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,
My first thought was that a clever
metalworker had ground off the top part of the second T, leaving just a full
stop. The whole letter could not have been removed as there would have been a
space, creating an off-centre name. There had to be something in the space at the end of the name.
Full stops are not used in street name plates but, as amended, this was an exception. A closer
look at the weather-worn sign (above, left) shows that much of the letter T
had already been eroded The older picture was taken in 2009.
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
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 Gullett families, 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 for 1956, in an article about the origin of Nantwich Street names, says: "The Gullet is probably named from the French
word 'goulet' 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.
The vehicular entrance to Rectory Close
from The Gullet looking towards the town centre.
But I am sure that is a complete non-runner as a
source of the name!
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 - although the house numbers went up to 17 (see picture at the
foot of the page).
For a while, No 17 seemed doomed to go from the Nantwich scene as - it
was rumoured - it
knocked down to provide access to a new housing development fronting
But this didn't happen and just the two houses, renovated,
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.
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.
JOHNSON'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
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
IN the 1953 edition of his Almanack, Harry Johnson
had said the name Gullet was "probably a Norman-French name for a ditch" and was probably the boundary of
the North East portion of Nantwich. In that entry he also said that the word Dog in Dog Lane referred to a dyke.
That is, Dyke Lane.
He also refers to Cart Lake (part
of the route taken by The Lothburn - a watercourse) saying
the name came from the "ducking cart and pond" - an old punishment
of ducking in the water a "scold" or scolding woman.
He says there was a saying that people could "scould like a Wyche waller",
a waller being a worker who produced salt by boiling brine, also called walling -
hence the street name Wall Lane which is close to the site where salt was
here to read about the
discovery of a salt ship - not a vessel but a hollowed out tree trunk used to store brine
- one third of which is in the museum.
oA full reference to places and streets in Nantwich in the
1880s can be found in a booklet on sale at Nantwich Museum, called "Harry
Thomas Johnson on Nantwich in the 1880s".
ALTHOUGH, as the newer road sign (above, right)
shows, the road has no vehicular exit at the far end, it does have a number of ways in and out for pedestrians.
In street order - from the
vehicular access from Hospital Street (pictured above) - these 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; 3, vehicular access to Wesley Court (far left), also part of Bowling
Green Court (below); 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 (also pictured below).