We start this walk in the Market Place. On the north side next to the car parking area is the Constitutional Club. This was built as the towns Corn Exchange and was designed by D.W. Aston and was opened in 1845. There was a butter market on the ground floor which originally had cast iron grills its three arched openings. The building still retains some fine details, pilasters with elaborately carved Corinthian capitals and much decorative 'rusticated ' yellow brickwork.
If you now walk west and turn right at the George Hotel down George Street . At the crossroads continue straight on into King Street to the next crossroads. Notice the house on the left side of the road opposite, Elm Tree House. This was built by George Ingram, a local brickyard owner, in about 1843. Notice the high-columned porch and the fine keystones above the windows.
If you now turn left into the High Street. The building next door to Elm Tree House is the police station. The Justice of the Peace for Lindsey decided to build a Police station and Magistrates Court in Barton in 1847 ( see the inscription over the central doorway). It was built on the foundations of the great mansion house built by the Long family of London mercers. As designed by J.S.Padley, the building was single storied, the courtroom being on the right and the living accommodation for the constables to the left. An office, kitchen and two cells occupied the center block. It was built of local brick but was given a Welsh slate roof. There are sandstone surrounds to the central sash windows and to the arched entrance. However not long after completion, the building was heightened and the interior rearranged. The constables house was moved to the right and was given a second storey. In the early 1960 the superintending constables house was adapted to provide office space. The last case was heard in the Magistrates Court in July 1995.
As you continue along the High Street you will see on the corner of Queen Street the Odd Fellows Hall. It was in 1864 that the Barton Good Design Lodge of the Odd Fellows Friendly Society opened their new hall on the corner of Queen Street and High Street. Built in Italian Renaissance ' palazzo ' style it cost £1000- proof, if it were needed,of the strength and popularity of such self help societies in Victorian Barton. The large upper hall, used for meetings and concerts, lay above a number of offices and flats. During the 20th century the hall has been variously used as Bartons first cinema, a repertory theatre, a roller-skating rink, a dance hall, and finally as government offices. More recently the ground floor has been converted into ' luxury apartments ' but the hall is unfortunately unused.
If you now turn right down Queen Street. This was originally known as New Road when it was opened in 1827 which makes it central Bartons most recent created thoroughfare. It cuts across the former gardens of the great house which stood on the site of the present police station. Its grounds originally occupied most of the area bordered by High Street, Finkle Lane, Newport, Catherine Street and Marsh lane. Plots of land either side of the road were sold to housebuilders and some of the various interest groups that flourished in Victorian Barton- the Odd Fellows Friendly Society, Bartons Temperance Group, the Primitive Methodists and the local education lobby. The result of all their efforts is a street graced by a collection of public buildings of regional if not national importance-a group which the Barton civic Society is keen to retain in its entirety.
On you right is the Salvation Army Citadel. In 1810 the Methodist Movement split and the Primitive Methodists were founded. In 1867 the Barton ' Prims ' laid the foundation stone for their new Primitive Methodist Chapel on the site they had acquired on the east side of Queen Street. It was opened by Christmas of that year and was capable of holding 600 worshippers and had cost them £1500 to build. It was built in a 'Romanesque-style' to a design by the architect Joseph Wright of Hull. It ceased to be a Primitive Methodist Chapel in 1961 and was reopened, after much internal alteration, as a Salvation Army Citadel in 1965.
Just past the Citadel is the old school buildings. On April 1st 1844 the Vicar of Barton, the Rev. George Uppleby, formed a committee to establish a National School for the children of the towns' poor. On 24th June 1844 land was purchased for £250 on the east side of Queen Street. The school was built in neo-Tudor style of red brick with stone dressings to a design by the architect William Hey Dykes, Jun, of Wakefield at a cost of £846. The school opened in January 1845 ( only 9 months after the committee was established ) and originally had three rooms, one for 150 boys, another for 150 girls and a third for 100 infants ( 2 to 6 year olds). The first superintendent was Samuel Wilderspin who has a national and international reputation as the founder and chief promoter of the education of infants in England and Scotland. The school was extended in 1935 and closed in November 1978 when the newly built St. Peters' school was opened in Marsh lane. The old school has been unused from that date and has suffered from planning blight, though a committee has recently been formed which is working to preserve the building and bring it back into use.
Carry on down Queen Street and look at numbers 13 and 15 a pair of Victorian houses. These were built on the site of the former free charity school known as Long's School of the British School. The Rev. George Oliver laid the schools' foundation stone in 1831 and also present were masons from the Apollo Lodge in Grimsby and the Humber and Minerva Lodges in Hull. The school was opened on the Coronation Day of William IV ( 12th September 1831 ) as a nondenominational school conducted on liberal principles. By 1832 over 100 boys and girls attended either as free scholars or on a payment of 1d and 6d a week. On 20th January 1832 Isaac Pitman, then 19 years old, became master of the school but after his marriage to Mary Holgate in 1836 he left Barton. He was actually working on his system of shorthand whilst living in Barton. In 1842 for reasons unknown the school closed and in 1858 after being extended and refronted, the building was converted into the two houses which are today numbers 3 and 15 Queen Street.
