H & L

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Stamford's historic streets and buildings 

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The Library

Stamford Library is housed within a closed 

Roman-style portico with colonnades which once operated as a covered fish, meat and butter market. In 1906 the building as you see it today became the town library.

The little building on the left with the clock which is behind the telephone box in this image was the former police station.

The library continues to support a fascinating museum of Stamford life. 

Browne's Hospital

This lovely medieval building in Broad Street is an almshouse founded by William Browne, a rich  Stamford-dwelling wool merchant, and was opened in 1475. It was created to house 10 poor men, although originally it was a lesser building than you see today. Modifications including the clock tower were added in the 1870s. The original archways to the front of the building were removed and used elsewhere in the town. See one at The Masonic Hall in St. Peter's street, and one at The United Reformed Church in Star Lane. 

Browne's Hospital has an audit hall, a chapel and a flag-stoned inner area known for housing hospital patients although it is not used as such today. 

In the BBC Television series "Middlemarch", Browne's 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, St. Peter's Hill

St. Peter's Callis (image centre) was an almshouse originally built to house poor women. It is now a private dwelling. The building was recorded on this site as early as the 1400s and underwent changes at a much later date. 

St. Peter's Callis 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 still in other guises.

St. Michael's Church

High Street

This large, stately church has had many renovations over the years. Originally it had a wooden tower which was said to shake when the bells rang! It closed as a functioning church in 1960. 

In 1982, it was unsympathetically gutted and its interior replaced with shops and offices. Although this did not go down well with the people of Stamford, there are still some retained stone arches, and some great views, from above the current shops. The former graveyard to one side of the church has been rejuvenated in recent years and is a pleasant garden with seats for weary shoppers.

The Little Lanes

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 all to enjoy. Goldsmith's lane (once known as "Overnesty") is a narrow passage joining High street with Broad Street. Together with Cheyne Lane it is worth a visit to view 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 across 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 quaintness. 

"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. It gets its colloquial name from Woolworth which stood in close proximity. 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 courtyard called Stamford Walk which links with Cheyne Lane with its medieval over-hanging buildings. Looking upwards in Stamford Walk, the stone tower at the far end is part of the former Stamford Hotel, namely the large spiral staircase, giving the courtyard a distinctly Mediterranean feel.

Bugle Lane, Olde Barn Passage, Cross Keys Lane, and

St. John's Lane are quaint, narrow alleyways that run from St. Mary's Street to the meadows and car parks, giving access to more shops and restaurants.  

St. Mary's Passage which can be found on 

St. Mary's Hill has a Medieval decorated Norman arch at its entrance and runs down to the Meadows and former working Wharf.

The Stamford Hotel

St.Mary's Street

The hotel was built in the early 19th century dwarfing the smaller buildings around it, and upsetting many local establishments. Today it is seen as a special piece of architecture with its grand Regency facade with colonnades and a statue of Justice looking down from the parapet. 

Its coaching entrance is now a walk-way through to High Street. Its large upper rooms lend themselves well to studios of exercise and dance.

The Castle Remains

Castle Dyke

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).