The Streets & Lanes of Hickling

Like houses and buildings, the names of streets and lanes around the village have changed and evolved over time; where possible we have included all the names that we know to date. Names are most often linked to family names or the purpose of the location but their fluid nature often complicates family and local history searches – if you are able to add to our knowledge, we would like to hear from you.

“The village lied in a miry part of the county and consists of about 70 dwellings; the roads to it are intolerable in the winter. The road from the Fosse to the village is in a right line, very spacious, at the distance of about half a mile. The village, or rather the lanes leading to it, are a labyrinth, the way I entered it. The numerous passages, open to the more numerous inclosures adjoining the village, misguide you: the trees in the hedgerows are lofty, many and meet each other, which made the passages gloomy and miry, and some them almost impassable.”

(The Antiquities of Nottinghamshire’ 1790-96 by Robert Thoroton & The Scrapbook of Hickling by Hazel Wadkin)

(streets and lanes listed in alphabetical order by their current name)

Bridegate Lane/Bridegate Road/Chapel Lane/Smithfield Lane.

More work is needed to confirm dates but originally this road would have been just one of several muddy tracks leading into the village; only relatively recently did it become the main route into the village. It is understood that ‘Bridegate’ has consistently referred to the ‘top end’ of the lane leading to Hickling Pastures whilst the ‘bottom end’ where it joins Main Street in Hickling has had a series of different names including Chapel Lane and Smithfield Lane – it is possible that these were colloquial in nature rather than formal but these names do appear in official records at times, too.

  • The 1774 Enclosure Map doesn’t name the road at the village end but half way along it is clearly labelled as ‘Bridegate Road’.
  • The 1910 Finance Act Map labels the whole road as ‘Bridegate Lane’.
  • In 1905 the headmaster Mr Laws labelled a sketch of the cottages at the village end of the lane, ‘Smithfield Lane’.
  • 1911 Census (superficial search): 5 households are listed on Bridegate Lane (no house names) and 1 household on Smithfield Lane (no references to ‘Chapel Lane’).
  • Photographs in the Wadkin Archive from the 1930s refer to ‘Chapel Lane’.
  • 1939 Register; households are listed on Chapel Lane but there are no references to Bridegate Lane and just one reference to the Cook family at Bridgate Lodge, The Pastures.
1910 Finance Act Map (17)
1910 Finance Act Map clearly labelled as ‘Bridegate Lane’

At some point the name ‘Bridegate Lane’ was formalised for the full length of the road again but pinning down the exact dates for shifts in the name is difficult; changes would have happened gradually with some cross-over and habit may mean photographs and references were labelled ‘traditionally’ rather than according to the common usage at any particular time.

At present, it seems that ‘Smithfield Lane’ pre-dates ‘Chapel Lane’; a sketch by the headmaster Mr Laws in 1905 is labelled ‘Smithfield Lane’ and references in the 1930s use the name ‘Chapel Lane’. The origin of the name ‘Bridegate’ isn’t yet known but it was in use at the time of the 1774 Enclosure:

  • ‘Bridegate’ may be a corruption of ‘Bridgegate’ but there is no obvious watercourse that might link to such a name; the word ‘bridge’ developed from the Middle English ‘bryg/brig/brigh’ meaning the adjustment to ‘Bride’ would be relatively late.
  • Another possibility could be ‘Bride Gate’ but all other references to this phrase relate to weddings.
  • Brid/Bryd/Bridd: possible Anglo-Saxon derivation meaning ‘young bird’ (Old English; for example, John Wycliffe in his bible translation of c.1395).
  • ‘Bride’; Middle English derivation meaning ‘Bridle’ and linking to horses and riding.
  • We would be grateful to hear from anyone who could help with this name origin.

Clawson Lane.

Clawson Lane is the main route out of Hickling into the Vale of Belvoir; other roads/routes either ascend or skirt the escarpment. Until the C19th Long Clawson was known as ‘Claxton’ (probable Anglo-Saxon origins). On the 1774 Enclosure Map it is marked as ‘Long Claxton Road’.

Folly Hall Lane

Folly Hall Lane leads eastwards from Hickling Pastures; on the 1774 Enclosure Map it forms part of ‘Willoughby Road’ but labelling for Willoughby Rd. is rather erratic – variously including Long Lane and Green Lane but always heading towards Willoughby. The origins of the name are, at present, unknown – please contact us if you can help with further information.

In the late 1800s The Pig & Whistle public house stood on the corner of Folly Hall Lane; the only sign of it is a circle of trees which still remain. It was never licensed and burned down, possibly at the end of the century.

Garden Lane.

We have an isolated reference in the Wadkin collection to Garden Lane (Images, below) but no reference on a map has been found.

W0251 electricity pylons 1999
W0251 electricity pylons 1999
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W0251b electricity pylons 1999
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W0251bb electricity pylons 1999
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W0251aa electricity pylons 1999

Green Lane.

Green Lane leaves Main Street at the south end of the village, climbing the Belvoir escarpment to join the Melton rd. On the 1774 Enclosure Map it is marked as Willoughby Rd but labelling for Willoughby Rd. is rather erratic – variously including Long Lane as well as Green Lane and Folly Hall Lane but always heading towards Willoughby. The views across the Vale of Belvoir from Green Lane are amongst the best in the area and the wide verges remain a wildflower haven.

