Louth Town Council, The Sessions House,
Eastgate, Louth, Lincolnshire LN11 9AJ
Tel 01507 355895 (open 10am-1pm)
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Brown’s Panorama Trail
Brown’s Panorama is a bird’s eye view of Victorian Louth and the surrounding area, framed in the time capsule of a busy, sunny day, a remarkable 360 degrees panorama, a snapshot in time. The term Panorama comes from the Greek meaning ‘all embracing view’ and Brown intended the viewer to feel as if the features of Louth had been placed before the eye at a glance, as if the spectator had the flight of an eagle.
William Brown was a family man, married three times. He fathered 14 children, all by his first wife, but only five lived to adulthood and only two outlived him. The Brown family lived at the Northgate end of Vickers Lane, and William was an active member of the local community. He was a Methodist preacher and teetotaller, and faithfully recorded life as the local correspondent for the ‘Lincoln Rutland and Stamford Mercury’ newspaper, a position he held from 1839 until his death. For most of his life he made his living as a housepainter.
In 1844 St. James’ Church spire was struck by lightning and it is said that the tower and spire were split from top to bottom. Apparently, inside the church the fissures were large enough for the countryside beyond to be seen. Brown seized the opportunity to ascend to the highest point in the landscape, using the scaffolding erected to repair the structure, from which to sketch the surrounding landscape on 7 panels of 51 degrees each and then he transferred his drawings to two six foot by 9 foot oil on linen canvasses. Brown was 56 years of age when he began the transferral process and it took him two years to complete the original canvasses.
Today, the street layout in the town has hardly changed since medieval times. From pieces published by the ‘Stamford Mercury’ newspaper, it is thought that Brown intended to produce postcard-size versions of the painting to sell to locals and this is why he went to so much trouble to include named buildings and people on the painting, in the streets or in their gardens. The postcard scheme came to nothing. But the intricate detail and accuracy employed by Brown render his Panorama a valuable historical record. And, once he had completed the painting he did not leave it alone but tried to keep it up to date, painting out things that had been demolished such as windmills and painting in new buildings like the Town Hall, not built until 1854.
The Panorama was first exhibited in Louth Mansion House in 1847, and again in 1856 in Louth Corn Exchange. However, in 1988 the Panorama formed part of an exhibition at the Colnaghi Art Gallery in London, and the wider world gave it eulogistic recognition.
Sadly, Brown died in 1859 and it is said that at that time he was walking around with a tumour in his chest that weighed 14lbs.
After his death in 1859 the paintings disappeared, not to be found again for 92 years when in 1948 the then Mayor of Louth, Wilfred Alex Slack happened to meet Mrs. Whitehead, the wife of the vicar of Alford who said she had two ‘pictures’ which he ought to see. The ‘pictures’ were in bad condition but the Mayor realised that the paintings had to be bought for the town and restored. With the help of a National Art Collections Fund grant and public subscription this was achieved.
In 2007 the paintings were cleaned and restored and now hang on display in Louth Town Council’s Old Court Room. A back lit digital replica of the Panorama is also on public view at the Louth Museum.
The information boards which accompany this Brown’s Panorama Trail leaflet are currently not on display, but they were created by Louth Town Council and funded by The Welcome Back Fund. The Welcome Back Fund allows Councils to work with their communities to put in place additional measures to create and promote a safe environment for local trade and tourism. The aim is that residents and visitors alike can follow the trail around Louth, reading the displays which will impart historical facts about the areas in which they are situated, encouraging viewers to find out more about the wonderful Brown’s Panorama and as an added bonus, following the trail allows the viewer to enjoy fresh air and space.
We are grateful to East Lindsey District Council for their support; to the Louth Naturalists’, Antiquarian and Literary Society (LNALS) and to Dr. Richard Gurnham for assistance in creating the information boards. Further reading/information: ‘William Brown and the Louth Panorama’ by David Robinson and Christopher Sturman, ‘The People of the Panorama’ by Dr. Richard Gurnham. Both these books are available to purchase from Louth Museum and local bookshops.
