Friday, 20 April 2012

A look around South Square.

A walk along South Square brings into view many old buildings of Boston or recalls names to do with the towns history. The first building to be mentioned must be the Guildhall, the building has probably been put to more uses than any other in the town over the years.

The Guildhall.

Originally intended as a meeting place for the brethren of The Guild of St. Mary it has been, among other things, the meeting place of the Town Council, the Court of Sewers, the Charity Commissioners and other important bodies. It has aso been used as a Court House, a prison, a workshop and a dance-hall and during world war two was used as a community dining hall. A Mr. Dixon, an old inhabitant of Boston who lived down Spain Lane, recalled as a boy (when the Sessions were being held in the old Guildhall) that on many occasions he had formed part of a procession of weeping women and children who had followed luckless prisoners, who had received life sentences for trivial offences, down to the old jail in South End.

The narrow lane at the side of the Guildhall is called Bedesman's Lane from a few small cottages which were occupied by the bedesmen of St. Mary's Guild.

This lane had nothing to do with a duck or a field but takes its name from the family of Duchefielde who are said to have been residents of Boston at the time when the foundation stone of the Stump was laid in 1309. In the 1930's Duckfield Lane was one of the least spoiled bits of old Boston and there had been little alteration to this lane during the previous 150 to 200 years.

Cottages that once stood in Duckfield Lane.

Opposite Duckfield Lane there once stood the home of Jean Ingelow, writer of childrens stories and poems, her most famous being "The high tide on the Lincolnshire coast".

Ingelow House.

The block of old warehouses next to the Magnet Tavern and opposite Fydell House that have been turned into flats should be noted as the lower course of stonework of these buildings is what remains of Gysor's Hall, said to have been built by John Gysor who was Lord Mayor of London in 1245.

Above: Gysor's Hall. Below: the old warehouses that used some of the stonework in its lower course.


  1. I see that you mention a Mr Dixon of Spain Lane, I do have a little knowledge of this man as I was a friend of his grandson J.G.Horton 1900/2002 who in his long lifetime was a well respected local historian with a huge knowledge of Boston. Jeff told me that his grandfather originally worked for Tuxfords at their Mount Bridge Iron Works, he was very skilled at making Steam Engines and fitting their pipe work. At times he was sent overseas to deliver engines and once went to the River Plate in South America with one, bringing the money back in gold coin to Boston in a money belt, he also went to Turkey and various other places overseas. When much older because of his great knowledge of pipe fitting he was offered the job as Turn Key or Foreman at the Boston Water Works, from then on he was known throughout the town as the Old Water Works Man, when he retired the job was taken on by his deputy George Jessup.

    1. Thanks for that Robin, we owe these people a huge debt for putting their memories onto paper so that we understand a little more history of Boston. I sometimes think we hear a little too much about Herbert Ingram, Jean Ingelow, Pilgrim Fathers etc. etc. and not enough from the ordinary bloke in the street, that's why I love these little stories. Thanks again.

  2. I have read about Holden House being an auxiliary hospital during the war, I believe it was situated in South Square but does anyone recall where it was please?