Click here for the latest open days
Volunteer guides look after the building on behalf of the Society, and
open the house to visitors free of charge several times a year when they are on
hand to answer questions and tell visitors about the building and its history.
51 Fleetgate (on the right) along with 49 and 47 Fleetgate.
This grade II* listed building is thought to be the oldest residential
house in North Lincolnshire. The front section is part of what was a single
house incorporating 47, 49 and 51 Fleetgate, possibly
dating from 1325. A major extension was started around 1425 when a large
oak-framed hall was built on the rear of the north and which is now number 51.
The house was open from the floor to the crown post roof which was
originally thatched. There would have been an open fire in the middle of the
floor, with smoke escaping through louvers in the thatch. During the 17th
century the chimney stack was added.
The property was later split into three houses and number 51 was bought
by the Clipson family and opened as a barber shop and
tobacconist in 1908. The Clipson family did not alter
the interior, which remains much the same today as it would have done in 1900.
The house is owned and maintained by North Lincs
Front Room - Barbers Shop and Tobacconist's.
- The ceiling is papered with advertising posters for the
Lloyds Newspaper, some featuring news items from a paper published in
1890. There is Stanley meeting Livingstone during their explorations of
Africa and the famous daredevil Blondin crossing
Niagra Falls on a tightrope. There are also
pictures of Victorian families and of sporting events.
- There is an Edwardian wash basin which had the only
source of mains water ever to be connected to the building. It is not
connected now. It would have been used for shaving, with hot water brought
in from the kitchen range side boiler. The basin was not connected to the
drains, so waste water would have drained into a bucket and been carried
outside for disposal.
- There is a razor rack at the side of the sink. Razors
were sharpened with a leather strop.
- The bay window was added in 1927.
- There were three barber chairs, which were converted
from ordinary kitchen chairs. Men would have waited their turn in the
chair, sitting on wooden benches like the ones still in place.
- Lighting in 1908 was by gas and the fittings are still
- The open fire surround is probably Georgian, with the
grate dating from the early 1900's.
- The deed on the wall is dated the 29th year of King
George III (1789).
Some of the bottles on
display in the barbers shop (front room)
One of the advertisements
on the ceiling of the barbers shop (front room)
Rear South Room - Kitchen.
- The range used coal for fuel and would have been lit
every morning. If the owners were house-proud, the outside of it would
have been polished with black lead every day.
- The cupboard to the left of the range would have been
perfect for storing food that had to be kept dry, so salt,
sugar and flour would have been kept there.
- Flat irons were used for ironing clothes and would have
been heated to the correct temperature close to the fire.
- The oven would have been used for baking bread,
although at one time there was probably a separate bread oven in the
- Lighting was by gas back in 1900 and the fish tail lamp
is still in place.
- Possibly an early modification was the addition of a
sleeping platform over the next door area, supported by the large beam to
the right of the door. Later on a full upper floor was added and a wall
was built under the beam to form two separate rooms - the kitchen and a
- The windows are examples of the Yorkshire slide design,
which goes back several hundred years.
- The doorway is very low. People were not generally so tall as they are now.
- The doors are of a very simple plank construction and
the door fittings are handmade examples of the blacksmith's trade, forged
by heating and hammering into the required shape.
The range complete with
iron still in situ.
Rear North Room - Scullery.
- The set pot was used for heating water for the weekly
wash, which was always done on Monday. Clothes were also boiled in it as a
final washing stage. The fire would have been hard to light and burning
coals would have probably been carried through from the kitchen range
using an ash pan.
- The dolly-tub was used for soaking dirty clothes
overnight in washing soda and then for washing in hot water after being
soaped and scrubbed. Either a posher or a wooden
dolly was used to agitate the clothes in the dolly-tub. Another tub would
be filled with cold fresh water for rinsing clothes after washing.
- The wooden tub was used for scrubbing and soaping dirty
clothes. (Before detergents were invented)
- Clothes were part dried by squeezing them through the
wooden rollers of a mangle. (There is a Victorian one in 51 Fleetgate)
- There is an arch to the left of the set pot which was
probably where a bread oven originally stood. These were heated up with
coals and then the coals were scraped out and the risen dough placed in
the hot oven.
- The slop-stone is an early version of a kitchen sink
and was carved from York stone. It would have probably been connected to a
drain, leading to a sewer or a soak-away.
- There is a bathtub at 51 Fleetgate
which is typical Victorian. The family would have taken turns to use it
one a week. In winter, baths would have been taken in front of the kitchen
range. This would have stopped the water cooling down too quickly.
- There are many kitchen tools on show in 51 Fleetgate. These include shears, sleaver,
peel, straining frame, salt glazed pots, stew and jam pans, cast iron
saucepans, slop pail, fire shovel, Edwardian posher
and many more.
