A superb early 1920s aerial image looking down on Thorpe Road and the old Gaol building.
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.
Crowds gathering for the ceremonial opening of Crescent Bridge on Tuesday 15th April 1913.
The maternity wing of Thorpe Hall captured around 1945. Thorpe Hall had been requisitioned for use as a hospital during the Second World War and became a maternity home immediately after. Thousands of Peterborians started life at Thorpe Hall which continued as the city’s primary maternity unit until 1971 when Peterborough District Hospital took over.
Cattle roaming in the grounds of Thorpe Hall – date unknown but a photograph taken by and traded as a postcard by Westgate’s Harrison “Postcard” Smith who traded opposite Westgate Church.
The 16th Century “Old House” on Thorpe Road in Longthorpe which was badly damaged in a fire in 1970 and was subsequently levelled.
A fascinating notice printed after the death of DT Myers who was executed at the fengate Gaol in 1812. His crime was an act of homosexuality !
Stuart Orme adds, “David Thompson Myers was the last man to be executed in Peterborough, hung in public in May 1812 at Fengate. He was held in the Abbot’s Gaol (lately Reba on Cathedral Square) and according to the accounts in the Stamford Mercury was hung in front of a crowd of 5,000. (Bear in mind the population of the city was 3,500) His ‘crime’ was Sodomy – this was the era of the ‘Bloody Code’ where over 200 crimes had the death penalty, including homosexuality. He was found guilty of a homosexual act in Burghley Park (the other chap got away).
This sort of confession was given to the witnesses cited at the bottom who printed this up and sold it to the crowds at the hanging – as was normal – as much as a souvenir!”
An early 1900s image showing the entrance to the Crescent, the small group of houses after which the Crescent Bridge was named.
This entrance was off the old Thorpe Road as it climbed up from the level crossing and would be River Lane today.
The houses were demolished in 1912 to make way for the Crescent Bridge and the “new” Thorpe Road approach to the bridge.
This old 1920 image shows the New Legion Club which was soon to be lost under the development of the War Memorial Hospital which presumably positions it at the junction of Thorpe Road and Midland Road.
A wonderfully random image of a horse seemingly making his own way along a desolate Thorpe Road. The building on the left is today (2015) Thorpe Lodge Hotel.
The newly opened Crescent Bridge in 1913.