Cow Paddle

Description

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  • Overview
    Cow Paddle Character Area is a long and fairly narrow area of land on the east of the City that for the most part is bounded to the north by an active railway line and to the south by Washingborough Road. Transport infrastructure, both active and disused, is a key feature influencing the character of the area, defining its boundaries and separating it from the rest of the City. Land uses in the Character Area are typical of the urban fringe, with many requiring the uptake of large areas of land.
     
    The Character Area is divided into several sites arranged broadly parallel to Washingborough Road and the majority of these have their own specific function. With the exception of Cow Paddle which is common land, these functions are typical of an edge-of-town area and include three cemeteries, a crematorium, a permanent traveller settlement, a golf range and bowling centre, and a sewage treatment works. The latter also extends to the south of Washingborough Road, adjacent to an area known as Canwick Pastures, which is an extension of Canwick Golf Course. The main uses in the Character Area are recreation, burial and cremation, and sewage treatment.
     
    The Character Area is situated on the southern side of the Witham valley, as the river heads eastwards out of the City. The low-lying area was frequently waterlogged and subject to flooding. Wetland bordering the River Witham during the Roman and Early Medieval Era [410-850 AD] was probably an important resource for wildfowling, fishing and the collecting of fuel and thatching materials. By the High Medieval Era [850-1350 AD] land in the Character Area was part of a large open common that would have been meadows or open grassland used for the grazing of livestock. Up until the Early Industrial Period [1750-1845 AD], land within the Character Area continued to be grazed and cultivated in common by residents of Canwick. In 1787, the majority of common land around the village was enclosed by Act of Parliament.
     
    After enclosure, Cow Paddle in the west of the Character Area remained part of South Common (previously known as Canwick Common), but was cut off by the construction of Canwick Road in 1843. Construction of communication infrastructure in the Post-Railway Expansion [1849-1966 AD] and Late Victorian/Edwardian [1868-1919] Periods marginalised the Character Area from the south of the city. As a result, land use in the area quickly became typical of that often associated with an urban fringe.
     
    Sites in the Character Area are divided by a variety of boundaries, ranging from different types of agricultural boundaries to more formal definitions enclosing the cemeteries.
     
    The section of Cow Paddle north of the railway line appears to have been unmanaged for many years. The southern part is an area of grassland containing short-mown areas that are marked out as football pitches, areas of coarse grassland and areas that are of greater variety botanically as a result of grazing by rabbits. The cemeteries all contain mown grassland between the graves and planted specimen trees.
     
    Buildings in the Character Area date from the Late Victorian/Edwardian Period onwards and vary considerably in scale and form depending on their function. The Character Area contains a number of large-scale buildings associated with industrial works and recreational faculties, and a number of religious buildings within the cemeteries.
     
    From many places in the Character Area, there are views up to the Cathedral on the north escarpment. This is a wide view incorporating not just the Cathedral but also the trees that surround it, the buildings on the hillside and parts of the lower City. In several places there are views that extend beyond the railway, towards an industrial area north of the river. To the east, there are views of the various structures used by the sewage treatment works. To the west, there are views towards South Common but these are only available from the western part of the Character Area, as further east long views are obscured by the gradual incline of the escarpment within Canwick Golf Course.
     
    Despite being relatively close to the City Centre, the Character Area is very separate from the built-up parts of the City. This is due to the roads and railways that divide the Character Area from neighbouring areas. Access from the north is very limited due to the railway line, and the main access points are all off Washingborough Road.
  • Historical Development
    With the exception of land in the south of the Character Area, Cow Paddle is a low-lying area located in the base of the Witham valley. The area is occupied by a diverse range of uses, of types typically associated with the urban fringe, most of which were established during or slightly before the 20th century.
     
    Lying in the base of the Witham valley, the northern part of the Character Area has historically been subject to flooding and waterlogged areas. However, during the Prehistoric Era [10000 BC–60 AD] the shortest crossing point of the river may have been located towards the north west of the Character Area, and as a result an early causeway may have been constructed. Correspondingly, higher land on the escarpment slope in the south of the Character Area may also have been a focus for Prehistoric settlement or activity.
     
