In-Depth: Chapman Street, Market Rasen


Chapman Street, Market Rasen, Lincolnshire, England

© Martha Barnard



This one place study aims to record the history of all the residential and non-residential buildings in Chapman Street and the biographies of all those who lived there. Chapman Street is on the south-eastern edge of the market town of Market Rasen.

Chapman Street was named for Christopher Chapman who ran a family building firm in Market Rasen. When he died, in 1861, the land in the newly named Chapman Street was sold off as 39 separate building plots. However, by 1901 there were still only 10 dwelling houses in the road. There was a terrace of three on one side of the road and a terrace of seven on the other. Of the twelve dwellings that had been built by 1911, nine were typical two up two down Victorian terraced houses. The other three were slightly larger.

There are now 35 properties, the majority of which are less than 30 years old. These include the 11 properties known as Willingham Court, built in 1985, which are a combination of houses and flats.


  • 1871: Population 31, 8 houses.
  • 1881: Population 41, 10 houses.
  • 1891: Population 32, 10 houses, Vagrants’ ward.
  • 1901: Population 34, 10 houses, Vagrants’ ward.
  • 1911: Population 42, 12 houses, Vagrants’ ward, Slaughter house.
  • 2013: 35 houses, The Poplars Nursing Home.


In Victorian times, many of the working residents were labourers or tradesmen, notably bricklayers and painters.


In 1880, land was sold off to create a Vagrants’ Ward. This provided overnight accommodation for men on a short term basis. The census suggests that there were only two or three men there at any one time, although there may have been more there in winter. The inmates tended to come from the Midlands and north east. The Victorian building was replaced and there is now a nursing home on the site.

The Poplars Nursing Home,previously the Vagrants' Ward

The Poplars Nursing Home,previously the Vagrants' Ward


Most of the inhabitants of Chapman Street were born in Market Rasen or surrounding villages. Those who leave the street, usually go to live elsewhere in the town or to nearby parishes.

Families and Notable People

Predominant surnames in the second half of the nineteenth century were Singleton, Scupham and Dannet. Amongst the street’s inhabitants are the colourful Mobbs family, at least they are called Mobbs when they aren’t called Gray or Smith! They appear to be a family with traveller origins. Their children are called Lasher (Elijah), Reajiel (Anice), Raney (Delorine), Uriah, Charles and Mary Ann. A newspaper report of 1883, records that a Chapman Street house was sold below market value, because it had been inhabited by gypsies, who were responsible for its dilapidated state. This family has not yet been connected to the Mobbs.


Census Returns Photographs
1910 Valuation Office Returns Parish Registers
Newspapers Records of Civil Registration
Directories Oral Evidence


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