Walk 145: Stamford Town Trail Circular Walk…Worth a weekend away!

The ‘Needs to Know’

Distance: Difficult to say as this is very much what we’d call a “wandering & exploring” walk. We’d estimate it’s roughly 3 miles (4.8km)

Time to walk: Estimated at around 2 hours, but, as this walk covers 4 loops, with stops it could easily take a whole day

Difficulty: Easy walking & all on hard surfaces

Parking: We parked in the public Pay & Display car park close to the station

Public toilets: Plenty of cafes, hotels throughout the route

Map of the route: None. This walk closely follows the ‘Stamford Town Trail’ & they have maps on their leaflet

We’d like to start our description of this walk by saying a massive thank you to the Stamford Tourist Information Office, especially the helpful, young chap. We explained what we did & that we’d write up the walk on the blog. He therefore let us have so much background & route information completely free!

As always, although the route follows the ‘Town Trail’, all our thoughts are our own & we also explore as many nooks & crannies as possible

Stamford is a town on the River Welland in Lincolnshire, just over the Northamptonshire border, 92 miles north of London on the A1. It was proclaimed by Sir Walter Scott as “the finest stone town in England”

The Romans built Ermine Street across what’s now Burghley Park & forded the River Welland to the west of Stamford, eventually reaching Lincoln. The Anglo-Saxons later chose Stamford as their main town. The name ‘Stamford’ means “stony ford”

A Norman castle was built about 1075 & was thought to have demolished in 1484. The number of old buildings has meant that several films & television programmes have been made in the town, including Pride & Prejudice (2005), The Da Vinci Code (2006) & Middlemarch (1994)

We’ll touch more on the history as we go so…

Let’s Walk!

1. The route we’re following is divided into four sections, the first of which starts in Broad Street outside The Lord Burghley public house…

The pub was converted out of a historic 18th century building & the name obviously refers to the close-by Burghley House & Estate

2. Our initial route’s going to be left along beautiful Broad Street, but then most of the streets in Stamford are beautiful…

Over on the left side of the street, at No. 32 is a property that dates back to the 17th century & is an example of a vernacular house. This means that its architecture is characterised by the use of local materials & knowledge, usually without the supervision of professional architects. Vernacular buildings are typically simple & practical, whether residential houses or built for other purposes

3. The imposing building next door, with the words “School of Art” above its entrance once housed Stamford Museum. The property was built in 1895 as a technical school. The museum moved to these premises in 1980, having originally been located in the library on High Street where it had opened in 1961

The museum interpreted the town’s history, including Stamford Ware Pottery & the 18th century Daniel Lambert, renowned for his girth. Notable exhibits included the only known fragment of the Stamford Eleanor Cross. In June 2010 it was announced that the Museum would close because of Lincolnshire County Council cuts. Despite local opposition, the museum closed on 30 June 2011

4. Back over the road’s the Roman Catholic Church of St Mary & St Augustine which was built between 1862-64 &, while much of its Victorian interior was stripped out in the middle decades of the twentieth century, it still retains some furnishings & fittings of distinction

The church was built on the site of the Dolphin public house & replaced an earlier place of worship, a chapel in All Saints Street, which in the 1830s was one of only six Catholic chapels in Lincolnshire. Prior to this, during the anti Catholic penal laws, Mass had been celebrated secretly in some of Stamford’s numerous cellars

5. As you continue along Broad Street, you pass a Stamford institution…Nelsons, who are authentic Melton Mowbray pork pie makers

Have a look at the above link to see their award winning produce, including ‘Pork Pie Wedding Cakes’ (what’s not to like?) & the history of the business. The page tells us that..”Harold Nelson acquired the business in 1924, winning over 50 Gold Medals for his Melton Mowbray pork pies. These were made in the cellar below the shop before moving to our pie factory in Alma Place, Stamford in 1959 where we still handcraft our pies today

