Derby's Heritage Part 17 - Sadler Gate (east)
w/e 29 May 2011
All this week's pictures were taken with a Kodak DX6490
Heritage Walk Header

This seventeenth part of our heritage walk around the city will actually return us close to the start of the walk in the Market Place but it is not the end of the walk and we are only passing through on our way to the area south of the city centre. We pick up the route though towards the eastern end of Sadler Gate.

The Shakespeare Inn

We have already seen previously that tradesmen changed the frontages of many of the buildings in Sadler Gate whilst leaving the rear of the properties intact but one that still shows some old features at the front is the Shakespeare Inn but even this has been altered to display a Georgian or early Victorian façade.
The Vines

On the other side of the street is the passage (seen here from both ends) to another of the yards that are also a feature of Sadler Gate. The passage now leads to the Vines Bar but the hooks hanging from the ceiling in the passage give rise to the belief that this could possibly have been a butcher's or even an abattoir.
George's Yard/Lane

When we first entered the western end of Sadler Gate we passed the entrance to George's Yard /Lane. This is thought to have taken its name from the George Inn at that end of the street but although the lane is not much to look at today, the origin of its name is quite fascinating. The George Inn was recorded as early as 1648 and is said to have been named after the jewel of the Order of the Garter which was dedicated to St George, England's patron saint. Before that however, the lane was called Juddekynlone (Judkin Lane), Jud being an ancient dialect for George. So it is quite possible that the name dates back to the 1300s. Whatever the truth of the matter, the inn yard turned to run almost the whole length of Sadler Gate behind Old Blacksmith's Yard to re-emerge near the eastern end by another covered entry opposite the Old Bell Hotel.
Old Bell Hotel

The passage from George's Lane enters Sadler Gate opposite the gated entry (above right) to the Grade II listed Old Bell Hotel that was built for the Meynell family as a coaching inn about 1680. The mock-Tudor frontage is relatively new by comparison being added as part of a refurbishment in 1929 by builders Ford and Weston, who used timber recycled from other local sites. The brick built hotel extended in 1776 with a ballroom, is the last coaching inn to survive in Derby and the three storey building with attics in the gables still contains a seventeenth century timber staircase.
Sadler Gate

The Old Bell Hotel is probably the most striking building at this end of the street but the view down Sadler Gate is balanced by the Strand Arcade at the far end. Although the street is now pedestrianised, note the patches of traditional cobblestones at intervals that perhaps tell a story of a previous road surface.
East End

As we reach the end of Sadler Gate it is perhaps worth pointing out the width of the street and noting once more that before the nineteenth century all the main roads in Derby were only this wide. This end of Sadler Gate leads us back to Iron Gate where we noted that the eastern side had been demolished and rebuilt to increase the width of the road. The Lloyds TSB building seen here on the left is also one that we saw earlier as it is the eighteenth century building that was commandeered as the residence of Sir John Gordon of Glenbucket when Bonnie Prince Charlie stayed in Derby in 1745.
The Guildhall

Turning right into Iron Gate takes us back to the Market Place and opens up a fine view of the Guildhall but we shall discover more about that later as on this occasion we are only passing through and on our way to the Corn Market and the southern part of the city centre.
Waterfall Feature

In passing though it gives me the chance to capture this image of the Waterfall Feature. At the start of this series I wrote that this was "the waterless feature" as the water had been switched off and that the feature was built in 1995 to a design by William Pye. I also wrote "I'll try and capture an image when it is in full flow" so true to my word and as it looks so much better when the water is flowing, here it is.
 Back to Part 16
 The Derby Heritage Walk Index
Continued in Part 18

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