    The function of land in the Character Area in the subsequent Roman Military [60-90 AD] and Roman Colonia [90-410 AD] Eras is unclear; however, any early crossing point was abandoned in favour of a new causeway to the east, along the line of the Modern High Street. Wetland bordering the River Witham during the Roman and Early Medieval Era [410-850 AD] was probably an important resource for wildfowling, fishing and the collecting of fuel and thatching materials.
     
    By the High Medieval Era [850-1350 AD], if not before, land in the Character Area was part of a large open common, which included South Common to the west, belonging to Canwick village. Much of the Character Area would have been meadows or open grassland used for the grazing of livestock, a practice which continues today in some remaining open areas bordering the railway embankment where horses are grazed. The former land use is illustrated by the 16th-century name ‘Cow Paddle’, which is still in use, referring mainly to land in the north west of the Character Area. The name itself derives from former marsh grazing lands where cows could wade in the water. The Washingborough Road, which forms most of the southern boundary of the Character Area, was probably established during the High Medieval Era. The road would have been important in establishing Lincoln as a market centre, connecting villages along the southern slopes of the Witham valley to the east, such as Washingborough and Branston Booths, with the southern part of the city.
     View over grazing areas in the centre of the Character Area looking over towards Cow Paddle and the Lincoln Cathedral.
    Figure 1 View over grazing areas in the centre of the Character Area looking over towards Cow Paddle and Lincoln Cathedral
     
    Up until the Early Industrial Period [1750-1845 AD], land within the Character Area continued to be grazed and cultivated in common by residents of Canwick. In 1787, the majority of common land around the village was enclosed by Act of Parliament. The Act entailed the redefinition of the boundaries of Canwick Common, which only came to be known as South Common in the 19th century, and the enclosure of former open land with an organised rectilinear pattern of fields. Field boundaries most likely associated with the phase of enclosure are preserved in several places in the Character Area, including the track between St. Swithin’s Cemetery and the crematorium, the eastern boundary of the Character Area itself, and the eastern boundary of the golf driving range. The former eastern boundary of the Cow Paddle and South Common follows the line of a track along the western boundary of Canwick New Road Cemetery. In addition, the footpath leading from changing facilities in the south of Cow Paddle to the north east corner of Canwick Old Cemetery is a long established route dating to the 19th century if not considerably earlier.
     
    After enclosure, the Cow Paddle in the west of the Character Area remained part of Canwick Common, but was cut off by the construction of Canwick Road in 1843. The tollhouse of the turnpike, Toll Bar House, was built in 1843, and remains at the junction of Washingborough Road and Canwick Road.
     
    During the mid to late 19th century the GNR Honington Railway Line (c.1867) and the Avoiding Railway Line (c.1882) were constructed and still significantly influence the character of the area. A long curving footpath leading north from Canwick Road to Great Northern Terrace marks the route of the former Honington Railway Line and defines part of the western edge of the Character Area. The railway siding associated with the former Avoiding Line, which was dismantled in 1985, runs in a shallow curve from Number 78 Canwick Road (the former Angels Public House) to Greetwell Junction on the northern boundary. The only line remaining in use, originally the Great Northern and Great Eastern Joint Railway Line, which opened in 1882, runs along the northern boundary of the Character Area.
     
