burton and Sedgwick. As a method for
study or contemplation ci' nature nothing could surpass the whole-
someness of travelling by canal boat ; the stillness that prevailed
unless you had boisterous company, being its strongest recom-
mendation. To those fond of such a mode of travel, and with whom
time is not of the greatest importance the system is yet, one of poetic
attraction. In 1840, travelling by canal ceased, practically speakiny,
owing to the iron-highway being opened between Preston and Lan-
caster, and when in 1846, the line was extended to Kendal, the
carriage of human freightage by water to or from Preston, Lancaster,
and Kendal, was knocked in the head for ever. Between Preston
and Kendal there are 1 14 road and occupation bridges, and two road
aqueducts. The Glasson dock was erected in 1787.

The old pinfold which occupied the site of the present canal
warehouse at the east end oi' Aldcliffe Street, was subsequentlv
placed at the south end of the borough boundary, and then enclosed
in the Greaves House Garden, behind the watering trough. Next
it was removed to the bottom end of Dog Kennel Wood (the play-
ground of the Royal Grammar School), and eventually was sold to
Mr. Williamson. There is no pinfold now in existence within the
borough.



The term Dry Dock, taken from the Canal Dock, applies to
a large area of land now covered with streets and houses.



i2o TIME-HONOURED LANCASTER.



On the Lancaster Quay, St. George's Quay, as it is termed,
which is easilv reached by passing- out of the old churchyard down
Vicarage-lane, we see vestiges of Lancaster's former glory com-
mercially. In front of shipping-houses, warerooms, dwelling's and
public-houses, all standing shoulder to shoulder, are the now lifeless
quays, and about the centre of this line is a smart looking edifice,
containing a portico, consisting of a rustic basement and four Ionic
columns, 15 feet high (each formed of a single stone), supporting a
plain pediment. This is the Lancaster Custom House, built in the
year 1 764 from the design of Richard Gillow, Esq. The entrance to
the Custom House is by a double flight of steps, wisely constructed
to prevent the crushing from the crowd of merchants and others
whom we should be happy once more to behold assembled round the
door of the Custom House.

The old port of Lancaster formerly stood on the Skerton
side of the river in a held known by the name of Acrelands, and
according to an old commissioner's report, a most important guide
or beacon to the weary mariner was a somewhat conspicuous
ashpit. Where this ashpit stood I have not been able to ascertain.

Formerly Lancaster did much trade of a foreign shipping
nature with America and the West Indies, but nothing in com-
parison to what it does now directly by rail via Liverpool and
thence abroad. The town was famed for its sail cloth manu-
facture, in which several large factories were employed, and it
likewise had a great reputation for cordage for shipping, while in
the production of cabinet ware Lancaster stood, and still stands,
unrivalled. The immense structure in the North Road, more like
a college than a place of business, indicates the distinction
Lancaster has achieved in this branch of industry. The place
alluded to is that of Messrs. Gillow & Co.

The name of Gillow is a name known in every part of the
civilised world. It is not distinguished exclusively for its con-
nexion with chairs and tables, sotas and settees, pier glasses and



TIME-HONOURED LANCASTER 121



chimney pieces, hut for its alliance to divinity and literature.
From a ri^id study of art, Richard and Robert Gillow have been
enabled to hand down to the dawn of the twentieth century a house
whose principals to-day worthily maintain the reputation of old
secured for elegant and genuine work, and not only for such work
speciality work but for strict, conscientious dealing. In ;i
word, the firm has maintained the reputation of Lancaster, a city
now so vastly changed from what it was a century ago, and which
is still changing and revealing new blood from all quarters of the
empire. But the old spirit of originality lives, and it is only plain
unvarnished truth — truth undressed if you like —to assert that the
like spirit taken in detail will not be found in any other part of the
countx . I had almost inserted an r between the last two letters of
the word, county.

~ Although the study of place-names and surnames has
been my forte many years, I am bound to own that until 1 met with
Joseph Gillow, Esq., of the Woodlands, Bowdon, Cheshire, I was
under the impression that the place-name as well as the surname
was derived from the Norse term, gill, a running stream, and ow,
diminutive form of haw, Saxon for a hollow or depression, whence
a small hill rises. But that able author informed me that the
patronymic is derived from Gillo-Michael, signifying literally
"gild oi' Michael." It is commonly believed that the Gillows,
Gillos, or Gilloes (1 have met with all forms), sprang from Single-
ton in the Fylde, or FfylL The probable fact is that the Gillow
family really hail from Slyne in the parish of Bolton-le-Sands, for
we find that "Adam, the son of Gill-mighel, of Scline, held half a
carueate oi' land by service oi' being the King's carpenter in
Lancaster Castle." In Bolton churchyard 1 met with an old
" Gilloe " tomb. It would appear that the name, Michael, was in
course of time dropped and Gillow substituted, or Gilloe, as a
sufficient appellation.

