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Navigation Warehouse (formerly known as Warehouse at the Junction of Riverhead and Riverhead Road)

A Grade II Listed Building in Louth, Lincolnshire

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Latitude: 53.3716 / 53°22'17"N

Longitude: 0.0088 / 0°0'31"E

OS Eastings: 533745

OS Northings: 387966

OS Grid: TF337879

Mapcode National: GBR XYHG.P2

Mapcode Global: WHHJT.3JG2

Entry Name: Navigation Warehouse (formerly known as Warehouse at the Junction of Riverhead and Riverhead Road)

Listing Date: 27 November 1992

Last Amended: 12 December 2013

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1240242

English Heritage Legacy ID: 355295

Location: Louth, East Lindsey, Lincolnshire, LN11

County: Lincolnshire

District: East Lindsey

Civil Parish: Louth

Built-Up Area: Louth

Traditional County: Lincolnshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Lincolnshire

Church of England Parish: Louth

Church of England Diocese: Lincoln

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Former warehouse c1790


A former canal-side warehouse built c.1790 following the completion of the canal in 1770, now converted to offices.

The warehouse is of three storeys, 5 bays and of rectangular plan. Built of red brick, it has a pantile roof and raised coped gables. Dentilled brick eaves extend along both the canal side and the road side elevations.

The south-west gable front, has a doorway on the first floor with a plank door, and above a two-light glazing bar window with a segmental head. A flight of brick and concrete steps have been added, probably at the time of conversion, to provide access to the first floor. A wooden plank door provides access to storage beneath.

The south-eastern, canal front, elevation has central taking-in doors on all three floors, the first-floor example has a wood and steel balcony, the door on the third floor is jettied and would probably have housed a hoist beam. .Either side of these, on all three floors, are two wooden, glazing-bar windows. Those on the lower two floors are with segmental heads, those on the upper floor are aligned with the dentiled eves. All the windows are C20 replacements. Iron fixings are evident at regular intervals across the elevation at first and second-floor level.

The north-western, street front elevation is almost identical, although on the second floor, glazed doors replace the original wooden plank doors.

On the north-eastern gable are two wooden, glazing-bar windows, one each on the first and second floor.

Originally the warehouse is most likely to have been open plan on all floors, but since conversion into offices partition walls have been inserted to divide the space. However, the majority of the original features are retained and visible.

Access via the canal-side, taking-in door leads into an entrance hall with a C21 open-well stair. The internal structure of the building is made up of timber floors with heavy cross-beams, joists and floorboards, all of which are evident in the hall. The ground floor has a series of evenly-spaced timber posts running along the centre, supporting the first-floor structure. The taking-in doors are visible on the central landing on each floor and from the landings, via corridors, access is gained to offices at each end. The roof structure comprises collar and tie beam trusses, (with later added vertical struts giving the appearance of queen posts) , together with a single tier of staggered purlins.


The town of Louth in Lincolnshire, often referred to as the ‘Capital of the Wolds’ has Saxon origins, and at the time of the Domesday survey was one of Lincolnshire’s 7 market towns, with a population of 600. Its medieval core is still discernable in the town’s street pattern, and was bounded by the River Lud, the streets of Gospelgate and Kidgate to the south and Church Street to the east. Street names including the suffix ‘gate’ abound in the medieval core, which is signed from a great distance in every direction by the spire of the St James Church, completed in 1505, the tallest such spire of any parish church in England. Louth’s medieval prosperity was derived from exporting wool and grain, and its magnificent parish church is testimony to the wealth generated by agriculture in the region, and by Louth’s relative proximity to the east coast.
The town’s population was reduced by three-quarters by outbreaks of plague in the 1630s, and by the early C18 economic prosperity had understandably waned considerably. However, the opening of the Louth-Tetney canal in 1770 heralded a new era of prosperity, and the growth of industries related not only to the region’s agriculture such as malting and grain processing, but also activities such as tanning, boatbuilding and warehousing. Much of this development took place around the canal terminus at Riverhead, and the growth of the town eastwards, along Eastgate James Street and Walkergate.

In 1848, the East Lincolnshire Railway came to Louth, extending trade and communication links beyond those of the canal, and further enhancing the town’s economic strength. An expanding population stimulated the development of terraced housing and villas, churches, chapels, schools and a range of public buildings all graphically captured in the remarkable ‘Louth Panorama’ a two section painting by a local man, William Brown. The Panorama presents a view of the town from high in the spire of St James Church. It portrays Louth at the height of its development and prosperity, shortly after the arrival of the railway, set in its surrounding rural landscape, with the east coast seascape in the background. The structure of the town has changed remarkably little since the Panorama was created, and Louth has mercifully escaped the large-scale post-war redevelopment experienced by many communities in England. Louth remains a thriving historic market town with a high proportion of well-preserved C19 buildings.

The Navigation warehouse, formerly known as the 'Warehouse at the junction of Riverhead and Riverhead Road', was built c1790 following the completion of the canal in 1770. It was originally used to store a range of local produce, primarily wool and grain before being shipped down the canal to Tetney Lock and along the Humber to Hull and beyond. In exchange coal, fruit and vegetables would have been imported. The warehouse was first listed in 1992 (NHLE 1240242) and has since been converted into offices.

Reasons for Listing

The Navigation warehouse, erected c. 1790 is designated at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

* Architectural Interest: the warehouse is imposing in its scale and well constructed, but is modest and functional in design; not intended for decorative effect. It retains clear evidence of its former use and is a fine example of this building type.

* Historic interest: as a late C18-example of a large warehouse which was built following the opening of the Louth –Tetney canal and during the new era of the town's prosperity, when warehousing was a lucrative and necessary facility.

* Completeness: the Navigation warehouse is substantially intact, retaining a significant proportion of its original fabric, and remains legible as a warehouse.

* Group value: the Navigation warehouse, Jacksons Warehouse and the Woolpack Inn, all listed at Grade II, form a significant group which represent a once more extensive and prosperous industrial landscape.

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