6. Pass Ironmonger Street, next to the butchers. At the bottom’s a church which we’ll visit later in this walk

All the time you’ve been walking up Broad Street, ahead’s been the imposing building that’s Browne’s Hospital, a medieval almshouse established in 1475 during the reign of Edward IV as a home & a house of prayer for ten poor men & two poor women, with a Warden & Confrater, both of whom were to be secular priests. The statutes required attendance at chapel twice daily, where masses for the repose of the souls of the Founders were said. A new charter was granted by James I in 1610

The Hospital is today home to twelve residents. The Victorian cottages around the courtyard garden were updated in 1963 to flats, each with a living room, bedroom, kitchen & bathroom

The Hospital is opened to the public at weekends & bank holidays during the summer. Visitors may see the Common Room where the men lived, the Chapel with its original stained-glass, the Audit Room & the Confrater’s Sitting Room, all with original furnishings

In 1994 it was used for filming, portraying Middlemarch Hospital in George Elliot‘s Middlemarch, most of which was filmed in Stamford

7. Behind you over the street’s the Corn Exchange. Primarily used as a trading hall for the buying & selling of seed since 1859, it was also the venue for many social & cultural events

In 1900 the venue began hosting cinema screenings & pieces of theatre, which continued on & off for the next hundred years. The Corn Exchange was bought in 2000 by the newly formed Corn Exchange Theatre Company, who, along with volunteers, converted the building into a theatre over the course of seven years. It started programming productions on a full-time basis in 2008

8. There’s no prizes, given its exterior decor, for guessing that the building next door was once a cinema…

The Central Cinema was originally a showroom for the Blackstone Oil Engine Co. It was refitted as a cinema, opening on 20th August 1926 with “Flower of the Night”. The building was destroyed by a fire on 5th March 1937.

It was renovated & screened its last film in January 1989, operating in conjunction with a bingo club. Until 1994 it stood unused &, whilst the outside has retained its original features, the inside was converted into mixed use including a bar / nightclub

9. What’s evident as you walk around the town is that Stamford’s a real mixture of architecture & sometimes they sit right next to each other, like here with the Barclays Bank building…

It seems to have been built in two sections, with nearest end looking Italian & the far end Greek. Indeed they were actually built 100 years apart, but the ‘Italian looking’ part was re-clad in the 19th century

If that’s not enough variation for you, the buildings across the street are in a Regency style & date from the 18th century

10. Continue straight ahead down the hill that’s Red Lion Street…

If you fancy something sweet then there’s plenty to tempt you at Asker’s Bakery which is here on the left. The company have been baking in Stamford for many years & we’ll look at them in more detail when we come across the actual bakery later in this walk

11. At the bottom of Red Lion Street, the area opens out into one of Stamford’s best known locations…All Saints Place, where ahead’s the imposing spire of All Saints Church

Walk up the right side of the church, passing Paten & Co which was originally a wine & spirits merchant dating back to the 1900s. It later became ‘The Periwig’ but, after a renovation, reopened with its original name in 2017

We can also recommend The Crown, one of Stamford’s old coaching inns

12. The church is usually open & well worth venturing inside. It’s mentioned in the Domesday Book, but none of the original structure remains today. There’s a very small amount of 12th century stonework, but the bulk of the church dates from the 13th century

Extensive additions were made by the Browne family in the 15th century. The Browne’s were local wool merchants & are the only people buried inside the church. Look out for the memorial brasses to the Browne brothers’ parents John Browne & his wife Margery on the east wall of the north aisle. He is shown in a sleeved gown & he stands on two woolsacks symbolising his membership in the Staple of Calais. Nearby is the brass of John Browne the younger, shown in his Alderman’s mantle, with his wife Agnes. With them are two smaller brasses depicting John’s son Christopher & his wife

Have a look at the memorial chapels which contain dedications to the local armed forces…

13. Come back out of the church via the same gate & continue up Barn Hill, another of Stamford’s most beautiful, cobbled streets, that many people have described as having a certain Jane Austen feel to it…