    Construction of communication infrastructure in the Post-Railway Expansion [1849-1868 AD] and Late Victorian/Edwardian [1869-1919] Periods marginalised the Character Area from the south of the city. As a result, land use in the area quickly became typical of that often associated with an urban fringe, such as the laying out of the Old Cemetery on Canwick Road in 1856 and the construction of the sewage works in the east of the area in the late 19th century. The site of the modern sewage works and spreading grounds in the east of the Character Area have been used for the treatment and disposal of sewage since the late 19th century. Two sewage tanks in the south of the site occupy the same position as the original 19th-century filter tanks. The original sewage works were built in response to growing health issues in the city associated with the discharge of raw sewage into public streets, watercourses and open cess pits. With the exception of two brick-built buildings of unknown function on the Washingborough Road, none of the original sewage treatment infrastructure survives.
     View looking east over spreading grounds, active since the late 19th century, towards the upstanding sewage works. Note the raised railway embankment in the left of the picture.
    Figure 2 View looking east over spreading grounds, active since the late 19th century, towards the upstanding sewage works. Note the raised railway embankment in the left of the picture.
     
    Expanding populations during the Late Victorian/Edwardian Period and the passing of the Public Health Act in 1848 led to the creation of the Old Cemetery in 1856, and two additional cemeteries, St. Swithin’s and New Cemetery, around the turn of the 20th century. In each case land was purchased by parishes in southern Lincoln. The chapel building in the Old Cemetery, which incorporates a non-conformist chapel and a Church of England chapel, illustrates the differences in religious doctrine in the late 19th century. The cemetery, chapels and associated lodges were designed by Michael Drury. The crematorium, lying to the east of the two later cemeteries was constructed in 1968.
     
    Up until the Modern Period [1966-2008 AD] land to the south of the Character Area was parkland; however, Canwick Park Golf Course, which was formerly located on South Common, was opened in 1975. The driving range and bowling alley in the east of the Character Area was subsequently developed. Towards the end of the Modern Period, land to the north of Canwick Road New Cemetery has been developed as an area of permanent accommodation for Travellers.
     
    Because of the re-organisation of local councils in 1974, land within the Character Area formerly became part of Lincoln City.
  • Urban form
    Cow Paddle Character Area is made up a long, narrow strip of land on the east of the City that for the most part is situated between an active railway line to the north and Washingborough Road to the south. The remainder of the Character Area is on the southern side of Washingborough Road, adjacent to Canwick Park Golf Course.
     
    The topography of the Character Area from north to south is a gradual slope down from the railway embankment followed by a level area and then rising again to the south of Washingborough Road.
     
    The disused Avoiding Railway Line enters the City from the east, running parallel with and directly adjacent to the active railway line for some distance before turning further south where it crosses the former Honington Railway Line. These railway lines divide the Character Area into several irregular shaped sites including the small section of Cow Paddle that is north of the Avoiding Line. Cow Paddle is one of Lincoln’s three remaining areas of common land.
     
    From west to east heading away from the City centre, the Character Area is divided into a series of smaller sites that are aligned parallel to the road. Some of the boundaries of these sites follow the field boundaries from when the area was enclosed by Act of Parliament in 1787. Cow Paddle is the first of these and is bordered by the active railway to the north, an industrial estate followed by Canwick Road to the west and Washingborough Road to the south. The disused railway line on an embankment divides Cow Paddle into two parts and these differ considerably in character.
     Wetland areas within Cow Paddle in the north of the Character Area showing trees and greenery
    Figure 3 Wetland areas within Cow Paddle in the north of the Character Area
     
    The northern part of Cow Paddle appears to have been unmanaged for many years, and consequently the southern two thirds is covered in elder and other coarse species of vegetation. The remaining third supports some scrub, particularly around the edges but is mostly rough grassland. Damp land close to the active railway is of greater botanical interest and species here include silverweed, creeping buttercup and corn mint. The southern part of Cow Paddle extends around Canwick Road Cemetery, which is situated at the junction of Canwick Road and Washingborough Road. This is an area of grassland containing short-mown areas that are marked out as football pitches, areas of coarse grassland and areas that are of greater diversity botanically as a result of grazing by rabbits. The latter contains species such as sheep’s sorrel, field mouse-ear and yarrow.
     