In St. Mary's churchyard is the tomb oi' Richard Gillow,
who died August nth, 181 1, aged 77.



i22 TIME-HONOURED LANCASTER.



The firm was established by two brothers in the reign of
Queen Anne? Among honoured names found in the books of
the firm are those of Warren Hastings, Lord Olive. Bishop Heber,
John Lingard, the Cavendish family, and the Lovvthers. Em-
perors and kings have patronised the house and still patronise it.
Of late years the Emperor of Russia had his imperial yacht the
" Livadia " fitted and furnished by this firm in olivewood and satin-
wood.

The North Road Establishment was erected in 1881. Every
Lancastrian knows the white stone building in ornamental style, and
every one is proud to see such a building so different from the old
place on the Green Ayre, and the premises on Castle Hill. The
immense show rooms, four in number, are well appointed. Each
room is 100ft. long and 40ft. wide.

The number of hands employed is about 250. Messrs. Gillow
& Co. made the first Davenport Writing Desk over a century ago,
for a gentleman named Captain Davenport.

The largest works extant are those of Messrs James William-
son and Sons, and Storey, Bros., and Co., who have about fourteen
places of business between them in Lancaster. The number of
hands the first named firm employs is about 2,000, the second about
1,400. At these works window blinds, curtains, and toilet covers of
the most exquisite designs are manufactured ; they resemble the
finest linen and yet are oilcloth entirely, far more durable than linen,
and not necessitating so much attention as linen on the washing day.
Messrs. Williamson and Sons have recently extended their works
on the marsh.



A new trade has been introduced into Lancaster by Messrs.
Storey, Bros., & Co. This consists of the manufacture of Ana-
glypta wall paper. The manufactory is in Queen Street, at the
old Queen Street Mill.



TIME-HONOURED LANCASTER. 123



The Lancaster Wagon Works Company, Limited, was estab-
lished, or formed, in 1863. These works are in close proximity to
the Midland Railway, and cover an area of fifteen acres. A large
number o\' hands are employed here. At these works railway cars
and wagons for all parts of the world are erected. A speciality in
bogie carriages is a marked feature of the company's productions.
Some beautiful specimens of these carriages have been sent out
from time to time during the last fifteen years to the Argentine
Republic, to Venezuela, and Mexico. The artistic work in these
coaches, which are fitted with every latest improvement, is admir-
able proof of the ability the company commands from forge to
studio. There are certain mechanical appliances used in the process
of car construction invented by the official talent the company is
able to command. Then there are two fine hydraulic presses oi
marvellous power. The sheds, with their appurtenances, have cost
upwards of ^100,000. The electric light has been introduced into
the works. The chairman of the board of directors is Charles
Blades, Esq., J. P.; secretary of the company, B. Gregson, Esq. ;
manager, W. C. Shackleford, Esq. Portions of a MS entitled
"A Descriptive Visit to the Lancaster Wagon Works," were
intended for inclusion in this section, but unfortunately they are
not at hand to utilise.

The manufacture of mats is carried on in Lancaster and
district, the principal firm in town being that of Air. W. J. Sly,
dating from 1875.

The London and North-Western and Midland Railways.

It is next to impossible in a work like this one to give a lull
historic account of the advent of the railway system into Lancaster.
I find that the first general meeting ot~ the shareholders oi' the
Lancaster and Preston Railway appears to have been held in the
Lancaster Town Hall on Monday, the 19th of June, 1837. The
report submitted is very interesting. George Burrow, Esq., was
in the chair, and the secretary was Mr. S. E. Bolden. The



i2 4 TIME-HONOURED LANCASTER.



directors appointed were Messrs. George Burrow, John Black-
burne, Gabriel Coulston, John Dunn, Robert Garnett, John Greg',
John Jackson, Richard Rossall, and William Satterthwaite. The
engineer of the line was Mr. Joseph Locke, and his estimate of
the cost of making the line was ^250,000. The line was proposed
publicly by "An Inhabitant," who wrote a letter to the editor of
the Lancaster Gazette, in September, 1832. He proposed a railway
to Preston and thence a connection with Wigan. Mr. S. E. Bolden
was appointed secretary to the Lancaster and Preston Railway on
the 7th of Jnnuary, 1837.