Hickling Pastures/Melton Road – joining the A46/Fosse Way

Hickling Pastures is a linear community of houses along the road linking Nottingham and Melton; it was the closest ‘turnpike’ road for Hickling village and would have been a major link for travel and commerce (as it still is). More work is needed to trace the development of this route as a main road but it is likely to be linked to the line of the Belvoir escarpment providing the most easily managed east to west route. Similarly, the development of houses and farms along this road is likely to be linked to the ease of travel and links to neighbouring communities.

The Fosse Way (now the A46) was originally a Roman Road and in many places retains the long, straight characteristics of Roman construction.

The line of the road (and the escarpment) marks a divide between the ‘Wolds’ landscapes and the Vale itself. If you can help us with further information on the history and development of this part of the parish, please contact us.

Kinoulton Lane.

As the name implies, this is the road out of Hickling and towards Kinoulton; unsurprisingly, the road is called ‘Hickling Lane’ as it emerges from Kinoulton and towards Hickling. The 1774 Enclosure Map simply reads, ‘Road from Kinoulton’.

Long Lane.

Running parallel to Green Lane and Bridegate Lane, Long Lane is now a simple track and then footpath leading up to the Hickling Standard. It is shown but not named on the 1774 Enclosure Map and although Green Lane is labelled ‘Willoughby Road’ at this time, Long Lane can be seen to extend into what is labelled as ‘a footway from Willoughby’. Labelling and referencing of Willoughby Road is erratic and this may explain the belief that Long Lane extended as far as Willoughby and/or formed a section of Willoughby Rd. Either way, Long Lane is a historical track linking to what is now Folly Hall Lane and which then extended to Roman settlements at Six Hills and then to Willoughby.

In response to a national exercise, the Parish Council included Long Lane in its listings of public rights of way in the 1950s thus formalising it as a public footpath.

Main Street (north).

Hickling’s Main Street runs from north to south and the village settlement is very much characterised by its linear nature; so much so that modern heritage protections such as the Conservation Area designation focus specifically on this linear form with views in and out of the surrounding countryside.

Main Street (south).

The southern section of Main Street is more densely built and populated but retains the same essential characteristics described above. It includes, The Green which clusters behind the section where the Village Hall (previously the School) now stands; what is thought to be the oldest surviving building, Bowling Green Cottage, is located here.

Mill Lane/Morkin Lane/Mawkin Lane.

Although Mill Lane is now named after the Mill which once stood where it now ends, it originally extended further east than the mill (see Enclosure Map 1774). In land law, Mill Lane is an interesting anomaly; it is neither owned nor is it a public right of way. It originally evolved as a track which allowed access to otherwise landlocked fields and it would have emerged over time for the convenience of the owners of property and fields along its length. At the time of the Enclosures such tracks were intentionally left outside of anyone’s ownership, allowing them to continue under an amicable arrangement based on mutual convenience. Since the enclosures Mill Lane has never acquired any public rights or fallen under any one individual’s ownership – a rare and interesting relic from the past which continues to work perfectly well.

The earliest reference that we have (so far) to Mill Lane is a reference to ‘William Daft at Mawkin Lane’ in the 1642 Protestation Returns. If you can help us to identify the origin of Mill Lane’s previous names, please contact us.

Nether Broughton Lane.

Nether Broughton Lane begins where Main Street ends at the south end of the village and, unsurprisingly, it is the road which links Hickling and Nether Broughton; beyond the junction with Green Lane it is largely single track.

Pudding Lane/Faulks Lane/Mucky Lane.

We would welcome information that would help us with the various names for this short farm lane at the south end of the village.

  • The earliest reference that we have, to date, is in 1717 followed by the Will of George Mann in 1731; who is ‘of Pudding Lane’ when he leaves the Homestead to his two sons.
  • The lane is shown, but not named, on the 1774 Enclosure Map; transcription of the Schedule for this map is ongoing but the map does show neighbouring parcels of land in the ownership of the Mann family and it seems likely that the properties are still in the Mann family at this time and that the lane continues to be known as ‘Pudding Lane’ (research ongoing).
  • ‘Faulks’ reflects the very close links to the Faulks family of Sycamore House/Farm in at least the late 1800s to the mid-1900s and has been widely used since.
  • In a Statutory Declaration dated 1906 George Faulks testifies that his father, John, had lived at (and owned the freehold of) Sycamore House on Pudding Lane for at least 30 years and that it had been owned by John’s father before that; placing the Faulks family in this location back to at least the mid-C19th. Because of the nature of this declaration it would seem that there hadn’t been any formal property transactions before this time (or that any documents had been lost).
  • Similarly, the lane is described as ‘Pudding Lane’ in a conveyance of 1919 to George Faulks following the death of Mrs Mary Smith (widow) and in Title Deeds dated 1930 in a transaction which also involves George Faulks; the two names (Pudding Lane and Faulks Lane) appear to have been used concurrently.
  • ‘Mucky Lane’ is referenced once in the Wadkin collection – no further information available.
  • So far, we have no confirmed information about the origins of the name, ‘Pudding Lane’. However, it is possible that it has a shared origin with Pudding Lane in London which is said to have been named by the butchers of Eastcheap Market who used the lane to transport offal or ‘pudding’ to the river where it was transferred to waste barges and disposed of.
    • In a similar sense, ‘pudding’ was often washed or disposed of in nearby watercourses perhaps indicating a butchery or abbatoir.
    • ‘Pudding’ in this sense goes back to the 1300s and probably comes from the Middle English with origins in the French word ‘boudin’ meaning ‘sausage’.

Several photographs from the Wadkin collection show a detached, thatched cottage on the Main Street corner of Faulks’ Lane which is no longer there; this cottage does also seem to appear on the 1774 Enclosure Map.