Monday, 9 January 2017

Market Deeping

St Guthlac's proud tower looks south down Church Street - towards the Market Place and the stone bridge of the river Welland.  The street is broad with wide grass verges, and is lined with mostly stone, mostly 18th century houses.  None are particularly outstanding but all contribute to a satisfying whole - think orchestral players not soloists.  It is all very pleasant having a quality that is somewhere between the villagey and the urban, but still suffers visually from the period when the A15 thundered through.  In fact, like Bourne just a few miles north, Market Deeping feels as though it is place to pass through rather than a destination, which, I think, is a shame.  In the same way Deeping suffers from Lincolnshire's great and abiding sin of utilitarianism. It looks timeles but has suffered a lot from Modernity: in the late 19th/early 20th century The Old Wake Hall, a medieval manor house just north of the church was demolished; in WWII the village pond was filled in; Halfleet that leads north from the church has been badly filled-in with suburban housing.
The Market Place - roughly triangular, runs E-W parallel with the river, and is lined with grander buildings, some of them quite urban in scale.  The rather charming Town Hall is by Thomas Pilkington of Bourne and dates from 1835; the alms houses in Church Street are by Edward Browning (we've encountered him before) and date from 1877.

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