Hoptroff & Lee
Antiques in the Alley
Stamford Library is a Roman-style portico with colonnades and was once a covered fish, meat and butter market. In 1906 it became the town library in the building you see today. Next door (the little building on the left with the clock, and behind the telephone box in the image) was the former police station.
Inside the library is a fascinating museum of Stamford life. Unfortunately Lincolnshire County Council have pledged to move artefacts away from the town as a possible cost-cutting exercise. Please sign the petition in the library to keep Stamford things in Stamford. Thank you.
This lovely medieval building in Broad Street is an almshouse founded in 1487 by William Browne, a Stamford-dwelling wool merchant, to house 10 poor men, although it was not all of the building you see today. Modifications including the clock tower were added in the 1870s. The original archways at the front of the building were removed and used elsewhere in the town. See one at The Masonic Hall, and one at Star Lane chapel. Browne's Hospital has a chapel, an audit hall and an area known for housing hospital patients. In the BBC Television series "Middlemarch" it was portrayed as a place for the sick. Today it has 13 occupied almshouses in its pretty cloistered garden and is known affectionately by locals as "The Bedehouse".
St.Peter's Callis (image centre) was an almshouse originally built to house poor women. The building was recorded on this site as early as the 1400s and underwent changes at a much later date. It was one of many such establishments in the town, amongst them: Hopkins Hospital, Fryer's Callis, Snowden's Hospital and Truesdale's Hospital all of which still exist in other guises.
This large, stately church has had many renovations over the years. It once had a wooden tower which was said to shake when the bells were rung! It closed as a functioning church in 1960. In 1982 it was unsympathetically gutted and its interior turned into shops and offices. Although there are still some retained stone arches (and great views) from above the current Vision Express Optician's. The former graveyard to one side of the church has been cleared in recent years and is a pleasant garden with seats for weary shoppers.
Stamford has many little winding passages and lanes giving access between the main streets. Cheyne Lane (pronounced "Chainey") joins High Street with St.Mary's Street and has shops and services for you to enjoy. Both Cheyne Lane and Goldsmith's lane (a narrow passage joining High street with Broad Street and once known as "Overnesty") are worth a visit just to see the medieval over-hanging buildings.
Wellington Lane was once known as "Racoun Row" which is thought to refer to "drying", perhaps by hanging one's laundry over the street! This and Silver Lane (affectionately known as Cinema Lane due to its proximity to the original town picture house) are well known for their independent shops, although fewer exist today.
"Woolie's Passage" is the Stamfordian's name for a wider lane running down from High Street to St.Mary's Street between the shops, one of which was formerly Woolworth (hence the name). You can find this lane between Hinds the Jeweller and Holland and Barrett. It forms the access to other shops and services in a little open area called Stamford Walk which links with Cheyne Lane. Bugle Lane, Olde Barn Passage, Cross Keys Lane, and St.John's Lane are quaint, narrow alley ways that run from St.Mary's Street to the meadows and car parks, giving access to more shops and restaurants.
The 11th century castle was built on the rise above the sheepmarket, now the bus station. It was destroyed as early as the 1400s. The only section remaining is that in Castle Dyke (shown here).
The hotel was built in the early 19th century dwarfing the smaller buildings around it. Due to this it was extremely unpopular. However, today it is seen as a special piece of architecture with its grand regency facade with colonnades and a statue of Justice at the top. Its coaching entrance is now a walk-way through to High Street, and much of its original entrance hall, now a thoroughfare, can still be appreciated. Its large rooms now lend themselves well to studios of exercise and dance.