Historic Nottingham - Part 4 - Canal Walk (London Road end)
w/e 20 May 2007
All this week's pictures were taken with a Kodak DX6490

Our walk along the canal through this section of "Historic Nottingham" began in Part 3 at Wilford Street and now, to continue to London Road, we resume just past the Magistrates' Court near the Carrington Street Bridge.

Carrington Street Bridge

There is a copy of a sketch drawn by Thomas William Hammond dating from 1901 on the Picture The Past site (search for NTGM013299) showing a graceful arched bridge over the canal at Carrington Street. Another photo on the same site (NTGM006901) from the 1920s and from a similar viewpoint shows that the graceful arch had disappeared to be replaced by the girder bridge still to be seen today. The Picture The Past site also contains a very interesting biography of Mr. Hammond which I will summarise here. He was born in 1854 in Philadelphia to parents who had emigrated from Nottingham but was orphaned four years later and returned with his younger sister to live in Nottingham with his grandparents. At the age of 14 he enrolled in the Government School of Art and, working as a lace curtain designer in 1871, was awarded the 'Queen's Prize for a Design of a Lace Curtain' taking another similar award in 1877 for a damask table cloth design. He also used his skills as a draftsman to sketch about 350 charcoal pictures of the changing town, exhibiting both locally and at the Royal Academy. He died in 1935 but his work as an artist provides a valuable record of Nottingham street scenes during his lifetime. I'm sure if he were alive today he would still be busy sketching as the changes in the city continue unabated but the buildings on Carrington Street at this point appear to have changed little from Tom Hammond's time.

Under The Bridge

There is little headroom beneath the Carrington Street bridge but as we pass under, we can see the next bridge at Trent Street has a much greater clearance. Carrington Street itself has its origins in 1829 when it was formed as an access to the railway station that still stands on the south side of the canal.
Memories of Raleigh

Looking back after passing under the bridge, more impressive architecture on Carrington Street is visible but my eye was caught here by the number of bicycles, tyres and wheels in the windows of the building opposite. I could not make out the brands but they did bring to mind another industry that used to be major employer in Nottingham and fully deserving of its place in history - that of Raleigh Bicycles.
Rail, Road & Water

Crown CourtCapital OneAt Trent Street there are two bridges; the higher former railway bridge now carries Nottingham's Light Transit Railway (that's the tram to you and me) while the lower one is for vehicle and pedestrian use. Between Carrington Street and Trent Street the new Crown Courts back onto the canal (left) and beyond Trent Street (right) are the offices of the multinational credit card company, Capital One.
More Redevelopment

Capital One (on the right above) on the site of the Boots (another name synonymous with Nottingham's history) Printing Works is just one of a number of large companies that are transforming the eighteenth century canal into an area fit for the twenty first century's business environment. Financial services, communications, call centres and media are among today's buzzwords and other hi-tech companies including NatWest and BT line the banks of the canal.
Lace Market

But the regeneration and redevelopment of what is fast becoming known as the canal quarter is by no means complete and an area on the north side of canal is currently being prepared for the construction of more apartment blocks. Our walk will eventually lead us into the Lace Market area of the city and until the apartments are erected we can get a foretaste of that area in which the tower of St Mary's Church is a prominent feature.

City Centre Skyline

Also visible from this point as well as various other places along the canal is the dome on the Council House building in the Market Square, showing just how close we are to the city centre. The dome reminiscent of that of St Paul's Cathedral in London is reputed to surmount the largest council house in the world. The crane is a temporay feature but testament to even more redevelopment in the city.
Waterside Hotels

But as we press onward towards our goal, our route now is up the steps on the right to wend our way around the Jurys Inn (a hotel) and on to London Road. There we will turn left to cross over the bridge we can see here crossing the canal. Beyond the bridge is another hotel - the Holiday Inn which can also be seen at the left of the image. The canal, however, after passing under the bridge, makes a sharp turn to the right to follow London Road southwards to connect with the River Trent. The entire length of the Nottingham Canal had been completed by April 1796 but by the latter part of the nineteenth century it found competition with the railways and could no longer compete. It was finally abandoned in 1937 and quickly fell into disrepair until Nottingham City Council agreed to purchase the portion that came within the city boundary in 1952. Now the regeneration of the area is bringing it back to life and bringing enjoyment to all who use it and its towpaths.

Back To Part 3
 Historic Nottingham Index
 Forward to Part 5

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