Hiya. After popping in at the hostel on Tuesday, I went to Horncastle to take a look at this small market town. There wasn't time to walk there and back, so driving was the easy option. I parked my car in a quiet road on the outskirts and walked the half mile into town. This building is not in use and is for sale. I think it would make a great up market hotel and eatery. Love the architecture.
While I was standing outside this building reading the plaques each side of the entrance and taking the photo, a lady stopped to chat to tell me a bit about Horncastle. When I said I was into recycling and buying second hand rather than new, she said I was in the right place for antiques, Horncastle being full of antique and collectors item shops. She told me where to look.
Just up the street was this double fronted shop, full of bricabrac.
And up an alley way to the side of it is this open air yard. I was gobsmacked, the place was stacked high with pots, glassware, brass, and all kinds of bricabrac of every description. I spoke to the man working there, he said it is owned by Clare Boam, and I was later to find out that she has the monopoly on house clearance, auctions, and antiques in the town, owning several business premises.
Some of this stuff must have been here years, it is never covered up and left out all day and night, it was in a filthy state. I had a sudden urge to get a bowl of hot soapy water and start washing up. If anyone was to undertake that mamoth task it would take weeks to sort it all out.
Ms Boam buys and sells at auctions, and clears whole houses of all their contents. I don't know how she decides how much to sell things for.
As well as all the stuff outside there are several large warehouse type buildings stuffed full of old furniture stacked to the ceiling. Linens and old books, too much to list here, you name it, they have it.
I quite liked the look of this little thatched roof pub. Batemans is the dominant brewery in these parts.
A flower and fresh fruit shop with it's wares spread out all over the pavement. When I went by later on, they were getting it all in again ready for closing. What a lot of work for a small shop.
The monument in the market place.
These cottages are in St Mary's Square, there is one for sale if you fancy it, but they are close to a busy road.
St Mary's Church is at the end of the row.
This little tea shop next to the river looks cosy.
Another interesting building.
More antiques, the town is dominated by them.
Aha, what do I spy here, Trinity Church has been transformed into Trinity Centre Antiques. Must have a look inside here. There was a young man working inside, and he filled me in on some of the history. Clare Boam bought the church and land from the council, it used to be a visitor and Tourist Information centre, but they decided to sell it because it was too cold to work in during the winter, and too expensive to heat. She was given permission for change of use because she promised not to make any alterations to the inside and the outside of the building, only to restore it and to maintain the grounds.
All the grave stones were removed and are stored around the edges at the back. Somewhere is the grave of William Marwood, who had a cobblers shop in Church Lane. His interest in capital punishment and the technical aspects of hanging led him to devise a more humane method of execution, namely The Long Drop. He performed his first execution in 1872, and went on to execute 176 people in total, up until four months before his death in 1883, when he died of a lung disease. There is a hand written and framed letter from him on display inside the entrance. Click the link to read more.
An amazing sight, a church stuffed full of antiques. I noticed that most of the items were not cheap. Clare is a canny business woman and obviously knows how to build her empire. Here is a statement from her which appeared in the Horncastle News, when she aquired the church.
Amazing isn't it. At least the church is being put to good use, and not left to rot.
I think I could live, here, maybe not in the cold winter though.
There is a little bit of modernisation in Horncastle. This is the the bridge across the river to the Tesco car park. Along the bank is a picnic area which is swarming in ducks, which are very entertaining while you sit and eat your sandwiches.
I had time for a little walk after all this so I found a sign for the Viking Way, a long distance path that I have written about before. It follows the river Bain for a while. It was a very pleasant walk alongside the playing fields, but eventually disappeared into nothing, and I found myself wading through a weed meadow with nettles up to my knees, good job I had trousers on. I lost the path altogether, so went round the edge of a field towards a road which came out at a factory. I then headed back towards town. That was enough to fill the time, back to the hostel for dinner. I have a longer walk planned for tomorrow.