The original Panorama is in the Town Council Offices on Eastgate in Louth – please telephone to view between 10am and 1pm Monday to Friday (01507 355895). A back lit version of the Panorama is displayed in Louth Museum, open April to October, Wednesday to Saturday, 10 am to 4 pm.
Follow the Panorama Virtual Trail
Currently the information boards are not in place but you can follow our virtual trail listed below . You can also download the Trail Booklet.
We begin the Panorama Trail at St. James’ Church, where William Brown climbed the ladders up the spire with his paper and pencils in hand and made a series of sketches looking over the market town of Louth. Near the church a gentleman with a telescope is looking up at the church spire, perhaps watching Brown as he sketched. Along Westgate Brown painted a busy scene; pigs and haystacks can be seen in the yard of the Wheatsheaf Inn and outside men are working on the road, one man entertains passers-by playing music and walking with a monkey. In the garden of The Limes the gardener rolls the gravel. Further along, a groom prepares a horse for his master. Horse-drawn carriages pass by, heading for trouble on Westgate as the workmen have dug a hole in the road! Let us follow the carriages along the road towards Schoolhouse Lane. Please turn left onto this road and you will pass the original site of the Grammar School (on your left) where Alfred, Lord Tennyson, appointed as a poet laureate by Queen Victoria in 1850, went to school. Today, on the wall is a blue plaque commemorating him, which includes a quote believed to be directly related to Alfred’s experiences at the school. On the painting, children play in the playground, but outside on the road, carriages and horses ride along, one child plays with a hoop and a second pulls a dog along on a lead. At the junction turn left onto Gospelgate, once called Goosepool.
A. In this scene the vicar of St James’ Church, the Rev. E.R. Mantell, and perhaps the Headmaster of the Grammar School wander in the grounds of the Vicarage (now the Rectory). Two ladies, Mrs. Mantell and the headmaster’s wife, sit in the same garden under the shade of a tree with a parasol. The Vicarage had only recently been built in 1832, designed by C.J. Carter.
B. There were many splendid gardens along Westgate. To the right of the vicarage are the rear gardens of Church Precincts, Arnold House, the Limes and the front garden of Lindsey House.
C. On the right of the painting, pigs and haystacks can be seen in the yard of the Wheatsheaf Inn which stretches down to the river.
D. In front of the Inn a crowd start to gather around a street entertainer with a hurdy-gurdy and monkey. Leaving the inn is a soldier. It is speculated that this could have been a military recruitment officer, hoping to enlist new recruits from those men in the inn who were inebriated!
2 GospelgateAs you walk along Gospelgate, you will pass George Street on your right; Brown painted in the housing development on George Street which was built shortly after he made his original sketches. On the corner was the George Inn, part pub/part private residence. A horse appears to be rearing up giving its rider a bit of a fright! Carry on along Gospelgate until you reach the main road. On this corner is the Greyhound Inn, formerly known as the White Hart. In the yard there seems to be some trouble between an amorous man and lady. Nearby a man sits happily on a bench drinking out of a bottle. Turn left and pass Mercer Row (across the road) on your right. Pass the Indian Restaurant, which is believed to be the oldest house in Louth, and where it is said that a poltergeist once haunted an upper room. Carry on down this road.
A. Schoolhouse Lane -The original Grammar School buildings can be seen with boys playing in the playground. The Bede Houses occupied the ground floor of the school, with a separate yard and stairs to the first floor school room (built in 1766). This is where Alfred, Lord Tennyson went to school between 1816-1820.
B. Edward Street/Breakneck Lane – Horses pull a small, elegant carriage whose style is of French origin – this was the latest in fashion, a cab-phaeton named the Victoria. Ivy Cottage, now known as The Lodge and a part of the main school, was then the house and garden of Rev’d John Waite, the headmaster. This was a large property as boys would often be taken in as ‘borders’.
C. George Street and Gospelgate – The housing development shown on George Street was not built when the original sketches were made in 1844 but appeared on the final painting of 1856. On the corner of George Street and Gopselgate was the George Inn, part of which was the home to one of Louth’s vets, Daniel Gresswell and his family.