    Canwick Road Cemetery, also known as the Old Cemetery, was opened in 1856 and is criss-crossed by a network of formal paths and internal roads. The perimeter of the site is a stone wall on three sides, and a dense holly hedge on the northern side. The short-mown grassland in the Cemetery supports a surprising diversity of species including Lady’s bedstraw, common stork’s-bill and thyme-leaved sandwort. There are many species that are typical of the dry sandy soil here. There are also many specimen trees, especially around the margins and along internal roads, notably beech, lime, non-native oak and horse chestnut.
    Canwick Road Old Cemetery showing headstones of varies styles as well as trees and greenery.
    Figure 4 Canwick Road Old Cemetery
     
    East of Cow Paddle is Canwick Road New Cemetery, followed by St. Swithin’s Cemetery and then the Crematorium. Like the Old Cemetery, the New Cemetery and St. Swithin’s support a diverse flora typical of sandy acidic soil. Similarly, there are lines and avenues of planted trees along the paths and boundaries, which are a prominent feature. These include lime, sweet chestnut, ash, sycamore and poplar. The Crematorium is also formal in character, with a number of small, enclosed spaces to provide a degree of privacy to visitors. To the north of this series of three sites is a series of three smaller sites. From west to east these are a permanent traveller camp, an area of neglected neutral to acidic grassland with encroaching scrub that is still grazed by horses, and a small area of unmanaged damp neutral grassland with scrub encroachment.
     Avenue of trees either side of a footpath in Canwick Road Old cemetery
    Figure 5 Avenue of trees in Canwick Road Old cemetery
     
    Further north again, a small triangular site has been created by the railway infrastructure that cuts through the Character Area. To the north is an active railway, to the south a disused railway, and to the west open space within Cow Paddle. The area was previously used as an informal encampment for travellers and as a result the surface is dominated by stone rubble. This supports plentiful lichen growth, as well as scattered and denser scrub, and a sparse covering of other plants.
     
    East of the Crematorium is a golf driving range and bowling alley, two of a number of leisure facilities in the area. The site contains several interconnected buildings and a large area of grassland with scattered trees that are mostly birch. Further east again is a large area of grassland that is part of the sewage treatment complex which continues on the southern side of Washingborough Road. The only other site on the southern side of the road is directly south of the large area of grassland. The area was formerly known as Canwick Pastures and is now part of Canwick Golf Course that lies directly to the west. The site is predominantly grassland with short-mown areas in the centre and less intensively managed areas around the boundaries. There are several areas of specimen broadleaved trees. There is a pond towards the north west that has an abundance of yellow iris on the bank and broad-leaved pondweed in the water.
     Bowling alley and Golf driving range in the east of the Character Area with car park to the front with block of greenery in some areas between spaces.
    Figure 6 Bowling alley and Golf driving range in the east of the Character Area
     
    The disused railway embankment that was part of the Avoiding Line constructed around 1882 enters the Character Area about halfway along its western boundary and then heads north to join the active railway line along the northern boundary of the site, crossing it at Greetwell Junction and then continuing eastwards. The western end of the embankment is covered in neutral grassland and scattered scrub. Further east but still within Cow Paddle, the embankment has denser scrub but also significant areas of flat and steeply sloping land that are infertile and consequently almost bare of vegetation. The stretch of embankment north of the more recent cemeteries, crematorium and golf course has a flat stony top with a variety of vegetation, a northern slope with dense coarser vegetation and a southern slope that is densely wooded, mostly with sycamore. The wooded slope prevents the embankment from being visible from the grassland areas further south. 
     
