The History, Gazetteer and Directory of Lincolnshire 1856 (Brigg entry)

This is a very informative document, containing a description of the town and its history together with a directory of services available - a sort of early "Yellow Pages".

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Extract from the history section for Brigg

BRIGG, or GLANFORD BRIGG, is a neat, well-built, and thriving market town, on the navigable river Ancholme, in a broad level vale of rich and well drained cars, bounded on the east and west by the woody and highly cultivated acclivities of the Cliffs and Wolds. It has a Station on the rails from Gainsborough to Grimsby and New Holland. It is distant 10 miles S. by W. of Barton, 9 miles W.N.W. of Caistor, 23 miles N. by E. of Lincoln, 16 miles S S.W. of Hull, and 9 miles S. of the Humber, from which the Ancholme is navigable to Bishop Bridge, 10 miles above Brigg, and 5 miles from Market Rasen ; and by a branch cut to Moorton, 3 miles from Caistor.

The township and chapelry of Brigg is in the parish and manor of Wrawby, rind contains nearly 2000 acres of land. Its population amounted, in 1801 , to 1327; in 1811, to 1361; in 1821, to 1674; in 1831, to 1780; and in 1851, to 2201; but the Town extends into three other parishes, and its total number of inhabitants is upwards of 3000, of whom about 600 are on the west side of the river, in Broughton and Scawby parishes, and about 300 in the north-eastern suburbs, are in Wrawby township. The etymology of Glanford is unknown, but it may perhaps be a corruption of Clampford, from the clamps, or planks of timber, laid down in ancient times across the ford and its swampy approaches, where a good road and strong stone bridge were subsequently constructed.It is in some legal documents and other writings called Glamford Briggs.

After the erection of the bridge, the town obtained the name of Brigg. It was formerly only a small fishing hamlet; hut since the improvement and extension of the Ancholme navigation, and the drainage of the cars in the vale of that river, about the commencement of the present century, it has been continually increasing in trade, commerce, buildings, and population. The navigation was considerably improved in 1820, so as to admit vessels of 80 tons burden as high as Bishop Bridge in the 6th of George IV. the Commissioners of the Navigation and the drainage of the Ancholme Level, obtained an Act for altering and enlarging the powers of two Acts, passed in the reign of George III. for draining the cars and other low lands, and for making certain parts of the river Ancholme navigable. The navigation tolls produce about 800, and the drainage tax about 1400 per annum. Mr. Adam Smith is the engineer.

The Ancholme Valley had formerly many monasteries and recluse cells, and its name is supposed by some to have been derived from the numerous Anchorites who lived there in monastic times. Much business is done at Brigg in corn, coal, and timber; and here are several corn mills, a ropery, two tan and fellmongers' yards, several malt kilns, three breweries and two extensive millwright and machine works. The town was formerly very extensively engaged in dressing rabbit skins and fur, but this trade has considerably declined since the enclosure of most of the large warrens of Lincolnshire. Several of the inhabitants are owners of small trading vessels, and packets sail daily with passengers to Ferriby Sluice, to meet the Hull steamers.

The market, held every Thursday, is numerously attended, and well supplied with corn and all sorts of provisions. Here is a large fair for horses, cattle, and sheep, on the 5th of August, and a hiring for servants on the Friday before Old May-day. The Market place has many good shops, &c., and under the Town Hall is the Butter market. The CORN EXCHANGE is a handsome brick building. erected in 1849, at the cost of 2000, raised in 10 shares. It is 90 feet long, and 47 wide, and has a large News Room.

The old Gas Works, established in 1886, have given place to more extensive Gas Works, erected in 1840, at the cost of about 3500, raised in 25 shares. In 1852, C. C. Elwes, Esq., the lord of the manor, and owner of many houses in the town, obtained an act of parliament for the establishment of Water Works, from which the town has now a good supply of excellent water from St. Anyan's spring, in Wrawby township. The Wharf Well, at the end of the town, had previously been used by the inhabitants for more than a century, as their chief supply for domestic use. Brigg Horticultural Society has a numerous list of members, and holds its shows of fruit, vegetables, &c., at the Corn Exchange.

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