The Mansion House, which became the Mechanics Institute, subscription library and reading room, is now a private restaurant. In Brown’s time it was also the site of the original Police Station and assembly rooms where Superintendant Tacey was in charge. Nearby policemen carry a drunk on a stretcher off into the Police Station. Turn back the way you came and cross the road on the zebra crossing. Located on the southern corner of Upgate and Mercer Row was the shop of Marshall the printer and book seller; it was demolished in 1912 when Upgate was widened. This corner was known as Blue Stone Corner because for many years the corner of the building was protected from being damaged by passing vehicles, by the presence of the large blue stone. The blue stone was thought to have been carried here from northern Britain by ice-sheets that formed. The valley that is Hubbard’s Hills was cut by torrents of glacial meltwater during the last ice age about 40,000 years ago, and it is thought that the blue stone, now on view outside Louth Museum, came down at that point. Carry on along Mercer Row and you pass the King’s Head, which in 1839 had received a Gothic style face-lift. Cross over the road and walk down the cut through known as Butcher Lane, into the Cornmarket.
A. Mansion House – Children are playing as a lady and her maid tend their plants in the garden of the Mansion House. This was probably the family of John Tacey, the new Superintendent of the police force. The panorama was first exhibited to the public at the Mansion House in 1847 where it was described as being ‘very ingenious, interesting and accurate’ and an ‘admirable work of art.’ Not until 140 years later did it receive the full recognition from the wider world when it appeared in a London exhibition. In the early 19th century, the Mansion House served as a Police Station, prison and as an assembly-room. Today the Mansion House is owned and leased by the Louth Naturalists’, Antiquarian and Literary Society (LNALS); now a privately run restaurant, the Mansion House has a large reproduction of the Panorama on its walls.
B. Greyhound Inn – In the yard of this 17th century inn (formerly known as the White Hart), a horse is being fed from a nosebag. Nearby a lady seems to be resisting the attention of an amorous man, whilst a man sprawls on a bench nearby drinking out of a bottle.
C. Upgate and Mercer Row – on this corner is the shop of Abraham Marshall, a book seller and stationer who was a friend of William Brown.
D. The Vicarage – In the foreground the vicar Rev E.R. Mantell, and perhaps the Headmaster of the Grammar School stroll in the garden of the Vicarage (now the Rectory). Two ladies sit under the shade of a tree with a parasol.
4 Town Centre
Much of the architecture in the town centre has remained unchanged, look up above the shop fronts; so many buildings are the same ones that Brown saw from his viewpoint at the top of the church. On the north-western corner of the Cornmarket (now the Halifax) is the site which was once the Corn Exchange with four pitched roofs of plate glass, built after Brown made his original sketches, and so it replaced the Guild Hall that had been on the painting. Walk down the side of the Halifax, along Rosemary Lane onto Eastgate. Across the road is the Town Hall, built in 1854 after Brown made his original sketches and added to the panorama. Walk down Cannon Street by the side of the Town Hall, passing the Cinema, which in Brown’s day was the site of a Chapel, and cross over Northgate onto Broadbank. On the left-hand corner there used to stand the Mapletoft Charity School for poor children. This part of Broadbank was then called Enginegate as the Fire Engine was stored in this area.
A. Cornmarket – When Brown originally painted the Panorama, the Guildhall stood in the Cornmarket, on the site adjoining Rosemary Lane. In 1853 the Guildhall was demolished and the building of the Corn Exchange with its four pitched roofs of plate glass began. Following completion, the Corn Exchange replaced the Guildhall on the painting. In May 1856 Brown himself booked the Corn Exchange for three days to show the updated Panorama (to mark the peace celebrations and the end of the Crimean War).
B. Mercer Row – The King’s Head Inn had a face-lift in 1839. Brown reported that it “glories in a new face and smiles elegantly on the inhabitants in the Gothic order” – the design was the work of George Rivis Willoughby, the inn’s landlord. The coach and horses can be seen in the rear yard of the inn.
