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.
Despite the quiet rural feel, this scene is still recognizable today as you look along Thorpe Road towards the Longthorpe Parkway roundabout.
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.
The rear of the last remaining building from the Thorpe Road Workhouse which was about to be leveled in 1974 after finishing its time as an “old peoples home”. The rest of the site had been demolished in 1973.
An aerial shot from the early 1990s following Thorpe Road across Crescent Bridge into the city centre with the old Hospital buildings on the immediate left and the Queensgate shopping centre dominating the distance.
Looking along Thorpe Road from just outside of what is today the entrance to The Peterborough School and looking out towards the Thorpe Hall area.
A wonderful shot of troops from the Great War period marching off what appears to be Crescent Bridge onto Thorpe Road and away from the city with River Lane just visible to the far right.
Observing pedestrians sharing their interests between the railway and the passing motor vehicle on Crescent Bridge. Like most images taken of the bridge, this one probably dates to 1913 and the year of the bridge’s opening.
The “Poor Law” Union Workhouse on Thorpe Road which was built in 1837 to accomodate the “poor and sick” under the requirements of the 1834 Poor Law Amendment Act which made it a requirement of local parishes to provide for and look after those in need.
The Workhouse was informally known as “Thorpe Road House” after World War I but was formally renamed St John’s Close in 1948, when it became shared between the County Council and the National Health Service. Once the County Council had completed building three new residential homes for the elderly, the workhouse buildings were demolished in 1971.
This image was actually a rather sombre frontage of a local postcard sent to Benefield born Catherine Currall who was working at the time as a domestic servant at Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire.