Some attention will now be given to the well-known walk or pathway termed Long Row. Its history may probably date back almost to the middle ages, but it has been somewhat uneventful, and practically there appears to have been little change of title to this walk since it was first so named. Some of the streets, etc., are of prior date, for the earliest allusion I have observed to it is in the Records, vol. i., p. 435 (1376). It is referred to in 1395 as "the Longerow in the Saturday Market," and at other times as Longrawe, Long Ro, etc. It has not always been almost exclusively a place for trade or business, as at present, but from what may be gathered in the Records, it is practically certain that at one time there were in it at least as many, and probably more private houses, than places of business.

I can remember various premises, commencing in Chapel Bar, which were once in private occupation and afterwards altered for trade purposes, and much the greater portion have occurred since 1844. In the different and chiefly thoroughfare yards, some of which do not now exist, there were at that date many houses of the working people, but of those the number has been considerably lessened. There were also, in my remembrance, numerous yards or passages, some leading to Parliament Street, which were named after former and prominent persons in the town, such as Pennel, Stretton, Knight, Oldknow, Tollinton, Hulse, Rigley, etc., but all these appellations, I believe, are now renounced.

Respecting Mr. Tollinton, it should be mentioned that he was one of the few whom, as a youth, I can call to mind in Nottingham who wore "pigtails," and, I believe, the last of them. I find his name in Willoughby's Directory (1799). As a grocer and flaxdresser, and for forty to fifty years afterwards, he occupied premises at the lower end of what is or was termed Woodland Place, on its eastern side. Though greatly altered in recent years, these premises are now in the occupation of Messrs. Calvert & Co., grocers. As regards Rigley's Yard I believe it retained its old name the longest, and until about 1907.

I wish now to consider some remarks made by Deering and others respecting the use of tiles for roofing purposes, but particularly regarding Long Row. On p. 5, respecting old times, he says: "The Roofs were mostly thatched with Straw or Reeds; And the first Tiled House in Nottingham appears that of Mr Stanton on the Long Row, late the Unicorn Inn, in whose writings it is expressed that this House was built in the year 1503, the first that was tiled, and the last on the Long Row."

According to this it would probably be at the corner of Cowlane (Clumber Street), but respecting the date of the first tiled house, it can be proved from the Borough Records that Deering is quite wrong.

In vol. i., p. 349, there is reference to an "action for deceit in quality of Tiles put upon a house," 1397, July 25, though the tiles were no doubt fixed at least a year earlier, but this is 106 years previous to Deering's case. Then in vol. ii., p. 358 (1435), the "Tylhusse" (Tilehouse) is alluded to, proving that tiles were being made then, and in 1481 John Howitt sued John Frodsham for breach of covenant to make 40,000 tiles. In vol. ii., pp. 391-92, see "Bill for Reparation of the Crown Inn, A.D. 1483," when 700 tiles are charged for, in addition to what were needed on the ridge. This fully proves the inaccuracy of Deering's statement, and the great value of the Records, of which, unfortunately, Deering appears to have been ignorant.

In several cases when reporting to the mayor, in 1395, the Mickletorn Jury refer to "Organlayne." In the Records, vol. i., p. 281, they report as follows: "That all who dwell on either side of the King's highway from Chappelbarre (opening in town wall) to Organlayne and Seynt Jamgate (Saint James's Street) block up the highway with ordure, to the serious detriment of the country people there passing." In this case there can be no reasonable doubt, I consider, that Organlayne is the old name for and is represented by a narrow passage, a knowledge of which many of us will still retain in our memories as being entitled Sheep Lane.

In 1407 it is termed Horganlane, and in 1446, vol. ii., p. 185, it is Orgonlanne, afterwards Organ and Orgon-lane. The earliest date on which I have seen any reference to Sheep Lane is, I believe, in 1573 (see Records, vol. iv., p. 150). At its lower end there was no room to spare when a vehicle passed between the kerbstones, which were no wider than was necessary to protect the walls of the buildings on either side. Towards the middle the lane was broader, and there conveyances could pass each other. It was not possible to see through the lane, for it was curved, and my recollection agrees with my old plans of Nottingham, which show that the "bow" was towards Chapel Bar, and commenced about one-third of the distance up the lane. Respecting Market Street I do not doubt that full two-thirds of its width was taken from the western side at the upper end to help in making the course direct.

