Sunday, 31 December 2017

The 'Delargo Towers' Garden - December

The garden Blog is back me dears !
December has been an interesting month with lots of things still in flower.
It was a month of two halves ( before the snow and ice and after. ) as is this post.


Snow and Ice.


Donny and I are glad to be back



Tuesday, 26 December 2017

Old London markets - Caledonian Road Cattle Market

Way back in 2011 I started a project after reading Daniel Defoe's Tour of London.  I found it quite fun to use the world wide web to see pictures and have extra information on the places he was describing.
Being me I never finished it, 

What better to mark my return to blogging than to publish the results of my wanderings in the footsteps of Mr. Defoe in 201 1.

Starting with his list of list of flesh markets ( that is meat markets to you and me not brothels ) I had a fab time, you can remind your selves by clicking here
Interesting yes but exhausting some markets were and are still well known yet some where very hard to track down. It took 2 posts just to cover all the meat markets let alone the fish, veg, and flower markets of London which in 1720 was the biggest city in Europe .
Daniel Defoe's Tour of London was a rather over abitious project.

Sad to say but I have not gone back to visit Mr. Defoe's book since.

We will carry on with London markets but in the world of Charles Dickens, Jr, the first child of the novelist Charles Dickens and author of 'Dickens's Dictionary of London' 1879

You can thumb through his " UNCONVENTIONAL HANDBOOK " on line

Daniel Defoe referred to Smithfiels cattle market as "without question, the greatest in the world".and the available figures appear to support this claim. Between 1740 and 1750 the average yearly sales at Smithfield were reported to be around 74,000 cattle and 570,000 sheep.

London had grown. According to the Farmers Magazine in 1849 in the course of a single year 220,000 head of cattle and 1,500,000 sheep would be "violently forced into an area of five acres, in the very heart of London, through its narrowest and most crowded thoroughfares. This volume of cattle driven daily to Smithfield started to raise major concerns.

Pamphlets started circulating in favour of the removal of the livestock market and its relocation outside of the city, It was now seen as a major threat to public health. Charles Dickens criticised its location in the heart of the capital in an essay in 1851 and then in 1852 an Act of Parliament was passed giving provision for a new cattle-market to be constructed in Copenhagen Fields The new Metropolitan Cattle Market was opened in 1855 and Smithfield became a Meat and poultry market.

Copenhagen fields has some history of its own which is worth a quick look at before we move on to Cally Market itself.

You can see Copenhagen house and fields quite clearly on this map above the village of St Pancras. Maiden Lane is what is now York way.

Copenhagen House previously a pleasure resort and tea garden on the site of a public-house opened by a Dane, about the time when the King of Denmark paid his visit to his brother-in-law, James I.

copenhagen fields also has links with the Gordon Rioters who passed by on there way to attack Caen Wood, the seat of Lord Mansfield.

In 1795, sympathisers with the revolution in france, addressed 40,000, there were calls that the mob should surround Westminster on the 29th, when the king would go to the House of Commons. On that day the king was shot at, but escaped unhurt. In 1794 many members of the Society had been tried for treason but were all acquitted.

21 April, 1834 a demonstration organised by the Central Committee of the Metropolitan Trade Unions and marched through London to Kennington Commonwith a wagon carrying a petition with over 200,000 signatures asking for the remission of the sentences imposed on the Tolpuddle Martyrs.
Between 35,000 to 100,000 people attended the demonstration, Lord Melbourne at the Home Office refused to accept the petition although it was successfully delivered a week later.

Metropolitan Cattle Market later Caledonian Market opened in June 1855 by Prince Albert

It was BIG. upwards of four millions of animals are sold here annually.

Here is our very own Charles Dickens Jr. 'Dickens's Dictionary of London, 1879'
Copenhagen Fields.—This the great cattle market of London lies up the Caledonian-road, King's-cross. At a mile and a quarter from King's-cross Market-street is reached, and then turning to the left, in a hundred yards or so the visitor finds himself at the great gates of the cattle-market. The market is of immense size, but large as it is, it is insufficient to contain the animals sent up for the Christmas markets. In the centre is a clock tower, round which are the offices of the market clerk and other officials. On one side is the cattle-market, upon the other the sheep-pens. The calves are for the most part under roofs with open sides, and the pigs have also their own portion of the market. The number of cattle and sheep sold here weekly is prodigious, and the arrangements are excellent both as regards regularity, and, as far as possible, the comfort of the animals. Although upon some days of the week the number of beasts is much larger than at others, there are always a good many there, and a visitor pressed for time can therefore choose his own day. NEAREST Railway Stations, Barnsbury and Holloway; Omnibus Routes, Camden, Caledonian and Holloway roads. 

