Bridges. What’s in a name?

Bridges. What’s in a name?

Bridges. What’s in a name?

Allan recounts the history of the various bridges around the village, along with some old names for them.

When I was lad we called the bridge along the Penrith road the ‘Bowlo’ bridge because it was next to the old bowling green. The bridge along the road heading to Poplin was called Gandi’s bridge because Archie Norman (Gandi) lived just over the wall.  The bridge down the old road was called, well, the old road bridge.

It was some time later after looking at maps etc. that I found out that all these bridges had proper names. Bowlo bridge is called Thorpe bridge. Gandi’s bridge is called Sharkey bridge. The old road bridge is called Storch bridge.

When the road was altered in 1939 the new bridge was called New Storch bridge and there is plaque calling it that on the right hand side heading towards Penrith.

The Plaque is erected on Sharkey Bridge

I wondered why Sharkey bridge was so called, so I went to the Greystoke equivalent of Google, and asked Alan Hayton. It was named after the man that designed and built it, a Mr. Sharkey. He was an Irishman, an architect and stonemason, and was employed on Greystoke castle estate many moons ago. There is building on the estate also named after him, a stone barn? I am not sure where.

Anyway when a group of us decided to reclaim and restore the waste ground either side of the beck beside Sharkey bridge, we named it Sharkey park. We also felt it was important that the name of the bridge was made known to everyone, so we managed to raise a little bit of cash and got a plaque made.


The Village in 1926

As Allan says, you can clearly see the names of the bridges on this old OS map from 1926, which I am sure will spark further discussion!

OS Map from 1926

Copyright statement: The featured map image on this post is reproduced with the permission of the National Library of Scotland

The Pubs of Greystoke

The Pubs of Greystoke

The Pubs of Greystoke

Greystoke used to sport a total of 4 pubs, including 1 Inn – the Boot and Shoe, of course. But as our local history expert Allan Marshall explains, there was a crucial difference between a pub and an inn:

The Boot and Shoe Inn is the only pub shown on old ordinance survey maps. An Inn provided accommodation and was shown on maps. Public houses in those days were just someone’s house with a room where you could purchase ale.

The Cricketers Arms


The Cricketers Arms, Berrier Road. Photographer unknown

The Cricketers Arms. Just beyond you can see a horse standing. This was the blacksmiths shop, hence Smithy Court. The blacksmiths shop became the start of Mandales Garage. The house to the left of the old pub, that has scaffolding on the chimney, was Florine Howells shop. I used to go in there in the fifties and get four aniseed balls for a penny.

The Cricketers Arms still exists. It is the very first building on Berrier Road. It is now two houses. Squirrel Cottage and The Cottage. Perhaps if the present owners read this they might do some renaming!


The Cricketers Arms was known as Garage House in later years as it was next to Mandales garage. Mary and I lived in Garage House when we first got married and one of the rooms was the office for the garage. Ruby Mounsey was the secretary and had permission to use our bathroom and the garage bog was no place for a lady!  Allan Marshall


The Pelican

The Pelican was a pub situated on Church Road. Today the house still has the same name.



The 3rd pub in the Village was Crossways, the white house situated at the top of Church Road, opposite the Post Office.


The Boot and Shoe

Finally the Inn.  The Boot and Shoe is now the only pub in the village.

The Boot and Shoe is a 16th Century Coaching Inn dating from 1511, and it’s 500 year old name apparently comes from a former Duke of Norfolk who at the time lived in Greystoke Castle.  It is said that to ease the pain of gout, he used to wear a Boot on one foot and a Shoe on the other.

The photograph below shows the Boot and Shoe circa 1955

The Bowlo

The Bowlo

The Bowlo

Greystoke used to have a bowling green. It used to be on what is now the playing field, in the corner nearest the Penrith road bridge. It was still there in the late fifties / early sixties but had fallen into disuse. Instead, football and cricket end up being played on it.  The children called it the “bowlo” and the bridge was always known as the “bowlo bridge”.

It was opened on the 31st August 1929 by Lady Mabel Howard who also bowled the first wood. What a shame it is not there today for all us wrinkles to while away our time. More information will be available at the opening of the refurbished swimming pool changing rooms.

Allan Marshall.


There was a football game most evenings at the bowling green, weather permitting. I could look out of my bedroom window on Icold Rd and there was a sliver of space between the Dutch barn and the farmhouse on the Robinsons’ farm on Church Rd (which became the Dixon farm). I’d look at this for a few seconds and if a ball traversed that space I knew something was starting. We’d pick sides, sometimes only three or four a side to start with, but as others came the teams got bigger. We’d play until dark, or until one side scored ten goals, whichever came first. No goalposts, just heaps of jackets or sweaters. It was less than half the size of a regular football pitch, and sometimes the teams were bigger than eleven a side, so very crowded. It didn’t matter. Cricket was harder, as it demanded a smoother wicket, but we managed that as well. There was an old green pavilion from bowling days, which eventually got pulled down and replaced by a fine set of swings. (Maurice Mandale)

Usually the two best footballers got to pick the teams. They would pick the best players in descending order down to the not so good. (That was me). If you were picked last it didn’t do your ego much good.  The bowling green bower went up to the football field at Greystoke Gill and was used as changing rooms. When the playing field was developed the footballers started to play there. The bower came with them and was re-erected where the swimming pool is now. (Allan Marshall)

Copyright statement: The featured image on this post is licenced under the Creative Commons license Attribution Share-Alike 3.0 Unported and the original image is by KayEss on wikimedia commons