Look at the entrances to the properties as you walk up the hill. Most of them have a link with a time gone by as they all have boot removers set into their walls

14. Pass the old 15th century medieval priest’s house (No. 16) that for many years served as All Saints Vicarage…

…& slightly further up the narrowing road’s the imposing structure of No.13 which is generally thought to be one of the best houses in the town. It was built in 1740

To the left, set back’s \the impressive Barn Hill House which dates back to the 17th century. Look for the blue plaque on the wall of Stukeley House on the other side of the road. The original property was occupied in the 17th century by Richard Wolph, a wealthy grocer who is said to have befriended Charles I. It later passed to William Stukeley, the antiquary & the Vicar of All Saints. He claimed that Charles I spent his last night of freedom in the house in May 1646

The house that we see today was designed by a local cabinet maker, Henry Tatam around 1800

15. Across the road’s Trinity Methodist Church. The first Methodist Church was built at the rear of No 10 Barn Hill & opened in 1803. In 1882, No. 11 Barn Hill was purchased & then demolished to make way for a new church building in front of the old one

The new church was built of local stone & planned to have a spire, but costs didn’t allow, even though the base was built. The new church opened in November 1886

Follow the road as it bends sharp left & heads down the hill to arrive at Scotgate

16. Directly ahead on the other side of Scotgate are Truesdale’s Hospital & Snowden’s Hospital

Thomas Truesdale was a local lawyer who died in 1700, leaving funds for the maintenance of six “ancient & poor men” at this property, where each man was to have accommodation, clothes & a weekly payment. Snowden’s part was founded in 1804 by Richard Snowden & was for eight poor women

It is a private building, but just pop your head through the arch, because the properties & courtyard are quite beautiful…

17. Walk back towards the town centre & notice a piece of Northamptonshire in relation to the former Scotgate Inn…

Across the top of the building is the name of Northamptonshire’s most famous brewers ‘Phipps’. Just past here, if you’re lucky, you should smell the aroma of hops from Melbourn Bros brewery which was established in 1825, although it’s thought that brewing has taken place on this site for much longer

18. And we’re back at beautiful Red Lion Square…

Wander across to the far right of the square to find the old wooden building. Behind the facade of the adjoining building to the left’s the same timbered property. It’s thought that this may once have been the Guildhall. The building to the right with the arches is reminiscent of those found in lots of towns & once used to be the Buttermarket which dates back to 1861

19. There’s another large church to explore in Red Lion Square…St John’s Church

The church dates back to the 12th century, & a small amount of fabric from that time is incorporated in its structure. The tower was built at an uncertain time before the 15th century. The building of the rest of the church took place during the 15th century & was completed in 1451

At this time the town was prosperous because of its wool & cloth trade. The town was badly damaged by Lancastrian forces during the War of the Roses in 1461, but St John’s was apparently unharmed

The church was declared redundant in 2003, & more repairs have been carried out since that time. When we visited, it was being used for a Christmas fair

20. Walk up the pedestrianised High Street…

As you walk up, the Town Trail Guide points out several buildings of note, which yet again show off the different building styles. On the right’s the Italian-looking Lloyds Bank…

…whilst opposite (& under renovation) is what’s described as one of Stamford’s most elegant 19th century shop fronts

Almost next door’s a completely different style…a property called Gothic House. The frontage of the shop dates from 1849, although other parts go back as far as the 16th century. In the 19th century it was the town’s post office

21. On the left’s the other end of Ironmonger Street. Walk a short way down it to see the two properties on the right that were once another of the town’s coaching inns, called the Blue Bell. At one stage it actually occupied the whole of this side of the street. Records show that it was built in 1595, although the property we see today has seen many alterations…

22. Opposite Ironmonger Street’s yet another of the town’s churches. This is the Church of St Michael the Greater, a late Georgian Gothic church which stands on the site of an earlier, medieval church. It was called St Michael the Greater to distinguish it from another church, ‘St Michael in Cornstall’, situated elsewhere in the town

