Ike visits Stamford, Lincolnshire – Part 3

Ike continues his wanderings around the limestone town of Stamford, with local hosts Marian & Martin. If you missed the walk so far you can find part one here.

We rejoin Ike as he walks down St George’s Street, passing Reedmans Court, which was a late medieval house to St Mary’s Street. 

Unfortunately, Ike felt very disappointed when he arrived at the Assembly Rooms and Arts Centre, as they were covered in scaffolding!

But he bucked up when he saw the Theatre, which was built in 1768.  

Marian pointed out St Mary’s Vaults, a timber framed building, most of which is thought to be from the sixteenth century.

Further along, Ike noticed the facade of the old Stamford Hotel, which was begun in 1810. It is a very grand building, now no longer a hotel but divided up into retail spaces.

Walking back to the car, with very weary little paws, Ike went along St Paul’s Street. 

At the junction with Brazenose Lane, he saw an old doorway with a strange looking knocker on it.  This was the gateway to Brazenose Hall, which was at the centre of a fourteenth century academic storm! Oxford students from the north of Britain claimed they were being denied seats at Oxford University’s Merton College, in favour of their southern counterparts. A break away group of these disgruntled scholars set up the fledging Stamford University at the Brazenose site in 1333. This didn’t go down well with university officials and the rebellious group was ordered to disband and return to Oxford by King Edward III just two years later. Students at Oxford were even made to take an oath which forbade them to read lectures, or hear lectures read, at Stamford. The oath remained mandatory until 1827. Ike took a moment to think about how very different Stamford might have been today if Stamford University had been allowed to continue.

Further along, where St Paul’s Street meets Ryall Road and Deeping Road at a small roundabout, Ike saw an old gateway.  It is all that is left of the house of Whitefriars who were there from 1285-1539.  A plaque told him that Richard ll held a council and lodged there in 1392.  Queen Elizabeth l was entertained there by Lord Burghley in 1565.

The last building Ike saw was St Leonard’s Priory. This was a Benedictine house, founded in about 1100, by the monks of Durham, as a base from which they could administer their southern properties.  Ike was able to see a lot of the outside of the church.

He returned home to his lodgings with Marian and Martin, a tired but happy cat. He dreamed of lofty spires as he snuggled down next to his friend Oscar, and looked forward to finding out where he might visit next!

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