C. On the corner of Upgate and Mercer Row is Marshalls – book seller and stationer, Abraham Marshall was a good friend of William Brown.
5 Museum and Enginegate
Louth Museum was built in 1910 but has collections dating from the 1880s. In addition to galleries with displays showing the town’s rich heritage, there is a back-lit replica of Brown’s Panorama, an exhibition devoted to the Louth Flood and many other seasonal exhibitions. Louth Museum is open four days a week from April to October, and you can also search the museum collection or take a virtual tour on the museum website. Continue down the road and veer left to walk through the Spout Yard Car Park (taking care to avoid any moving vehicles) where you will find the entrance to Spout Yard Park.
A. The National School for Girls and Infants was situated on Enginegate (the southern end of Broadbank was named Enginegate as the fire engine was housed there). Here the girls can be seen using the maypoles and playing in the playground.
B. The area which is now Spout Yard Park can be seen in the foreground with carriage manufacturers, tanners and fellmongers. The process of tanning would have caused a most unpleasant smell in this area.
C. The Museum was built in 1910, much later than this painting was created, and was enlarged in the early 21st century. It has a collection that dates back to 1884. In addition to galleries with displays showing the town’s rich heritage, there is a back-lit replica of Brown’s Panorama and seasonal exhibitions. Louth Museum is open four days a week from April to October, and you can also search the museum collection or take a virtual tour on the museum website.
D. Nearby, on the corner of Broadbank was the single storey Mapletoft Charity School for poor children – three boys can be seen outside.
6 Spout Yard
This was once a busy, industrious area, the centre of the town’s leather-making industry, with carriage makers too – that was until the Louth flood of 1920 destroyed many of the buildings (See www.louthtowncouncil.gov.uk/great-flood-of-louth-1920/). Also in this area was the National School for Girls and Infants, the girls dance around the maypoles and play in the playground. Go through Spout Yard Park and by the Gallery turn left and walk up Ludgate. At the end of this road turn right on Chequergate. Carry along onto the main road and then cross over Bridge Street to Beaumont’s Delicatessen.
The area now called Spout Yard Park was a busy area, the centre of the town’s leather-making industry, that was until the Louth flood of 1920 destroyed many of the buildings.
A. The carriage manufacturers and designers Frederick Esberger & Co are pictured along the right side of Ludgate. Part-built carriages can been seen in the yard with a forge, bellows and a dog. The master coachbuilder was Richard Mason who lived in Ludgate and the coachsmith was David Esberger who lived in the nearby Healey’s Court. Fourteen labourers worked there.
B. At the National School for Girls and Infants the girls are dancing round the maypoles and playing in the playground.
C. Nearby, on the corner of what is now Broadbank was the single storey Mapletoft Charity School for poor children – three boys can be seen outside.
D. Next to the National School was the tanyard of David Fridlington, tanner and fellmonger. Here the stack of hides can be seen. The process of tanning would have caused a most unpleasant smell in the area, especially at the school adjacent to the tanyard.
7 Bridge Street
William Brown showed the town water cart filling up in the mill dam, the Forester coach travelling along the road, bound for Grimsby, tradesmen chatting and brush sellers trying to sell their goods. Walk along further, bear left through the small car park, and up to the entrance to St. Mary’s Cemetery, known as the ‘Old Cem’. This was a very busy and overcrowded cemetery, where burials would take place regularly. But it would be replaced by the London Road Cemetery. Go back to the small car park and carefully cross the busy road. Walk up the Grimsby Road until you reach High Holme Road on your right. Turn onto this road and you will soon reach the Hospital, which was once the Workhouse.
A. St Mary’s Churchyard (the ‘Old Cem’) – A funeral procession arrives at the already ‘overcrowded’ St Mary’s Churchyard as the sexton prepares a grave. By 1844 this churchyard had already been extended but the space was insufficient for the many funerals required and William Brown campaigned for a new burial ground, the Cemetery on London Road in which he was laid to rest.
B. Bridge Street – The town water cart can be seen filling up in the mill dam. The water was used for the cooling of streets and to damp down dusty roads (at the time roads would not have been constructed of hard materials such as tarmac).