The church was declared redundant in 1974 &, after some years of vacillation when several options including demolition were considered, it was transformed into shops in 1982

23. Continue up the High Street, where you can’t miss the Italian temple style library. The building dates back to 1804 & was once the entrance to an area known as ‘The Shambles’, which was the butchers’ market

24. At the top of the High Street take the left fork into St Paul’s Street…

St Paul’s Street is delightful & full of quirky shops, although some were under scaffolding when we visited. Many are medieval houses. For a bit of fun look up at them to see how many trade ’emblems’ you can see, such as the one that denotes a bakers below…

25. Further along’s the impressive buildings of Stamford School, which occupies many properties within the town

The school was founded in 1532, as an independent school for boys, by a local merchant & alderman, William Radcliffe who had been encouraged, when younger, by Lady Margaret Beaufort, mother of Henry VII, though there is evidence to suggest that a school existed from the beginning of the 14th century. Founded as a chantry school, it fell foul of the Protestant reformers & was only saved from destruction under the Chantries Act of Edward VI by the personal intervention of Sir William Cecil (later Lord Burghley) who secured a specific Act of Parliament in 1548 ensuring its survival. Apart from the chantries of the University of Oxford & the University of Cambridge, only those of Eton College, Winchester College, Berkgamstead, St Albans &  Stamford schools survived

Over its history the school has built or absorbed 17th, 18th & 19th century buildings, besides the site of a further demolished medieval church (Holy Trinity/St Stephen’s) & remains of the hall of Brasenose College

Stamford School has a sister school, Stamford High School for girls, which was founded in 1877. In recent years, the two schools have been united under the leadership of a single principal as the Stamford Endowed Schools. This organisation now comprises Stamford Junior School, a co-educational establishment for pupils aged between 2 & 11 years, Stamford School for boys aged 11–18, & Stamford High School catering for girls of the same age group. Sixth form teaching is carried out jointly between Stamford School & Stamford High School

26. Across the road from the school’s the impressive Brazenose House, which dates back to the 18th century. Brasenose College, Oxford bought Brazenose House in 1890 to recover the original medieval brass Brazenose knocker

27. Walk back down St Paul’s Street to the junction with High Street & turn left along St George’s Street, keeping straight on at the junction…

On the left’s Reedman’s Court, another old building which was rebuilt around 1850…

…whilst directly ahead’s yet another church, St George’s. The church originally dates back to the 13th century & a major benefactor of it was William Bruges, the first Garter King of Arms who is buried in the church. St George’s claims to be the original church of the Order of the Garter

28. Walk down the lovely alley to the left of the church. Stamford must be really lovely at night in snowy weather…

Directly ahead at the end of the alley’s a beautiful, traditional ‘C’ shaped 16th century house (No’s 14-15). The small, high-up window is an original

29. Continue around the church to arrive at the magnificent house at No.19. This property looks today pretty much the same as it did when it was built in 1674. The Trail leaflet describes it as “arguably the best house in Stamford”

Ahead now’s St George’s Square…

In the corner, on the left’s The Assembly Rooms which have a classical style front in contrast with the adjacent domestic buildings. It was built around 1727, replacing the previous arrangement where assemblies were held at a house in Barn Hill. In the late 18th century new ‘card & tea rooms’ were added. In 1868 the Rooms were unsympathetically restored by William Langley. Few original internal features survive, although there is a remaining fireplace & some wall panelling

30. The large building in the square houses Stamford Arts Centre, including the tourist office which helped us with this walk

Their excellent website tells us that “Drawing on a rich heritage dating back to the 18th Century, Stamford Arts Centre is a thriving multi-arts venue that provides the opportunity to experience and participate in a wide selection of art forms from theatre, cinema, music and poetry to sculpture, dance, painting and drawing”