In October, 1839, a riot took place between the English and
Irish labourers employed on the Lancaster and Preston line, when
the Irish were driven out of the town. The Lancaster Gazette
gives an account of the opening" of the railway in June, 1840. On
the occasion 300 ladies and gentlemen sat down to a dinner given
in a large covered area at the back of the station by the directors.
In December, 1844, at a special general meeting of the share-
holders in the Lancaster and Preston Junction Railway, it was
agreed to lease the line in perpetuity to the Lancaster and Carlisle
Company, from the 1st September, 1846, the Canal Company
agreeing to give up their lease, and the Lancaster and Carlisle
Company guaranteeing 5 per cent, upon the paid up capital, being
1 per cent, more than what was paid by the Canal Company. The
first permanent rail in this district of the Lancaster and Carlisle
line was laid at Carnforth by Mr. S. B. Worthington, the resident
engineer, in December, 1844. The Lancaster and Carlisle Bill
having passed the House of Lords in the May of the said year, and
the cutting of the line commenced at Bolton-le-Sands in the month
of September, the line was formerly opened in September, 1846,
when a large party proceeded to Oxenholme, and thence down the
Kendal and Windermere line to Kendal, when about 200 sat down
a dejeuner in the Assembly Room, Whitehall Buildings, in that
town.

On the 31st of December, 1^40, the first sod of the



TIME-HONOURED LANCASTER. 12:



Little North-Western Railway was cut at Cleatop, near Set lie,
by Lord Morpeth, and at the dinner held at the Red (alias)
Golden Lion, Settle, Pudsey Dawson, Esq., of Hornby Castle,
presided. At a special general meeting of the shareholders of
the Lancaster and Preston Railway, held at the station for the
purpose of electing' eight persons as directors in the place of
those who had resigned and ceased to hold office, and for the
election of a clerk to the said company, after a rather stormy
discussion, Messrs. Bushell, Willan, William Satterthwaite, J.
Kay, Nicholson, R. Dugdale, Kynaston, and J. C. Satterthwaite
were appointed directors. Mr. Rawlinson was appointed clerk to
the company, and Mr. Thomas Proctor toll-collector. The More-
cambe branch of the North-Western system was opened about the
12th of June, 1848. Three hundred workpeople were entertained
to a dinner on the premises at the Green Area. The line from
Skipton to Ingleton was opened in July, 1849. The Wennington
branch was first opened in the following October, when the Mayor
of Lancaster entertained a party of eighty at the Town Hall, which
was lit with gas for the first time on this occasion. The extension
from Wennington to Bentham dates from May, 1850. In the
August of the previous year the Lancaster and Preston line passed
into the hands of the Lancaster and Carlisle Company.

A terrible accident occurred in August, 1848, at Ray Horse
station, owing to the north express running into one of the
Lancaster and Preston Company's trains which was standing at
the station. Several persons, says the Gazette, principally butchers
going from Preston to Hornby, were injured, and a woman named
Ann Airey, wife of a labourer named James Airey, of Poulton-le-
Sands, so dreadfully that she died about half-an-hour after the
accident. A Mr. Beckett, tea dealer, of Lancaster, had a very
miraculous escape. He fell through the bottom of a carriage, and
although the train passed over him he escaped without a scratch.

It may interest a few readers to know that the trials of
locomotive engines on the Liverpool and Manchester Railway for



i2o TIME-HONOURED LANCASTER



the premium of ^S°° commenced in October, 1829. There were
five entries, viz.: -Messrs. Braithwaite and Erickson's "Novelty,"
weighing 2 tons 15 cwts. ; Mr. Ackworth's "Sans Pareil," weigh-
ing 4 tons 8 cwts. 2 quarters; Mr. Robert Stephenson's "Rocket,"
weighing 4 tons 3 cwts.; Mr. Brandreth's "Cyclops," weighing
3 tons, worked by a horse; and Mr. Burstall's "Perseverance,"
weighing 2 tons 17 cwts. The premium was awarded to Robert
Stephenson. Mr. R. Stephenson's engine, the " Planet," travelled
between Liverpool and Manchester in one hour on the 22nd of
November, 1830. The number of the railway passengers who
traversed the Manchester and Liverpool line during the first three
months of the year 1837 was greater by 10,000 than in the
corresponding period of the previous year.

1 am indebted to Mr. William King for the following
information concerning the terminus of the Lancaster and Preston
Junction Railway in Lancaster. " The house looking towards the
town now occupied by Mrs. Welch was the first booking office,
and the space in front of it was then open to the roads on each
side, and the mail coaches, carriages, &c, going south drove up
to the front to discharge passengers, mail bags, &c. Subsequentlv
new booking offices and waiting rooms were erected in what is
now called South Road. The old booking office was converted
into a dining room for passengers. The booking offices and
waiting rooms which superseded the original booking office on the
site of the house occupied by Mrs. Welch, were converted into
dwelling-houses. Passeng'ers going north came out of the station
shed by side doors into Ashton Road, mail coaches and carriages
being in waiting for them in the open road. The house now
occupied by Mrs. Roper in South Road was formerly the place for



Online LibraryCross FleuryTime-honoured Lancaster ... Historic notes on the ancient borough of Lancaster → online text (page 11 of 55)