C. The Forester coach (daily coach Grimsby-Hull-Louth) can be seen travelling along the road as it leaves Louth bound for Grimsby.
D. Behind the coach are two besom brush sellers and standing outside their houses on Bridge Street is the builder William Dales and the cabinet maker John Hubbard, while a young apprentice is shown crossing the road with a ladder.
8 Union Workhouse
The workhouse was an institution that was intended to provide work and shelter for poor people who had no means to support themselves financially. It served 86 parishes, mostly within the circle of the Panorama. It was a very hard life in the workhouse with terrible living conditions. There were usually about 200 paupers within its walls, in the early years of the workhouse just over half of these were under 15 years of age. The Workhouse closed in 1935 and reopened as the County Infirmary in 1938. Next to the workhouse on its eastern side, was an impressive three storey house, 10 Holmes Lane, with an elaborate walled greenhouse at the end of a long garden. This became a ladies’ boarding school at which Andreas Kalvos, the famous Greek poet taught. Walk eastwards along High Holme Road for 350m and on your right, turn down Hawthorne Avenue. Only in the early 20th century did Hawthorne Avenue become a road linking High Holme Road to Charles Street. In this area Brown painted John Sanderson’s Ironworks. Walk down to the end of Hawthorne Avenue and turn right on to Charles Street.
A. The Workhouse was an institution that was intended to provide work and shelter for poor people who had no means to support themselves financially. It was a hard life in the workhouse, which became known for the terrible living conditions.
The building of the three-storey Union Workhouse was started in 1837 and the first paupers were taken in July 1838. It was built on the periphery of the town and the grounds were enclosed by high walls. The workhouse served Louth and its surrounding parishes, housing around 200 paupers and also incorporated a school – boys can be seen playing in the yard. The workhouse finally closed in 1935 and then re-opened in 1938 as the County Infirmary. Today it is part of Louth’s County Hospital.
B. Can you make out the shape of the windmill that Brown painted over?
9 Charles Street
You pass the Charles Street tennis courts. Behind the tennis courts is the fishing pond; this was once the large pit from which clay was dug to make bricks. There were seven brick and tile works in Louth. Further down Charles Street was the area where the workers laid out the bricks to dry in the sun. Carry on down this road and turn left into James Street.
A. Charles Street – At the eastern end of Louth there were seven brick and tile works. The John Dunstan Naull and John Edward brickworks were on Charles Street, and in this scene the bricks can be seen laid out. The bricks would be left to dry in good weather for four days, then stacked to dry under straw for a further two weeks. The large pit, from which the clay was dug, is now the fishing pond on Charles Street.
B. On James Street stood a large carpet, rug and blanket factory. The factory warehouse can still be seen today. The factory had twenty machines run by two waterwheels and a steam engine, and a workforce of sixty people at this time.
10 James Street
Walk along and you will pass on your right the Technical School (now a nursery) built at the end of the 19th century. Walk further on and on your left you come to the building which was the site of Louth’s carpet and rug factory warehouse (see the blue plaque). This was once part of a very busy factory with twenty machines run by two waterwheels and a steam engine. On Brown’s Panorama, a series of horses can be seen transporting goods along this road. Carry on walking and at the end of the road turn left onto Ramsgate and walk to the roundabout. Look to your left and in front of you, towards the retail estate and behind Aldi. This area was the site of the railway station (that Brown added to his painting) along with trains travelling along the tracks. The original station building, now converted into flats, can still be accessed from Station Approach. Turn back and walk back along Ramsgate and at the end of the road is the War Memorial, built in 1921 by public subscription. (www.louthtowncouncil.gov.uk/louth-war-memorial/).
A. James Street – Louth had many factories and in James Street stood a large carpet, rug and blanket factory along with its tall chimney. The Carpet Factory was established in 1787 (at that time Lincolnshire’s only carpet factory), and the factory warehouse can still be seen today. At the time of Brown’s painting, the factory had twenty machines run by two waterwheels and a workforce of 60 people; Louth-made carpets were exported to Europe and America. Surviving examples of the flat-weave reversible carpets made on Jacquard looms can be seen in the Louth Museum.
