There is also an undefined allusion in the "Records" to the Town Ditch north of Long Row in 1414. The presumption is that the above-mentioned properties were situate on the eastern part of Long Row, and that no wall of stone had been reared along the corresponding part of what is now Parliament Street. The peculiar significance attaching to the descriptive location of the messuages is that intra-mural properties abutting on the defensive lines are invariably described as bounded by the wall in places where the wall had actually been erected. Where the wall had not been erected, and there only, the ditch occurs as the boundary or landmark. In laying down this maxim, however, I must not omit referring to the puzzle presented by occurrences under dates 1307, 1315, and 1400, of the place-name "Dikesete," or "Dykseete," (the latter part of the word apparently signifying a pasture) located at the last date as the northern boundary of property on the east side of Cow Lane (Clumber Street), where a wall of stone certainly existed. Except there be an error of location,—such a term being apparently more appropriate to the opposite side of Cow Lane,—it is possible the place-name had been handed down from a period antedating the stone wall.

To proceed, the erection of the wall of stone from the Cow Bar eastward to a point beyond the Central railway-bridge is outside the region of debate. The mid-street row of houses known as "Bunker's Hill," pulled down in 1884, was built over the wall foundations, (Deering mentions that in his time the latter were to be seen in the cellars), and after their demolition I saw it bared close up to the site of the Cow Bar, while the modern railway excavations demonstrated their continuation to the east side of the cutting. Prior to the cutting being made, and in the course of preliminary diversion of underground services round the angle of Parliament Street and Clinton Street east, I saw the wall bared in front of the Old Dog and Partridge Inn, and took down details of location, etc., that I appear to have since mislaid. In the absence of documentary or other evidence to the contrary, I am of opinion that the wall of stone was carried but little eastward of the last-named spot. In the course of deep modern excavating operations, along the remainder of Parliament Street and the whole of St. John Street, displaying ample evidence of the great ditch, I have seen no trace of the wall, nor heard of anyone who has seen it. The road anciently skirting the inner line of the defences (along what is now the south side of Lower Parliament Street), and contiguous to the extensive earthenware manufactories once flourishing there, appears to have been the "Potters-Street" of mediaeval times. In 1361 there occurs a reference to "Robert Potter upon the Ditch,"—evidently referring to a place where the wall had not been built. I am aware that in deeds of 1548-9 and 1550-1, (vide "Records"), the Hospital of St. John is described as situate without the walls of the town, but the lateness of these allusions deprives them of the importance that would have attached to them at an earlier period. The institution had always been described as situate outside the town defences, and this probably is what was intended. If anything further be deducible from the 16th century allusions, it is that the destruction of the wall proper had then probably progressed so far as to give rise to uncertainty regarding its original extent.

With regard to the explanation of the two great gaps in the north wall (providing my above-expressed views prove sound), I incline to the opinion that the construction of the town gateways,—possibly requiring a somewhat better class of workman than the plain walling operations,—were reared as though independent structures, while to other and perhaps less skilled craftsmen was delegated the task of linking them together,—a task that was never completed. On the face of it, indeed, it is improbable that the defensive wall was built in such a manner that the workmen could only work in one place at a time.

At the extreme limit of the northern line, at the foot of what is now called Heathcote Street, appears to have stood the gateway mentioned in 1408 as the "Swynebarre," while the street to which it gave name, "Swine Bar Gate," is mentioned in 1422 and 1477. From the circumstances that no further allusions to either gateway or street have been recorded, it must have disappeared at a very early date, despite the fact that its situation, removed from the centres of habitation and traffic, should have conduced, one would suppose, to its longer preservation. These considerations suggest that the Swine Bar was perhaps but a temporary, or else an unfinished erection. A third alternative is that it may have been demolished because its outlying and detached situation, distant from the nearest section of the wall, early demonstrated its military uselessness.

And now we may pass on to the third or eastern line of defence, which commenced between Coalpit Lane and Cur Lane, and terminated at the line of the town cliff, between Carter Gate and Water Street. In despite of what the old local historians say, no evidence whatever, archaeological or documentary, has transpired of stone wall or gateway on this side of the town, and it may safely be said that none ever existed. The ditch, however, was certainly there, strengthened naturally along its whole extent by the Beck streamlet and its marshy purlieus. A deed of 1328 refers to a croft lying "beyond the Ditch of Nottingham, abutting upon the King's high road to Sneinton." It is mentioned again in 1415, while the Town Rental of 1435 shows that at that time, sections respectively situate east of Carter Gate and at the bottom of Barker Gate were let to private persons to accommodate barns, garden ground, etc. These circumstances, when added to the fact that no allusion to the eastern ditch later than 1440 is made in the "Records," favour the assumption that it became obsolete and its site converted to utilitarian purposes at a very early date.