Next door’s the Corn Exchange theatre, which was built in 1768, & then closed in 1871. It was refurbished & reopened in 1978 & now forms a successful part of the Arts Centre

31. St Mary’s Street is another lovely area of town & a great place for a break at St Mary’s Vaults, another former coaching inn

Keep straight on towards yet another church…

32. The large columned building on the right’s the former Stamford Hotel which dates back to the early 1800s…

Turn left into St Mary’s Place, another stunning little area of the town

Like the area suggests, the name of the spired church we’ve now arrived at is St Mary’s, the bulk of which was built by the 12th century, the tower in the 13th century & the spire in the 14th century

Between the two altars is the tomb of Sir David Philips & his wife. Philips fought with Henry Tudor, who became Henry VII, at the Battle of Bosworth in 1485. Henry Tudor’s mother was Margaret Beaufort, who lived at Collyweston, just outside Stamford, & Sir David acted as her steward. He was also Keeper of the King’s Swans & managed the royal forest of Cliffe

33. As you exit St Mary’s Place onto St Mary’s Hill, on the corner’s Stamford Town Hall…

St Mary’s Hill was originally the route for the Great North Road between London & York & crossed the River Welland at Town Bridge, which we’ll cross shortly. The original Town Hall was in a room above the gateway which guarded entry to the town from the south

Given the increased road traffic, a new Town Hall was built a bit further along the road, partially funded by the Cecil family of Burghley House. It was completed in 1770 & made of local stone. The town’s jail was directly underneath the Courtroom

34. The view down St Mary’s Hill, across the Town Bridge is a classic Stamford one…

Look across the road to see a stone arch which, is believed, formed one of the town’s several postern gates into the old walled town…

35. Walk down & out onto the Town Bridge. The current bridge was built in 1849 & formed part of the old “Great North Road” (A1) & the town had to manage with Britain’s north-south traffic through its narrow roads until 1960, when the bypass was built to the west of the town, only a few months after the M1 opened. A look at a map will show that it is the only road bridge over the Welland (excluding the A1) in this area so one can imagine what a “bottleneck” it was & the horrendous traffic problems there must have been here in the 1950s

The views of the river towards the park are quite beautiful…

36. Having crossed the Welland, do you feel a sense of familiarity? If you’re from the ‘Shire’ you should so as this area south of the river was in Northamptonshire until 1889

Just across the bridge on the right side is Lord Burghley’s Hospital. Established around 1180 to cater for the relief of travellers & the local poor & sick, the hospital was administered by Peterborough Abbey, but by the end of the 15th century its almshouse function was virtually redundant. After the Dissolution the hospital was bought by William Cecil & part of it was maintained as an Almshouse until 1597. A this point the Burghley Almshouses were founded & today the property is home to both men & women who have lived & worked in Stamford for a number of years

There is no defined time for those who have lived & worked in Stamford as it is at the Trustees discretion to determine whether an applicant is eligible

37. Continue up High Street St Martin’s past one of Stamford best known institutions, The George Hotel. One of the country’s most prestigious coaching inns, its original date is uncertain, although there is evidence that it may have stood here in 947AD

 Click on this link to read about the long history of the hotel. Visitors will see on their left as they enter, a door marked “London” & on their right a doorway marked “York”. These two old panelled rooms were the waiting rooms for passengers assembling for their coaches which changed horses in the hotel yard

Daniel Defoe, in his book, ‘A tour thro’ the whole island of Great Britain’  wrote; “From hence we came to St. Martins, and stopp’d at the George, out of Curiosity, because it is reckoned one of the greatest Inns in England, and thence proceeded to Stamford.”