B. Louth Railway Station – The railway had not been built when Brown made his sketches in 1844, but between that time, and the first showing of the panorama in 1847, the station had been added to the painting along with trains running down the tracks.
The area inside the black painted wrought iron fence was once the House of Correction. The tall prison comprised of the cells, a treadmill, the governor’s house, the Petty Sessions Court and the new Sessions House. The prisoners were kept in by a 23 foot high wall. In the prison, the inmates had to turn the treadmill which was used up to 10 hours a day in the summer to grind corn or to cure idleness! The buildings were demolished in 1872 and replaced by the current Orme Almshouses designed by James Fowler, renowned architect and five times Mayor of Louth. Walk eastwards along this part of Eastgate, known as Watery Lane in former years and pass by The Priory (now a hotel) which was at the time a fee paying boarding school. Thomas Espin (1767-1822) built the house between 1812 and 1818. In 1790 he had been appointed Master of the Mapletoft School in Louth. The school was officially named the Mathematical, Architectural, Nautical and Commercial Academy. When the Priory was finished in 1818, Espin used it to provide accommodation for boarding pupils. Espin was a talented artist and draughtsman. In 1805 he was asked to supervise the rebuilding of the belfry windows of St. James’ Church. He drew a plan of Louth (see inside back cover) and later he was invited to design a new Town Hall, although this was never built. In the grounds of the Priory he built himself a small summerhouse where he could sit and work. After his death in 1822 the summerhouse became his mausoleum. Carry on walking eastwards for 300m and you will pass the Trinity Centre on your right. The first Holy Trinity church was built in 1834 to serve the growing population of the Riverhead and was improved in 1840 by public subscription. A new and larger Holy Trinity Church was built in 1864-6; the present Holy Trinity (Trinity Centre) was built in 1997 following a fire that destroyed much of the church. Walk a further 200m and you will arrive at Riverhead Road, walk down here to the Navigation Canal.
A. The tall prison with its very high boundary walls that stood at this location was the House of Correction. In this prison the inmates had to turn the treadmill which was used up to 10 hours a day in the summer to grind corn or to cure idleness! The House of Correction was demolished in 1872, and replaced by the current Orme Almshouses designed by James Fowler in 1885, renowned architect and five times Mayor of Louth.
B. Beyond the prison stands The Priory which was a fee paying boarding school owned by Mr Alexander Tallents Rogers, previously the headmaster of the Mapletoft Charity School on Northgate. Brown exhibited another of his paintings, the ‘Gallery of Illustration’ at the Priory in 1853, on the day the new Town Hall’s foundation stone was laid.
C. Town Hall – The police station and assembly rooms quickly outgrew the space at the Mansion House on Upgate, and so a new Town Hall and Police Station were built on the former site of the Stall-yard at the junction of Eastgate and Cannon Street with the foundation stone being laid in 1853. This was after the original painting was finished, but William Brown continued to update the painting after its first exhibition as the town changed, adding amongst other things the new Town Hall, prior to the second public exhibition in 1856.
D. The Free Methodist Chapel was added to the painting in 1854 (now the car park next to Co-op Funerals). When this was added to the painting it was slightly misplaced.
E. The Trinity Church built in 1834 was “much improved with a lawn and semi-circular gravel walk and gates to the road” which were added in 1840 using money raised by public subscription. A new and larger Holy Trinity Church was built in 1864-6, and the present Holy Trinity (Trinity Centre) was built in 1997 following a fire that destroyed much of the church.
The Louth Navigation Canal enabled vessels to sail from the coast at Tetney Lock to the eastern outskirts of Louth, and many goods then became more readily available in the town, and corn and wool were exported. This area was very busy and filled with warehouses, workshops and terraced houses however with the arrival of the railway it began to fall into decline. In the distance, Saltfleet and the sea could be seen. Walk back up to Eastgate, and then back towards the town centre, until you reach the War Memorial again (850m). Cross over to the southern side of the road and turn left onto Church Street. This end of Church Street was known as Maiden Row (because the dirty muddy road resembled a midden or dungheap), and the southern end was called Long Lane. Halfway up Church Street turn right onto St Michael’s Road, and at the top turn right onto Newmarket. Cross this road at the crossing onto Linden Walk and in 200m you will reach the entrance to the Cemetery.