    Buildings in the Character Area vary considerably in scale and form, depending mainly on their function. The Character Area contains a number of large-scale buildings associated with industrial works and recreational faculties, such as the sewage works and bowling/driving range buildings respectively. These buildings are functional in appearance, and are mostly low one to two storey concrete or steel framed structures with steel cladding and/or brick walls. Facades generally have inactive frontages and high solid-to-void ratios with few windows and doors. A small number of Late Victorian/Edwardian buildings, probably associated with the sewage works, survive on the south side of Washingborough Road. The properties are built of Red Albion brick laid in stretcher bond, although both buildings are quite decorative, with string courses, windows lintels and projecting eaves/verges accentuated in blue and buff coloured brick. Façades have high solid-to-void ratios with small windows and few doors. Late Victorian/Edwardian buildings have gabled slate roofs. Other Late Victorian buildings in the Character Area include Toll Bar House on the corner of Canwick Road and Washingborough Road, the former Angels Public House at 78 Canwick Road, and a number of buildings associated with the cemeteries. Buildings within the cemeteries are mostly built of limestone, with the exception of St. Swithin’s Cemetery Chapel, which is built of brick. Religious buildings are a single-storey in height, and have tall steep roofs covered in small clay tiles. Windows are gothic in style with heavy stone surrounds and/or moulding. The pair of chapels in Canwick Old Cemetery is a combination of a non-conformist chapel and a Church of England chapel, which have a small spire and tower respectively (although the spire has now collapsed). More modern buildings in the Character Area include a small number of plain brick-built residential properties dating to the Post-War Period, a similar style office building at the sewage works, and brick-built changing rooms in the south of Cow Paddle recreational area.
     
    Access from the north is very limited due to the railway line and the main access points are all off Washingborough Road. There are also a number of smaller tracks and internal roads that lead north to south from the various sites to join Washingborough Road. The sites with recreational and burial uses also have several surfaced and more informal paths through them, including a path across the Cow Paddle which follows the line of the former GNR Honington Railway Line.
     
    Much of the area is peaceful, though the noise of vehicle traffic and the railway can sometimes be heard. In terms of vitality the area seems very quiet, though this is partly a reflection of the major land use as burial land. Vehicles regularly use the sewage treatment works, but few people can be seen on the site.
  • Views
    There are views up to the Cathedral on the north escarpment from many places in the Character Area, though at times these are interrupted by infrastructure such as electricity cables and woodland on the southern slope of the railway line. The Cathedral is seen in its wider setting, including the trees that surround it, the buildings on the hillside and parts of the lower City.
     
    The railway embankment, lined by trees and shrubs, forms an effective barrier to the Character Area and in several places obscures views beyond the railway, towards the river Witham. Elsewhere the railway embankment is more open and there are longer views over the river towards the industrial units at the far end of Spa Road.
     
    To the east, there are views of the various structures used by the sewage treatment works. To the west there are views towards South Common but these are only available from the west of the Character Area as further east long views are obscured by the gradual incline of the escarpment with Canwick Golf Course on the south of Washingborough Road.
  • Condition of Buildings and Streetscape
    The landscape in the area is in varied condition. Formally, used spaces such as the three cemeteries, the crematorium, the golf range and the area adjacent to Canwick Golf Course are actively managed, and are predominantly made up of short-mown grassland with many specimen planted trees. The buildings and landscape within the sewage treatment works are also well maintained. Cow Paddle, although it would benefit from an increased level of grazing, has areas that are maintained as playing fields and areas of scrub and acidic grassland that are ecologically diverse. The smaller areas that are to the rear of the more formal uses, and the large area of rough grassland between the golf range and the sewage treatment works are less well maintained but still have areas of interesting habitat.
     Security fencing around the Mortuary chapels at Canwick Road Old Cemetery which is disused and boarded up
    Figure 7 Security fencing around the Mortuary chapels at Canwick Road Old Cemetery
     
    The condition of the buildings in the Character Area is also varied. There are a couple of Victorian brick-built structures associated with the original sewage works that appear to be in a fairly good state of repair, as is the chapel in the New Cemetery. The chapel in the Old Cemetery is in a poorer condition, and is currently surrounded by security fencing. The crematorium building, the bowling alley and the sewage works buildings all appear to be in good condition.
  • Use
    There are a number of diverse land uses in the Character Area. Cow Paddle, the golf range, golf course and bowling alley are primarily for both formal and informal recreation such as walking, playing football and practising on the driving range. The Old Cemetery, New Cemetery, St. Swithin’s and Crematorium are all associated with burial and the cremation. The traveller camp has a residential use and finally there is the sewage treatment works.
     
