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 Post subject: Gothic Houses, Burnley
PostPosted: Tue Jul 21, 2009 11:00 pm 
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Re: http://www.briercliffesociety.co.uk/Pho ... Houses.htm

The Gothic Houses in Fenkel Street were built by Colonel John Hargreaves for the use of his retainers, chiefly married upper servants at Bank Hall.

http://kimkat.org/amryw/1_burnley/burnl ... _2585e.htm

http://img168.imageshack.us/img168/8549 ... useqo2.jpg

http://img74.imageshack.us/img74/5645/3 ... chooq4.jpg

http://img65.imageshack.us/img65/2305/3 ... usewk0.jpg


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 21, 2009 11:24 pm 
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http://www.burnleyexpress.net/archive/O ... .294190.jp

Old centre of town had wet beginning
Published Date: 19 March 2003
TODAY'S photograph takes us back to "Old Burnley Centre" in about 1900. We now know this area as Church Street and Colne Road but, in the early 19th Century, the highway in the foreground was known as Fenkin Street. This ancient street was the continuation of Church Street (i.e. from the bridge over the Brun at the bottom of what is now School Lane).

TODAY'S photograph takes us back to "Old Burnley Centre" in about 1900. We now know this area as Church Street and Colne Road but, in the early 19th Century, the highway in the foreground was known as Fenkin Street. This ancient street was the continuation of Church Street (i.e. from the bridge over the Brun at the bottom of what is now School Lane). However, I cannot give you an explanation of the meaning of Fenkin, though I have noticed streets with similar names in quite a number of the older towns of northern England. Sometimes the spelling might be slightly different (Fenkle, for example) but I suspect that they all mean the same thing. I have noticed that most of these streets are in the centre of towns and near the sites of former markets but I do not know whether this is merely coincidental.

The syllable "fen" refers to land which is wet and, as the land upon which Burnley's Fenkin Street was built was close to the river, this might be an explanation for the name being where it was. If you look at the picture carefully you will be able to see that the buildings on the left are still there but those on the right have long gone. In the background there is the Sparrow Hawk (formerly the Towneley Arms) which was rebuilt in 1891 and, to the left of that, is the Talbot (formerly the Parker's Arms) which was rebuilt in 1888. In the foreground, and on the extreme left near the gas lamp, there is some property which was built in 1837, the year in which Queen Victoria came to the throne. This replaced older property at the junction of Fenkin Street and Dawson Square. The latter name still survives and something of the original nature of the square remains evident today though none of the buildings are original. We ought to now turn our attention of the buildings on the right.

They were known as the Gothic Houses because of the style in which they were built and they are shown in Fishwick's 1827 map of Burnley. In the top right hand corner of this map there is a sketch of St Peter's Church from the banks of the Brun just about where the present St Peter's School is now. On the picture property at the east end of the graveyard is depicted and, although this representation of this part of Burnley is very informative, it does not tell us much about the Gothic houses. In fact the Gothic houses are something of a mystery. Had they still been standing they would be about 200 years old. It is obvious that they were somewhat better houses than many of the terraced houses of the town and we know that they served as homes to some of the assistant curates of St Peter's.

In fact one of the houses was the childhood home of Bishop Bardsley, the Bishop of Sodor and Man, because his father served as an assistant curate in Burnley. The houses were situated at the junction of School Lane and Fenkin Street and they appear to have been pulled down when the tramlines were converted from single track to double track on the introduction of steam in 1901. Eventually, the houses themselves were replaced by buildings used by the Grammar School and, although I was not a pupil of this school, I knew the building at the bottom of the school yard as the gym used by the boys of St Mary's Boys' School which stood on distant Yorkshire Street. Those who know me will probably agree that I got more exercise walking to the Grammar School than I ever did in that gym! You might be interested to know that the Burnley and District Historical Society has published a beautiful copy of Fishwick's Map of Burnley 1827. It is available from Burnley Library (at £5, I think) and all historians of Burnley will find it of immense interest.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2009 12:02 pm 

Joined: Tue Mar 13, 2007 10:46 pm
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Location: cambridge
Reaney, The Origin of English Place Names, p234 : 'Finkle St' is common in Scandinavian England (but that isn't quite Burnley ?). Probably 'Street with a bend', from dialect 'fenkel', meaning corner or bend.

But whether Fenken (etc) deriives from this is not certain of course.

Rex


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