OLD SHEEP LANE, NOTTINGHAM, looking towards the Market Place
OLD SHEEP LANE, NOTTINGHAM, looking towards the Market Place

On October 2nd, 1865, after the formation of this new thoroughfare, the mayor, Mr. Alderman Page, subsequent to the proclamation of Goose Fair in the Market Place, went into the street and proclaimed it open, and also "that it was and would be called Theatre Street." Considerable dissatisfaction was caused in the town by this absurd announcement, and much was said and written condemning the title in various ways, the consequence being that it was shortly afterwards withdrawn, and altered to its present name. Still it was surprising that such an unseemly designation should have been chosen. The work and result accomplished in making the change from old Sheep Lane to Market Street was enormous. In the Records, vols. iv. and v., this has scant notice, for the transformation is referred to as though little more than an alteration in the name, but worst in vol. v., p. 451, where we are told that "Sheep Lane [is] now Market Street." Respecting the character and amount of the work, I have considered Market Street to have been fully as important as Victoria Street.

I was amused some years back with the remarks of a special correspondent of the "St. James's Gazette," during a meeting of the Church Congress, held in Nottingham. I entirely agree with him when censuring the duplication of names to a street, as in cases like Friar Lane and Park Street, or as it is or might once have been with Milton Street, Melbourne Street, Mansfield Road, etc. He alludes to "the historic town of Nottingham, as the natives love to call it," but in some cases it almost appears from his remarks as though he was troubled with indigestion. He refers to "miles of uninteresting streets," and remarks that "from the purely sight-seeing point of view the town is distinctly commonplace."

Continuing, he further adds, "It is also bewildering from the multiplicity of names they give to the streets. Not only do they give a short street several names by dividing it into sections, but occasionally they give a different name to each side of it. For instance, if you are in Smithy Row and cross to the other side you are in Long Row. Walk a few yards and cross back again and you are in Angel Row. A few yards further, without having turned a corner or noticed any change of frontier, you are in Beastmarket-hill, and before you are accustomed to the change your are in Wheeler-gate. Near by you have a street of a hundred yards or so cut up into five streets as regards names, and this sort of thing is met with all over the town."

I am doubtful whether the writer had ever much acquaintance with an old place like Nottingham, at any rate he shows but little signs of it. He mentions Smithy Row (or row of smithies) and Long Row as though really forming a street. I should not; for in various ways the two sides disagree too much. He objects to the number of names given to different parts of the Market Place, and without a proper knowledge of the circumstances. There has been a little variation in the names, but it will be found that in number they are the same as in the 16th century or earlier.

Of the old names, I believe Angel Row to be the latest, and it is mentioned in the Records, vol. iv., p. 433 (1588), or about 310 years previous to the correspondent's remarks, yet from what he says, most people would suppose that the titles to the various parts were comparatively recent, in place of some dating back nearly six centuries, and we are blamed for the acts of ancestors who are rather remote. The short street of 100 yards or so, to which he refers as being " cut up into five streets as regards names," is unknown to me, and duplication of names to streets, though too frequent, is not "met with all over the town."

We have, however, Goldsmith Street and Waverley Street, Dryden Street and Addison Street, Burton Street and Talbot Street, Friar Lane and Park Street, Milton Street and Mansfield Road, Union Road, St. Ann's Well Road, and The Wells Road (3), yet probably the worst case in Nottingham is that of old Sandy Lane, which, commencing from what is denominated Beck Street, is now divided into four parts, namely, Millstone Lane, St. Michael Street, Windsor Street, and Huntingdon Street, which is absurd; Alfred Street North and South being much longer.