Passing on to the south side of the town, so strongly defended by nature in the town-cliff, the Leen, and the Trent, I find there exists no documentary whatever of a stone wall having existed, and one may again safely say that the old writers were wrong in this presumption, and in their identification of fragments of old walling on this line of cliff. The only substantial point in the case is represented by the undoubted existence of an isolated gateway, of uncertain age, at the head of Drury Hill. The latter does not occur on documentary record, but first comes to light on Speede's map of the town, 1610. It is next mentioned by Captain Franck, 1658, occurs again on the maps of 1677 and 1714, and was destroyed some ten years before Deering wrote. I am not oblivious to the necessity there would be in times of war for guarding the town entrances of Hollow Stone, Malin Hill, Garner's Hill and Middle Hill, nor of the remains of stone walls and trenches, of uncertain date and purpose, discovered hereabouts in modern times. Nor do I contest the possibility that some of the latter may have been associated with defensive measures at these exposed points, though it is impossible to say when. The ditches might well be of early date, while the recorded walls of Bulwell stone would belong to a relatively late period. What I wish to make clear is that there is no tangible evidence, nor even probability, of a continuous defensive wall of stone having at any time existed along the town cliff; nor has the smallest section ever been found of any wall conforming even approximately to the known characteristics of the wall described in this paper.

After having briefly traced the inception, character, and extent of the Nottingham chain of military defences, it may be well to devote a few words to the chronicle of their decline and disappearance. People who have not specially looked into the subject are apt erroneously to imagine they were maintained for centuries. Shipman gave expression to an assertion (since reproduced on the fragment preserved in the Castle grounds) that " the wall continued in existence till at least the middle of the sixteenth century." Such statement, however, is only true in a very qualified sense, for the gradual destruction of the massive fabric had then been long in progress. The two earliest preserved Mickletorn Jury rolls, 1395 and 1396, contain several presentments, not only for casting refuse into the ditch (an abuse that was probably practised almost from the first, and one that ultimately filled it up), but also for stealing the stones of which the wall was built. From direct and indirect evidence, I am of opinion that, except in regard to two, or possibly three, of the gateways,—the town authorities ceased to trouble further about the military defensive lines as early as the year 1400 or thereabouts. The Mickletorn Jury rolls of 1407 and 1408, for instance, contain no such presentments as the above, except only that two parties are incidentally cited as casting their refuse outside the north walls, for the reason that they thereby obstructed the entrance to the Common Caves, which were evidently entered from the ditch. (There were other common caves at the termination of the eastern ditch). It has previously been mentioned that barns and gardens occupied sections of the eastern ditch in 1435, and it is reasonable to assume they had been there some years. There is little direct testimony on this score, but the mere absence of representations is significant, added to Leland's testimony, about 1540, that "much of the Waule is now downe." Probably the north wall was wholly razed before the 17th century, in the early years whereof the bygone row of property at "Bunker's Hill" was evidently built over that portion of it, the corporation disposing, in 1624-5, of the fee-simple of "the ground on the Backsyde upon the towne wall, nowe builded on." Under the temporary stimulus of Civil War dangers the North Bar and the West Bar were fitted anew with gates or doors. After the war, in 1649, the North Bar was ordered to be taken taken down, as an obstruction. The West or Chapel Bar was demolished in 1743,—a step more or less regretted in 1745, when the town was menaced by the Pretender's army, then occupying Derby. Bailey asserts that " long and loud were the denunciations by many, against the corporation, for having destroyed that ancient redoubt."

The enclosure walls, gateways, and bridges of Nottingham Castle, evidently a contemporary undertaking, in similar style and material, was, of course, a charge upon the privy purse of the sovereign. The last remains of the walls have been removed in recent years, though the bridges and slight remains of the outer gateway yet survive.

Although no undisturbed fragment of the town wall is known to remain visible to-day, an interesting reflection of its influence may be observed in the uneven character of the property line on the south side of Upper Parliament Street, between Chapel Bar and Market Street, originally the rear boundary of the corresponding premises fronting to Chapel Bar and Long Row, and approached by a narrow road running along the inside of the defensive wall. When the property embracing the angle of Parliament Street and Chapel Bar changed hands in 1343 and 1438, the extent of the frontages was recorded, but with respect to that alongside the town wall, it was on both occasions made clear that the conveyance excepted the width of one cart, between the property and the wall. When the town wall was destroyed, and the inner road no longer a necessity, some of the property owners (notably those from what is now Market Street to Woodland place) pushed their boundary lines outward so as to enclose the old road right up to the inner face of the wall. At the before-mentioned Chapel Bar angle, the encroachments absorbed the sites of both inner road and wall. Some of the intermediate properties appear to retain their ancient limits, to the rear of the ancient road, while in one or two cases the site of the latter, evidently in somewhat later times, has been enclosed within palisades.

Finally, in submitting my, perhaps in part somewhat revolutionary conclusions, for the benefit of others interested in the subject, I hope to be acquitted of bias, or of cherishing pet theories, having aimed only at chronicling what the weight of evidence appears to warrant. If the advance of knowledge enables emendations or additions to be made to this outline sketch of the story of Nottingham Town Wall, none will welcome them more than the writer.