The newly opened Crescent Bridge in 1913.
A rare 1924 aerial shot showing the old Gaol buildings on Thorpe Road …… the surviving frontage more recently housing the Sessions House restaurant.
Built in 1840, the buildings were only a prison for a relatively short period of time as, by 1878, the buildings had become the home of the Liberty of Peterborough and the Liberty magistrates’ court with the prisoners having been transferred to Cambridge or Northampton.
The frontage of the old gaol is all that remains today, having become a Grade II listed building in 1973.
The road in the foreground is Cowgate (right) leading into Thorpe Road (left) which up until just before this photo was taken (1913) would have taken people across the dual-gated Crescent Crossing. The horse drawn carriage is coming out of Station Road with the Crescent Bridge builders sign still present behind it. The Cleveland Bridge Engineering Co., Darlington is still a thriving business in 2014 !
The central houses of the Crescent which was a small semi-circle of housing that sat just off Thorpe Road and just outside of the city.
The highly desirable housing soon became less desirable as first the railways were built right up alongside the houses and then the decision to build Crescent Bridge in 1911 resulted in them being leveled to make way for the bridge approaches.
For those with an interest in the Crescent, there is now an excellent book available detailing the inhabitants throughout its short life. Written by Gwendoline Ann Beatty, it is available from the Peterborough Museum shop.
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