If you now walk back up Queen street you will see the Assembly Rooms on your right. This was built in 1843 as the Temperance Hall. A temperance Society was founded in Barton in 1837 intending to 'preserve the sober and reclaim the drunken'. With the support of the local Rechabite Friendly Society it purchased a plot of land and erected the large hall at a cost of £700. The two-storied, red brick building is in a classical style with a symmetrical five bayed front which has a central pilastered Doric doorway. The upper lecture hall could seat 400 people and was used for public meetings, public inquiries, county court meetings, concerts and exhibitions. In 1903 it closed as a Temperance Hall and between 1906 and 1967 it was the Anglican Church Hall and the main public hall in the town and then known as the Assembly Rooms. In 1974 it was converted into a night club which ran for only a short time. In 1976 Glanford Borough Council acquired the building and for many years operated it as the town's civic hall but more recently it has been taken over by the local Town Council whose efforts have brought it back to life and created a most important amenity in the town available for public and private meetings.
If you now continue back to the High Street and turn right you will come to numbers 26 and 28 on the right hand side of the street. These were both built in the late 19th century. Today a shop and restaurant occupy the ground floors but above can be seen five round-headed windows. Between each of the two pairs of windows there are Romanesque-style shafts, an example of the Victorian practice of using architectural features from abroad or from historic periods.
Carry on up the high street and past the red Lion public house and then turn right into Maltby Lane. About 30 yards down the lane on the left you will see the Barton Youth Centre. This occupies the premises of the former Weslyan Day School which was built in 1867. It was in 1860 that the Barton Weslyan Methodists decided that because of the overcrowding in the Queen Street School they would build a new larger of their own to replace the small one which stood on the site of the present Methodist Lecture Hall. The new school in Maltby Lane was large and successful and in 1881 the school log book recorded that there were...
'299 present in this afternoon. We have had today the largest school that has probably ever been held in Barton'
The school received good reports from the Inspectorate but struggled financially. In 1891 the fees were reduced to 1d per week. The master from 1893 until 1914 was Arthur Loughborough and his excellent work was recognised in 1903 when he was elected a member of the new Education Committee of Lindsey County Council. In 1915 the County Junior and Infant School was built in Castldyke West and Mr. Loughborough and his staff and pupils were the first occupiers of the building. After a short period of redundancy the Maltby Lane building was taken over by The Salvation Army who ran it as their Citadel from 1921 until 1962 when they moved into Queen Street. The building has also housed the town's Employment Exchange and Boy's Club but more recently has reopened as the Barton Youth Centre.
If you now return to the High Street and turn left back towards the red Lion public House. At the road junction turn right up Hungate and then turn left at the roundabout on to Holydyke. About 50 yards on the left you will see Providence House set back from the road. This was built in a heavy neo-Classical style in 1854 for Thomas Tombleson, one of Barton's largest land owners. After it ceased to be used as a family home it was first an orphanage run by the Lincolnshire Branch of the National Children's Home and then as an annex of the local secondary school. More recently it has become Barton's Library and adult education centre.
Continue down Holydyke to the Lecture Hall and then turn left into vestry lane.Trinity Methodist Chapel was the third Methodist chapel to be built in Barton and was opened in 1861. It replaced a previous chapel built on the site in 1816 which was variously enlarged in 1839 and 1849. As headquarters of the local Methodist Circuit it was necessary to provide a building capable of holding very large congregations and so the present enormous building was constructed. Later in 1902, a hall ( Lecture Hall ) and Sunday School were added to the south, facing onto Holydyke.
At the bottom of Vestry lane look over the road onto the North side of Chapel lane at numbers 8 to 24 named Chapel Lane Terrace. These houses are typical of a style popular in the period between about 1875 and 1914. They have decorative fanlights and lintels, and well-designed bay windows and brickwork. Number 12 has a particularly fine doorway with columns and decorated archways above the passage and doorways.
If you now turn right up the narrow one way street to the junction of George Street and turn right. At the top turn left and you are once again back in the market place at the end of your tour.
Whilst I hope you have found this virtual tour interesting it can never replace seeing the places "live". We hope that you may find the time to visit the town and experience its history. Please visit the EVENTS page for information about the dates and times of the active life of the town.
The original 'Town Trail' book published by the Civic Society in 1983 has been reprinted and is available from many outlets within the town. There is also a video of this trail available.