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.
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.