Friday 27 December 2013

Old Waterway Photograph (8)

Collecting postcards, or Deltiology as it is known, is a fascinating hobby. Our recent history has to a point been documented by postcards. It's curious in a way even with all the wonderful advances in technology. It's hard to believe that the good old picture postcard is still with us and still going strong. I did a posting on collecting old photographic postcards. Which gives some simple background information about what is an interesting hobby. Click Here

This is the eighth postcard photograph in the series. The 'Glory Hole' is possibly one of the most recognisable parts of the inland waterways. The High Bridge in Lincoln, is the oldest bridge which still has buildings on it. It was built about 1160 A.D. and a chapel built in 1235 dedicated to Thomas Becket was removed in 1762 with the current row of shops dating from 1550. Bridges like this were common in the Middle Ages, the best known being London Bridge, but most have long since been demolished because of their obstruction to the river flow and to shipping.

Since the 14th Century the bridge has contributed to floods in Lincoln and after any heavy rain the bridge is virtually unnavigable, which may be why it got its name. The Glory Hole has a narrow and crooked arch which sets a limit on the size of boats using the River Witham and going from Brayford Pool, at the start of Foss Dyke to Boston and the sea. Brayford Pool is a natural lake formed from a widening of the River Witham in the centre of  Lincoln. It was used as a port by the Romans - who connected it to the River Trent by constructing the Foss Dyke - and has a long industrial heritage. 

Originally dug out by Romans and later used by the Vikings, Brayford Pool has operated as an inland port in the city for almost 2,000 years. In 1964, five years before the Brayford Trust was founded, an operation to clear the pool was conducted and 25 shipwrecks were removed from the water.
What is buried under an island in Lincoln's Brayford Pool is a mystery waiting to be solved, according to guardians of the area. The island, which lies at the south-eastern corner of the pool, is not believed to be a natural formation as the area was built by the Romans. But, with rumours the area might be of historical interest, members of the group who look after the waterway say they are open to offers from anyone with information or the will to investigate.

John Handley, secretary of the Brayford Trust, said it was rumoured that beneath the modern day island lay the remains of an ancient vessel. Following a survey conducted in 1994 by the University of Cambridge, in collaboration with a maritime organisation, an obstruction was discovered south east of the island. It was believed to have been an old boat but no conclusive evidence was found. He said no further work had been carried out because the nature of the site would make it expensive, but he thought it might make an ideal project for a university student. Until someone decides to take on the task of uncovering the mystery of the Brayford island, the people of Lincoln can only guess what might lay beneath it.

The island is believed to be not more than 50 years old. Dr Mick Jones, city archaeologist at Lincoln Council, said "I'm aware that a sonar survey of the Brayford Pool was done about 20 years ago, which revealed a large object buried at some depth towards the south bank, but we don't know what this is and, without further investigations, we'll never know. It could be something ancient or something modern. The pool has been dredged a number of times, which produced finds of medieval and later pottery and other objects, so it is possible that ancient objects will have survived in the parts of the pool that haven't been dredged."

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