    The combination of a fringe location and good road access means that the area is suitable for uses that are less desirable in the centre of an urban area such as cemeteries and sewage treatment.
  • Relationship to City and Surrounding Areas
    Despite being relatively close to the City Centre, the Character Area is very separate from the built-up parts of the City. This is due to the roads and railways that divide the Character Area from neighbouring areas. For example, the construction of Canwick Road split Cow Paddle from the larger area of common land to the south west that is now called South Common. The railway is particularly divisive because it prevents access into the Character Area from the north. Washingborough Road on the other hand provides several access points into sites that have their entrance to the south of the Character Area. The proximity to the City, though, is evident by the views up to the Cathedral which are available in several parts of the Character Area.
     
    The area is located at the fringes of the city and contains buildings and plots with a large land uptake that Lincoln needs to function effectively but which are difficult to site in the City Centre. The uses need to be close by but also separate from the City.
     
    The Character Area is also closely linked to Canwick Golf Course to the south and South Common to the south east through the open space character of the area and its proximity to these neighbouring areas, but is separated from them by Washingborough Road and Canwick Road.
  • Key Townscape Characteristics
    ·          Land uses are typical of the urban fringe, with many requiring the uptake of large areas of land
    ·          Long and fairly narrow area of land on the east of the City that for the most part is bounded to the north by an active railway line and to the south by Washingborough Road
    ·          Transport infrastructure, both active and disused, is a key feature of the area in terms of influencing its character, defining its boundaries and separating it from the rest of the City
    ·          Divided into several smaller sites with their own specific function that is parallel to the road. Functions are typical of an edge-of-town area works
    ·          The earlier landscape elements which influence the current character include:
    o         Former wetland that was probably an important resource for wildfowling, fishing and the collecting of fuel and thatching materials during the Roman and Early Medieval Era [410-850 AD]
    o         Cow Paddle is what remains of a large open common, which included South Common to the west, belonging to Canwick village
    o         Up until the Early Industrial Period [1750-1845 AD], land within the Character Area continued to be grazed and cultivated in common by residents of Canwick. Grazing still continues in some parts of the Character Area
    o         The orientations of several former field boundaries, some of which may be associated with the enclosure of Canwick’s common lands by Act of Parliament in 1787, survive in several places
    o         Active and disused railway lines constructed as part of the communication infrastructure in the Post-Railway Expansion [1849-1966 AD] and Late Victorian/Edwardian [1868-1919] Periods
    ·          The topography of the Character Area from north to south is a gradual slope down from the railway embankment followed by a low-lying level area and then rising again to the south of Washingborough Road
    ·          The northern part of Cow Paddle appears to have been unmanaged for many years, and consequently has areas of scrub encroachment by coarse vegetation. The southern part of Cow Paddle contains short-mown areas that are marked out as football pitches and areas of grassland
    ·          Buildings in the Character Area date from the Late Victorian/Edwardian Period onwards and vary considerably in scale and form depending on their function. The Character Area contains a number of large-scale buildings associated with industrial works and recreational faculties, and a number of religious buildings within the cemeteries
    ·          From many places in the Character Area there are views of the Cathedral set within its wider context above the lower city on the north Escarpment
    ·          The railway embankment forms a strong barrier to the Character Area and in several places obscures views beyond the railway, towards the River Witham. Elsewhere the railway embankment is more open and there are longer views over the river towards industrial units
    ·          Despite being relatively close to the City Centre, the Character Area is very separate from the built up parts of the City. The railway is particularly divisive because it prevents access into the Character Area from the north. Washingborough Road on the other hand provides access points into several sites but otherwise there is little access between separate sites. The proximity to the City, though, is evident by the views up to the Cathedral that are available in several parts of the Character Area