Written Spring 2005
I was amused to read in the last issue of The Gander the word “official” used in connection with the street names of Goxhill. Now don’t tell the Council but from what I have been able to find about the names of our streets, the people of Goxhill have never taken much notice of “official”. Even those street names embodied in an Act of Parliament have been ignored in favour of others with a more local meaning. Take for instance the King Street Road. According to the Act of Inclosure that road runs from the Lordship of Barrow to the Lordship of Thornton. However HM the King did not live there and it is now called College Road. Meanwhile in a street running from Howe Lane to the church was the Post Office, this was the home of Mr King; well obviously that was King Street. The act had already given us a College Road which ran from the end of an ancient lane called Soff Lane to the King Street Road, but that problem was easily solved. Soff Lane it was and Soff Lane it continued to be.
The commissioners called one road The Blacksmith Shop Road, which was fair enough until the blacksmith moved his shop to another location. Now it is known as The Green Ramper. The Little Ramper was called The Townside Road but that did not catch on. The West Road, which was to be 30 feet wide between the hedges, ran from an Ancient home of Thomas Cavill, Manor Farm, to Ferry Road that is the straight bit of Manor Lane. I don’t know but I suspect that may have been Cavill’s Lane latter to become Hardy’s Lane. And then again Brown’s Lane. Can anyone tell me?
The narrow part of Ferry Road from Nan Brigham to the last house in the village was already in existence and there was a row of houses on the West side of it. Widow Raby lived at the North end of the row and from her house to the Haven was named Ferry Road whilst Thornton Road began at the South end of the row at the home of Thomas Hardy (labourer) and ran to the Thornton Lordship.
The first census was taken in 1801 but it was not until 1841 when the government took control that a proper record was kept. The enumerators did not rely upon street names but divided the village into three main parts North End South End and Church End. North End began at what is now the junction of Manor Lane Chapel Street and North End. Church End included the centre part of the village whilst South End began at Thorn Lane. In addition to this the outlying farms and cottages had their own names, Mill field Hallands field Lark hill Outgate field Brook hill Grange farm Sandham field Goxhill brickyards and many more.
There are quite a number of names within the village that I would like to know more about, Rachael Row, Borrills Cottages, Brooks Lane, Railway Street and why is a single straight road called The Square? Can you help?
Many lanes were named after important people who lived there and these usually changed their names when others came to live there. Willow Lane was Harrison’s Lane and later Lamimans Lane. Mr Uriah Stothard must have left a very strong impression because his lane still carries his name long after his death.
Can anyone remember going to Miss Bennet’s Lane to buy milk from Miss Alice Bennet?
Perhaps some people did not feel that the old name of their road was of a sufficiently high status to represent their position in society. Workhouse Lane had to go and Greengate Lane took its place. I am glad that no such reforming zeal has been felt in Littleworth Road, It was given its name in the Act of 1775.
Together with the Trinity we have a the Saints commemorated in Courts and Closes. The Lime, the Horse Chestnut and the Hawthorne are trees that have lately achieved civic status but what will be next? Personally I am looking forward to the day when a gentleman leans from the window of his large motor vehicle and from a great height asks “Where is The Bridles”. Then I can tug my forelock (?) and say “Ooh the bridles be on the horses sir”.
(?) It is rather a long time since the aforesaid forelock existed.