'Cruchley's London in 1865 : A Handbook for Strangers.'
The average weekly sale of beasts in this monster live-stock emporium is 25,000 sheep and 5000 oxen, besides calves, pigs, &c. There are "pens" here for 34,890 sheep; bullock-posts for 6616 beasts; two taverns on the north side of the market, public- houses at each corner, twelve banking-houses, and en electric telegraph office, open only on market-days, ranged around the clock-tower

The market originally covered 30 acres

Market Road, North Road, Shearling Way and Brewery Road were internal roads within the market area.

The central clock tower is a 151 ft tall


The site was chosen for its proximity to the goods yards of the newly opened Great North Eastern Railway and North London Railway to the north of Kings Cross station. Livestock could be conveniently transported to the depots before being driven the short distance up York Way to the market or walked down from Junction Road railway station. 

At each of the corners of the main area, large market pubs provided accommodation and entertainment for those visiting the market.

Today, three of the four pubs remain and, with the clock tower, are now listed structures.
A fifth pub, The Butchers Arms, built to a similar design, was located at the south-west corner of the market site at the junction of York Way and Brewery Road. This building also remains remains.

The market was enclosed by cast iron railings,
the columns of which were topped with cast iron heads of the animals traded.
The railings remain but the heads were removed many years ago.

In the picture below You can make out two other pubs in the market area, the Queens Arms and the City Arms. Niether of these remain.

In the early 20th century, as the trade in live animals diminished, a bric-a-brac market developed,
which after the Second World War transferred south of the river to become the New Caledonian or Bermondsey Market. The markets finally closed in 1963.

The northern part of the main market site was redeveloped by the Greater London Council (GLC) as the Market Estate and completed in 1967
to a design by architects Farber & Bartholomew
On the western area where sheep were kept, the Corporation built the York Way Estate
to designs by McMorran & Whitby and completed in 1969
The southern area of the market, south of Market Road, where the cattle were kept
and where the slaughter houses were is now sports pitches. The rest forms Caledonian Park

the estate was transferred to a Registered Social Landlord, Southern Housing, in 2005. The whole estate is being regenerated, with the original blocks being demolished and replaced with a new layout of streets

This iron bull's head cast by John Bell is the only one of a series made for the Metropolitan Cattle Market known to still exist and is now in the Museum of London.

Last September I went for a troll around the site to see what it was like now. Starting at Cally Road I walked up Market Road. This was once an internal road within the market.

On my left there was a little park where the private sloughter houses used to be.

Oposite is what was the White Horse

The original south east gate was a little past here towards Cally road.

Continuing up Market road the Bullock lairs would have been on my left with the main part of the market to the right in what is now a rather sad park.

Through the once grand gates now with out thier lamps supprted by rams heads you can see the tower.

then up to the south west gate where we have passed the public sloughter houses to the right as we looked down and the now vanished Black Bull pub.

The Black Bull was one of the four corner pubs of the market site it has been replaced by these flats.

The Butchers arms does remain and once stood one other side of the public slaughter houses and served the meat market that was once there. Continuing north the area set aside for sheep and reach our next corner pub

The Lion.

Turning the corner and passing the new flats that are being built we get a view of the tower 
 from the other side.

This gives an idea of what it will be like when they finish.

On the oposite side is the site of two other large hotel pubs no longer with us the Queens and the City Arms

And so onto the last of the corner pubs the Lamb.

Its looking rather sad.

Then onto the Lamb finish the circuit

and into the park

back to where we came in

Looking out from the park towards what was the bullock lairs we would have seen an ornamental fountain

rather than the tennis courts.

I am so pleased to have done this little trip. you can learn a lot from maps but to get a true feel for a place and to appreciate the scale of a place nothing beets hoofing it.

Post Script  - a quick look at the now lost tube station that served the market, York Road'.

Thanks as always to wiki British history online and the Victorian Web

Well there tiz me lovelies. Quite a marathon post to mark my return.
It is good to be back
Till next time