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for a new bridge across the Trent to replace the old flat timber- decked one, whose stone piles were too close together to allow square-rigged barges to pass through. Built in brick with stone facing, it was completed in 1775 with seven arches. In order to recoup the expenses a tollhouse was built on the right hand side. It is still there, having had several lives since then. Presently it is the headquarters of Nottinghamshire Women’s Institute, hav- ing been the warehouse and office of an agricultural merchant between times.


A Opposite, Lady Ossington built the Ossington Coffee Palace


in 1883, in essence a Temperance Hotel, on the site of the old cattle market still known as Beast Market Hill. Te Palace was in memory of her husband, Lord Dennison, who was speaker in the House of Commons and had recently died. A condition laid down in Lady Ossington’s will was that alcohol was never to be sold there and that any transgression would be cursed. Te em- bargo was eventually lifted, but several businesses selling alcohol did not prosper.


Truly an architectural masterpiece, the pargetted panels which


are all different and are on all sides, are echoed on the top storey by carved wood panels. Tere are plaster images of Te Green Man along with other plaques all depicting ecclesiastical themes.


34


The Trent Bridge newark


couple of years after John Smeaton had built his 125 arches in order to raise the Great North Road above the flood plain, the Duke of Newcastle had plans drawn up


Te popularity of the newly opened Midland Railway in 1846


rendered the bridge no longer adequate for purpose. To address the need of the extra pedestrians, the bridge was widened a couple of years later by the addition of pavements on either side, canti- levered by means of cast iron beams laid cross ways with decking between. Cast iron railings were added at this time with no less than four cast iron coats of arms at the crown, each painted in full colour, the pair facing the road also bearing the town motto Deo fretus erumpe, as well as the date 1848 in Roman numerals. Use of ornamental cast iron to achieve a practical purpose was a fitting and enduring advertisement of the skills and prosperity of local foundries at that time. Examples of ornamental cast iron abound in the town, as do more fundamental examples such as coalhole covers, ventilators and support pillars although both of the latter are rapidly disappearing as modern development takes its toll.


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