A. Riverhead – The Louth Navigation Canal, which enabled vessels to sail from the coast at Tetney Lock to the eastern outskirts of Louth, opened in 1770. Timber, coal and groceries became more readily available in Louth, and corn and wool were exported; Louth became the third largest town in Lincolnshire after Lincoln and Boston. In the Riverhead area there were many warehouses and factories along with terraced houses; the boats can also be seen in the basin. In the distance Saltfleet can be seen, and beyond that the sea.
B. Louth Railway Station – The railway had not been built when Brown made his sketches in 1844, but between that time and the first showing of the panorama in 1847, the station had been added to the painting along with trains running down the tracks.
William Brown began campaigning for a new cemetery in 1843. This was due to the poor condition of St. Mary’s burial ground which was reaching capacity, there is a particularly graphic account involving bones being visible, written by Brown of, ‘the filling in of the grave of Mrs. Good’. William Brown finally saw the formation of the ‘Louth Cemetery Company’ in 1852 (nine years after his first complaint) which resulted in the purchase of ten-and-a-half acres of land at Julian Bower. In 1854 the ground was cleared and to illustrate this, Brown altered his painted canvas and added felled trees to replace his original large clump of trees. Interestingly, the Greenwich Meridian not only cuts through Louth town centre it also dissects the Louth Cemetery – so for over 150 years local families have had the choice of being buried in either the eastern or the western hemispheres of the world!
Walk back down Linden Walk (once called Green-Lane) and at the end turn left along Newmarket. On your left is the Livestock Market, which now runs on Mondays, and the adjacent Boars Head public House. Cross the road and on the corner is St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church rebuilt in 1833 and the priest’s house that was added in 1839. The road beyond the crossroads is South Street; on the painting sheep can be seen being herded along here on their way to the livestock market. Just off South Street is Spital Hill, thought to be the site of a leper hospital and of the town gallows in the medieval period. Cross over, using the pedestrian crossing, turn right and follow Upgate all the way down; the same journey the London Royal Mail Coach would have taken. Pass the Mansion House, again, and finally arrive back at the ‘cobbles’ of St. James’ Church where our journey comes to an end. It was in this church in October 1536 that the Lincolnshire Rising began, and for his part, the vicar was hanged, drawn and quartered.
A. Louth Cemetery – Following many years of campaigning for a new cemetery, William Brown finally saw the purchase of ten-and-a-half acres of land at Julian Bower for a public cemetery, and in 1854 the ground was cleared. To illustrate this, Brown altered his painted canvas and added felled trees to replace his original large clump of trees. The public cemetery could be accessed from the Spilsby Road (London Road) and on Green-Lane (now Linden Walk). An entrance lodge (now Southgate Lodge) and two chapels were built at a total cost of £2,700 (including land). The land was divided into two sections, that for church people (Church of England) in the consecrated land, and that for dissenters, those of other denominations or of no faith in the un-consecrated land.
B. Lime quarries – these can be seen just in front of the area that became the Cemetery. These are very old quarries and we know that chalk was taken from here to build Louth Park Abbey in the 12th and 13th centuries.
C. St Mary’s Church – At the crossroads on Upgate and Newmarket you can see the Roman Catholic St. Mary’s Church that had been rebuilt in 1833 and the priest’s house that was added in 1839.
D. London Royal Mail – The coach and horses, thought to be the daily London Royal Mail coach can be seen passing over the crossroads – the coach was due to arrive at 11.56am at either the Masons Arms in the Cornmarket or at the King’s Head in Mercer Row.
E. South Street – Sheep are driven along the road on their way to the market pens on Newmarket.
This completes the virtual trail. You can download a trail booklet at