38. If like us, you are fans of the artist David Hockney, then ‘Mrs & Mrs Clark’s’ art gallery directly opposite the hotel is well worth exploring. Taking its name from Hockney’s painting,  ‘Mr & Mrs Clark and Percy’ owned by The Tate, the gallery stocks many items, including some originals

39. Slight further up the road’s St Martin’s Church, which was founded by the 12th century, entirely rebuilt in the 15th century & restored during the 19th. The North Chapel houses the tombs of the Cecil family

Let’s go & visit one of the town’s most famous persons, so walk down the path at the side of the church & exit into a close…

40. Directly over the road’s the entrance into a graveyard…

…which contains the grave of Daniel Lambert (1770 – 1809), who was a gaol keeper & animal breeder from Leicester, famous for his unusually large size. Around 1788 he succeeded his father as keeper of Leicester’s gaol. He was a keen sportsman & extremely strong; on one occasion he fought a bear in the streets of Leicester

In 1805, Lambert’s gaol closed & by this time, he weighed 50 stone & had become the heaviest authenticated person up to that point in recorded history

In 1806, poverty forced Lambert to put himself on exhibition to raise money. In April 1806, he took up residence in London, charging spectators to enter his apartments to meet him. Visitors were impressed by his intelligence & personality, & visiting him became highly fashionable. After some months on public display, Lambert grew tired of exhibiting himself, & in September 1806, he returned, wealthy, to Leicester, where he bred sporting dogs & regularly attended sporting events. Between 1806 & 1809, he made a further series of short fundraising tours

In June 1809, he died suddenly here in Stamford. At the time of his death, he weighed 52 stone 11 pounds & his coffin required 112 square feet of wood. Despite the coffin being built with wheels to allow easy transport, & a sloping approach being dug to the grave, it took 20 men almost half an hour to drag his casket into the trench, here in this graveyard

The engraving on his tombstone says:-

“In remembrance of that prodigy in nature
Daniel Lambert a native of Leicester
Who was possessed of an exalted and convivial mind and,
In personal greatness had no competitor:

He measured three feet one inch round the leg and
Weighed fifty two stone eleven pounds
He departed this life on the 21st June 1809
Aged 39 years”

Stamford Town Hall exhibits a lifesize model dressed in replica clothes & a painting of Daniel can be seen just inside the entrance to The George Hotel

41. Retrace your steps through to High Street St Martin’s once more & continue up the hill. Look out for the quaint old mail box in the wall on the left

If you fancy visiting Burghley House one day, a sign on the wall tells you it’s just down the road on the corner…

Just across the junction’s ‘The Bull & Swan’ public house which was once a medieval hall house

42. Cross the road & walk back down the hill, passing number 52, where a plaque on the wall tells you that Lady Frances Winfield once lived here. She claimed she had a relationship with Oliver Cromwell &, in 1643, persuaded him not to level the town. Apparently the first copy of the local paper, the Stamford Mercury, was also printed here

Turn left along narrow Church Street…

…& at the bottom, right into Wothorpe Road

43. If you wish to visit Stamford’ station turn left at the bottom of the hill & follow the signs. Our route though, lies straight ahead across the river via the footbridge into the meadows

This is a lovely open area of the town with a fine panoramic view across all its buildings & churches. Continue straight ahead & across the second bridge into Bath Row…

44. Directly ahead, after crossing the bridge, lies the remains of what was once Stamford castle. A Norman castle was built about 1075 & apparently demolished in 1484. The site stood derelict until the late 20th century, when it was built over & now includes a bus station & a modern housing development.

The only part that remains is what you’re looking at now, the arches forming part of the great hall service doors

45. Facing the ruins turn left & walk along Bath Row to arrive at a barn shaped building thats Stamford Bath House…

A public bath house was established in Bath Row by four local surgeons in 1722 in response to dire sanitary conditions in the town. The present Gothic style building was erected by the Marquis of Exeter in 1823

46. Walk roughly 20 yards & look up the narrow alley to see the doorway to the former Baptist Chapel. Although it fits in well with the modern buildings, the entrance dates back to the 13th century

As Bath Row bends to the right, the large property on the left used to be King’s Mill, a former watermill. There is said to have been a mill on this site at the time of the Domesday Book & it took the name ‘King’s Mill’ in the time of King John

