Narrow Marsh

Posted: November 7, 2012 in Unusual Findings, Weird
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The area of Narrow Marsh was demolished and redeveloped but I felt it served to be an interesting subject, given that I live in Nottingham anyway. On of the names that is still known for the area is Red Lion Street and despite renaming it to this little seems to have been an improvement, hence it’s eventual destruction.

The area was known by the name from around 1315, or just after the Battle of Bannockburn, in those days it was called Parvus Mariscus, or Little Marsh. It sounds a lot better in Latin doesn’t it? It was one of the oldest thoroughfares in Nottingham and likely was used way before the mention in 1315. It’s use as a main business route meant it was even taxed, 1523 the subsidy was called for and the towns collection for the time was around a thousand pounds in today’s Monday. It was taxed then at £7 13s 2d whereas Long Row, one of the important streets of the time, only paid £2 9s 6d.

The area was set out like narrow stripes of houses; a rear access to the property would be in there, with courts and alleys joining the roads. The lay-out was a very early part of the history of architectural styles. Long Row in Nottingham is another area which is known for this but Narrow Marsh was considered to have been earlier than this.  The Leen swamps must have made this place a nightmare of unpleasant diseases and likely contributing to rheumatism, also it’s known that in 1795 and 1809 the area flooded and traffic was unable to pass.

The “King’s Head” pub in Narrowmarsh was supposed to have been a resort for the infamous Dick Turpin. There was a pamphlet published in 1924 by Mr Louis Mellard that says that Tobias K was living a double life as both a farmer and then as a fencer for the highwaymen, Turpin being one.


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