RIGHT UP MY STREET  -  No 1: The Gullet 

Is it one T or two for this road?    

 Updated July 2013 (written 2009)

 

A view along The Gullet towards St Mary's Parish Church. On the left is Wesley Court and Rectory Close is to the right of the picture.

 

The entrance to The Gullet from Hospital Street. On the right is Globe House - a business location?

GULLET or Gullett? Having grown up seeing the sign, above left, on Globe House at the Hospital Street end of the short street in Nantwich (pictured above, right), I had always felt the spelling as used was correct. But then the second T was questioned. A more recent sign (above, right) at street level opted for the single T version - and when Globe House was repainted in late 2011 / early 2012, the correct spelling was made very clear (above, centre right).

   My first thought was that a clever metalworker had ground off the top part of the second T, leaving just a full stop. There had to be something in the space at the end of the name that would have been left otherwise. And I am sure that is true, but, on a closer look at the weather-worn sign (above, left) it does seem that the top part of the T had disappeared earlier - the older picture was taken in 2009 - and that the top part of the letter had reappeared somehow over the years. Was it just rust showing through?       

  

THE proper spelling of Gullet must lie in the source of the name. Is it from the alternative name for the oesophagus - gullet? Did the short road look roughly like the body part, or perhaps perform a similar function? Allowing people, in this case, to pass through?

     Is it from the surname Gullett (run a check on the Internet to see how popular a name it is)? I am not aware of any Nantwich Gulletts, but if there were and they were the source of the name, it would surely be Gullett's Row or something, not The Gullett. The final "t" is certainly pronounced, but Johnson's Nantwich Almanack and Directory (see footnote) for 1956, in an article about the origin of Nantwich Street names, says: "The Gullet is probably named from the French word 'goulet'

 

 

 

The vehicular entrance to Rectory Close from The Gullet looking towards the town centre

meaning a gulley or channel. One did, in fact, flow along here and it is often mentioned in leases of the Abbots of Combermere."   

   [There is, as people holidaying in Turkey will know, a third spelling - gulet. This is a wooden sailing ship with masts and sails. But I am sure that is a complete non-runner as a source of the name!]  

 

ALTHOUGH, as the newer road sign (above, right) shows, the road has no vehicular exit it does have a number of ways in and out for pedestrians.

   In street order - from the vehicular access from Hospital Street (pictured above) - there are: 1, a public right of way through Bowling Green Court housing development to South Crofts for pedestrians; 2, vehicular access to Rectory Close, for residents only (above, right); 3, vehicular access to Wesley Court, also part of Bowling Green Court (left); 4, pedestrian access to Hospital Street; 5, a pedestrian way past The Bowling Green public house to Monks' Lane; and, finally, a gated exit through to the churchyard.

    Note: I have used my preferred spelling of Monks' Lane, giving the idea that it was a footpath for all the monks from what is now St Mary's church, rather than a single monk. The spelling on the name plate of the path which runs in front of Dysart Buildings, is Monk's Lane. There must surely be a connection with the Abbots of Combermere, mentioned earlier.

 

IN passing, an interesting point about the Bowling

Green Court development is that it is a condition of

residency that residents must be 55 years or older.

   There are several homes in the street now but back in the 1950s there were just six or so houses listed in

Johnson's Nantwich Almanack and Directory (see footnote) - although the house numbers went up to 17 (below, left). For a while, No 17 seemed doomed to go from the Nantwich scene as - it was rumoured - it would be knocked down to provide access to a new housing development fronting South Crofts.  

   But this didn't happen and just the two houses, renovated, remain, No 17 was extended at the back - and in a very clever way which means that the extension looks like a separate building when seen from The Gullet.      

 

lJOHNSON'S Nantwich Almanack and Directory was an annual publication from the Nantwich printer. It contained essential information about the town (and later Crewe and Nantwich Borough - now replaced by Cheshire East Council) and surrounding areas, as well as a street-by-street directory of house numbers and the head of the individual households.

    Telephone numbers were also included. There is no such publication today, although the same information can be obtained from the Electoral Register, telephone directories and Nantwich Library (organisations).

     

No 17 The Gullet - saved from demolition after being renovated

 

 

St Mary's Parish Church in the town centre, viewed from Rectory Close

 

The plaque marking the opening of Bowling Green Court in 1964

 

The Bowling Green between The Gullet and Monks' Lane

   

 

Oops

I went as a visitor in 2009 to a meeting of the Nantwich Group of the Family History Society where the street name plates above featured in a talk by the then Leader, Sue Church.

   But Sue pointed out to her audience that I had missed the sign just around the corner where Gullet is spelled with two "t"s. I did know the sign was there but hadn't studied it carefully enough. Thanks, Sue. 

                                    On the subject of road signs . . .

A view of the car park end of The Gullet, as seen from near to the gates by the church

 

The east end of St Mary's Parish Church from The Gullet. In summer, leaves hide the church 

 

Maisterson Court

 

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