- One of the windows has been blocked up in the scullery.
This was probably done after the introduction of tax on windows in the
- The floor was originally all brick, laid in a
- The pine table would have been regularly scrubbed to
keep it clean, especially before and after food preparation.
- The water pump in the yard was the only source of fresh
water. (There is now a tap next to it connected to the mains supply)
The scullery with the
washing implements used at the time.
The scullery complete with may old items not generally seen today.
Upstairs Rear Wing - Bedroom Area.
- The long window uses leaded glass, though originally
they would have been just open, with shutters that would be closed when it
was cold or windy.
- The fireplace is Georgian, made in the 18th century.
- When first built, the hall would have stretched right to
the wall of the front rooms with no staircase, no chimney breast, no
dividing walls, and no upstairs floors. It would have been high roofed.
The reeds used for the thatched roof would have been visible and there
would have been no glass in the windows. The timber frame was the strength
of this design and the walls were just bricks laid on edge with mortar to
fill the spaces between the frame timbers.
- The timber used for the frame is oak. It is probable
that the carpenters would have been trained as shipwrights, perhaps
working at one of the ship building yards on the Haven, when not building
The crown post roof is also
visible in the walls of the room.
This room is the best place
to see the medieval crown post roof.
Upstairs Front Room - Bedroom Area.
- The fireplace is Victorian and quite different from the
taller Georgian fireplace in the back room.
- Coal was expensive and it is likely that the fire would
not have been lit very often. The room gets quite cold, even though it now
has an electric heater. If the fire was lit the coal would have had to be
carried all the way upstairs from the coal shed in the back yard. In the
morning all the ashes would have had to be carried back down stairs and
got rid of.
- The lock on the door has a wooden case.
- The Yorkshire slide window dates from the 18th century.
- The fishtail gas burner provided light at night.
- The toilet was situated outside in the back yard.
The display in this room is
The fireplace with map
The Rear Garden.
- The rear garden has been lovingly restored and
maintained by a band of volunteers and is looking wonderful. There
are seating areas where you can sit and contemplate the history of the
The gardens of 51 Fleetgate looking away from the building.
The gardens of 51 Fleetgate looking towards the building.
Click here for details of The Clipson Family
Christmas at 51 Fleetgate
Christmas is not complete without a visit to 51 Fleetgate
on the day of the Barton Christmas Festival. Every year the Society open the doors and offer a warm welcome to all visitors,
including mince pies and mulled wine. If you are not in the Christmas
mood before this day then you will be after it. Why not pop in next
Christmas and see what a treat it really is.
The Christmas window
Warm mulled wine
Hot mince pies
Fleetgate - Open Days 2014
Details of Event
Day - Open 1 pm to 4 pm
Day - Open 1 pm to 4 pm
Day - Open 1 pm to 4 pm
Day - Open 1 pm to 4 pm
Heritage Open Day - Open 1 pm to 4 pm
Christmas Festival Open Day - Open 1 pm to 6 pm
We are prepared to open on any day at any reasonable time for private
bookings, i.e. Clubs, Families, History groups, Schools etc.
For more details please call 01652 635172.
We do not make a fixed charge for bookings but a donation will be
You Like To Volunteer?
We are looking to extend our small dedicated team of volunteers at 51 Fleetgate. We realise it can be a daunting experience
but believe it can be a rewarding one. Here are a few frequently asked
questions which may help:-
Q. How much of my time will it take up?
A. Your name will be placed on a rota, you will decided how much time you will
give and on what day.
Q. I don't feel confident in showing visitors round the property. Is
A. Yes, we will give you all the help you require to boost your confidence. We
intend holding regular informal meetings with volunteers to sort out any
problems we may have.
Q. I don't want to be a tour guide; can I help in any other way?
A. Yes, there are several ways in which you can help. some
are listed below:
Greeting visitors in the shop, and making them feel welcome.
Selling books and merchandise.
If visitors are waiting for a guide, keep them entertained
for a few minutes until one becomes available.
Setting up displays.
Just like your own home, this list could go on and on.
Q. How many volunteers are there at the moment?
A. We have about nine, I won't attempt to list them all as I am bound to miss
one out! All volunteers are prepared to give help and advice when required. If
you decide that you would like to become a guide, existing guides will
encourage you to accompany them on tours of the property. This will give you a
good idea of the way in which we do it.
We hope you are interested in becoming a 51 Fleetgate
volunteer, you will be made to feel very
welcome. If you are interested please contact the Society on the numbers
above, or email them.
Click here to view Newport the link between 51 Fleetgate and the Wilderspin
For more detailed history of
Barton upon Humber visit www.inbarton.co.uk
Copyright 2014 Barton upon Humber Civic
Society and www.inbarton.co.uk.
All images and material in the following pages are the property of the above
and may not be reproduced without prior written permission.