 The present building dates from the 17th century & is a Grade II listed building. In 1967, it was converted into a day care centre, before being refurbished by Burghley Estates in 2018. The building is currently divided between private accommodation & offices

The millstream separates the town from the Meadows at Bath Row, rejoining the River Welland just before the town bridge. The embankment for the upper reaches of the mill stream forms Melancholy Walk overlooking the upper meadows, where cattle are still sometimes grazed

47. Continue up the steep & narrow King’s Mill Lane…

Remember Askers Bakery shop from earlier in this walk? Well here on the left’s the busy bakery itself. In 1835 there were 35 bakeries in Stamford, by 1939 the number had fallen to 17. Askers is now the sole remaining fully independent bakery in Stamford

Their website tells us that “Askers still bake in the traditional manner. Their coal-fuelled oven, known as a sack oven, is capable of taking 200 loaves at a time. It is fired up six days a week. There are only extra breaks for bank holidays and for essential maintenance. That’s not often. The floor bricks need replacing every five to six years and it takes a week for the oven to cool sufficiently to allow someone to crawl inside

The Askers’ family originated in Holland & came to East Anglia sometime in the 1600s to work on the drainage of the Fens. Augustus worked at the Co-operative bakery in Wharf Road, Stamford before he bought the business in King’s Mill Lane in 1926/27

48. At the top of the lane, turn left along St Peter’s Street. We think the people at No.9a may have an affinity with Northamptonshire…

Stop to admire the 12th century Norman doorway at No.15

49. Almost next door, on the same side of the road’s Hopkins’ Hospital. This almshouse was founded by subscription in 1770 during the mayoralty of Mr John Hopkins. It was built with contributions from John Hopkins, the Corporation & a performance by Mr Whitely’s company of comedians. In 1856 the building housed 8 people who were given 2/8d per week each

Opposite’s the rather elegant Rutland Terrace which comprises of 20 houses built between 1829 – 1831

50. Walk up the small street opposite the hospital & stop next to the round tower. This is ‘St Peter’s Bastion’ which is pretty much all that’s left of Stamford’s 12th century walls & was the west tower

Walk back to St Peter’s Street & turn left, heading towards the town centre…

51. The part beamed property on the corner dates back to the 16th century

Opposite the rather grand property is the former Stamford Institution which was built in 1842 on the site of the Castle Inn by the Marquess of Exeter in a Greek style. It was built to accommodate the Literary & Scientific Institute with a reading room, a subscription library, a museum & a lecture hall. It later had a camera obscura on the roof where people could pay to have a view of the town. When the Town Library opened in 1907 the books were taken there & the contents of the museum sold.  The Institution continued for a few years as a reading room & lecture hall. The Camera Obscura was damaged in February 1910 in a storm & was removed

The Institution also housed a large collection of stuffed birds & animals, curiousities, paintings & photographs. Lectures included astronomy, Shakespearean readings & geology

52. The building that stands between the two streets ahead is St Peter’s Callis Almshouses which was in existence in 1466 & belonged to the Church of St Peter. When the parish was absorbed into All Saints, the almshouse adopted the new name of All Saints Callis. In 1859, the late medieval building was demolished due to its poor condition. It was rebuilt in 1863 by Charles Richardson

In the late 18th century the almshouse accommodated twelve poor women, but by the early 19th century this number has dropped to seven. The later almshouse housed three women, & the last occupant of the charity died in 1959

53. Walk down the attractive left hand road which is All Saints Street…

…which is where this walk ends

Even though this walk has covered a large area of the town, we still feel like we’ve only touched the surface of it. Whilst going around, we also found several narrow, covered alleyways that connect the larger streets & these are well worth exploring separately

We also didn’t get time to physically go into all the churches etc, so if you want to do this walk justice, it would be worth allowing a full day

Next time we come to Stamford we may do this & even combine it with a stay at The George. What a great town so…

Go Walk!