Lincoln Christ's Hospital School

Lincoln Christ's Hospital School
Educating in Lincoln since 1090

 

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Myle Cross Secondary Girls’ School: the Origin of the Name

From the Garton Archive: Item of Interest

The school that was to become Myle Cross Secondary School for Girls opened in September 1958 as the St Giles Secondary Modern School for Girls, but changed its name to Myle Cross in 1962 to avoid confusion with the boys’ school, and ‘to make it quite clear that it was a separate girls’ school’ (School Log Book). It was also changed at a time when recruitment presented a problem thought to be partly due to the traditional bad name acquired by the St Giles Estate, apparently described as a ‘slum clearance area’. At the time of opening the School staff was female dominated, and this continued throughout its life. According to the Log Book, 115 full and part-time members of the teaching staff were appointed between 1958 and 1974, of whom only three were men.

The Log Book recorded that the name ‘Myle Cross’ was selected as the most appropriate of the alternative proposals, following consultation with the staff and with various authorities (See Occasional paper 18 for more details about Myle Cross School).

 

Pat Gregory, a local historian and researcher, has informed me that the origin of the name ‘Myle Cross’ dates back to the end of the 13th century (Ref. Florence L Baker, The History of Nettleham (1957) pp 12-3).

Bishop Oliver Sutton died either at his palace or manor on 13 November 1299, on St Brice's day.  On Saturday 21 November all the canons of Lincoln Cathedral travelled to Nettleham and carried the bishop on his bier to the halfway point of his journey, where they paused and raised a cross. They then continued to the Cathedral whilst the Bishop's relatives carried him to the gates of the City. There the elders of the City took over and carried him to the west door of the Cathedral.  He was interred in the Angel Choir, next to the Head Shrine of St Hugh.

 

Pat Gregory has also provided information that the cross marking the resting place during Bishop Sutton’s journey was reminiscent of those of Queen Eleanor of England. The Bishop had in fact accompanied Eleanor on her journey from Lincoln to Westminster, and had helped with the funeral ceremonies at her viscera tomb in Lincoln Cathedral and at the main funeral at Westminster. It is now assumed that the resting place of Bishop Sutton's procession, where the cross was erected, was Myle Cross which was situated on the road to Nettleham  one ‘myle’ from the Cathedral, and not far from the Myle Cross School buildings.

 

As a matter of further historical interest, Myle Cross was also the location for the meeting of the leaders of the Lincolnshire Rising in October 1536. The Pilgrimage of Grace, a widespread uprising by Roman Catholics against  Henry VIII, refers to a revolt that took place mainly in Yorkshire, but the first of the uprisings occurred in Lincolnshire and lasted for about two weeks. This represented a major threat to the government because noblemen were involved in addition to the ‘common’ people. Some 40,000 men were took part in the uprising, and marched to Lincoln from places such as Louth and Horncastle, congregating at Myle Cross as depicted in the sketch below, which is reproduced with the kind permission of the Lincolnshire Life Magazine, and the editor of the Nettleham Parish Magazine.

 

Myle_Cross_Secondary_School_line_drawing

Peter Harrod (with grateful thanks to Pat Gregory for her assistance)

Archive Assistant at LCHS

September 2012