Clovelly, Devon

Neither of these pairs of postcards is the say. (Hint: keep an eye on the New Inn.)


Clovelly High Street
c.1910
Publisher: Photochrom Co. Ltd, London & Tunbridge Wells

Clovelly, High St
Postmarked 1935
Publisher: Photochrom Co. Ltd, London & Tunbridge Wells


High Street, Clovelly
1900s
Publisher: Valentine

High Street, Clovelly
1920s
Publisher: Valentine

Virtual tour

Set into a steep hillside, Clovelly is one of the best known and most unusual villages in the North Devon. The cobbled high street winds its way down the hillside through traditional 16th century whitewashed cottages decked with fuchsias and geraniums. This street drops 400ft in the half mile down to the small harbour.
Devon Guide

In 1914, Christine Hamlyn’s programme of renovations reached the New Inn and pictures of the time show the inn sign, depicting a gannet, moving from one side of the road to another. At times, the Inn let rooms on both sides of the street.
The History Interpreter

Chester Rows, Chester, Cheshire


The Cross, Chester
1910s
Publisher: Hugo Lang & Co

Google Street View.

Chester Rows are a set of structures in each of the four main streets of Chester, in the United Kingdom, consisting of a series of covered walkways on the first floor behind which are entrances to shops and other premises. At street level is another set of shops and other premises, many of which are entered by going down a few steps. Dating from the medieval era, the Rows may have been built on top of rubble remaining from the ruins of Roman buildings, but their origin is still subject to speculation.
. . .
There are shops on the street level with wide steps leading to the first floor where there on more shops on the Rows. Above this are 2+ storeys in black-and-white architecture. At street level the shops and other premises are similar to those found in other towns and cities, although many of the premises are entered by going down a few steps. On the first floor level are more shops and other premises, set back from the street, in front of which is a continuous walkway. The storey above this overlaps the walkway, which makes it a covered walkway, and this constitutes what is known as the “Row”. On the street side of the walkways are railings and an area which was used as shelves or stalls for the display of goods. The floors above the level of the Rows are used for commercial or domestic purposes, or for storage.

Wikipedia.

The layout of the Rows goes back to the 13th century. There were shops or warehouses at street level, with a long gallery above, reached by steps from the street level. Living quarters are on the gallery level. In the Middle Ages, this would have been a hall, open to the roof and heated by a central hearth. The private rooms, or solar, were above the gallery. In the Tudor and Jacobean period the upper floors were built out over the gallery, supported on long poles down to the street level. Shops at ground level used the space between the posts to display their goods to passers-by.
Britain Express

To trace the original cause of these rows, with any degree of certainty, is no easy task, concerning which a variety of conjectures have been formed. Some have attributed their origin to the period when Chester was liable to the frequent assaults of the Welsh, which induced the inhabitants to build their houses in this form, so that when the enemy should at any time have forced an entrance, they might avoid the danger of the horsemen, and annoy their assailants as they passed through the streets. This opinion seems to be adopted by Webb, and followed by most other writers on the subject. He says, “And because their conflicts with enemies continued long time, it was needful for them to leave a space before the doors of those their upper buildings, upon which they might stand in safety from the violence of their enemies’ horses, and withall defend their houses from spoyl, and stand with advantage to encounter their enemies, when they made incursions”. I am aware that this has long been, and still is the popular sentiment; but I think there is very good reason to question its correctness.
Chester: a Virtual Stroll Around the Walls

Argyle Street, Glasgow


Argyle Street, Glasgow.
c.1920
Publisher: W. Ritchie & Sons (“Reliable series”), 1902-28

Google Street View.

Argyle Street

Glasgow Trams through the Years

Originally known as Westergait, Argyle Street led west from Trongate to the city’s West Port, the western gate out of the city’s walls. It was renamed in honour of the Duke of Argyll, some time after the removal of the West Port in 1751, as a result of the expansion of the city westward. The old West Port Well stood at the beginning of the street. On both sides of the street stood courts where businesses operated: Sysdney Court, Morrison’s Court, Moodies’s Court, Wellington Court, Wilson’s Court, Buchanan Court, Turner’s Court and Pratt’s Court.

Major reconstruction of the area at the turn of the 1970s which saw the construction of the Glasgow Inner Ring Road, the demolition of Anderston Cross and its replacement with the Anderston Centre complex changed the line of Argyle Street, the eastern half now terminating underneath the Kingston Bridge approach viaduct whilst the main vehicle route over the motorway runs along St. Vincent Street, leaving a 250-metre stretch of the western half of road in Anderston isolated as a cul de sac.
Wikipedia.

West Tarring, England


Tarring – The Old Houses
1900s
Publisher: John Davis, 24 Victoria Street

Google Street View.

West Tarring village lay in the south part of the parish. There seems no reason to believe that the early medieval village centre was not on the present site, as has been suggested, even though the church lies away from it. The village consists of three streets, called North, South, and West streets in the 17th and 18th centuries and High Street, South Street, and Church Road in 1978; the junction between them was presumably the site of the marketplace recorded from 1499. The buildings are chiefly of brick, flint, and cobbles, some being painted or rendered or hung with tiles; roofs are of tiles, slates, or Horsham stone slabs. Many buildings are of the 18th century or earlier, especially in High Street which is flanked almost entirely by old houses. The lack of gaps between the buildings and the absence of front gardens, both there and in the adjacent part of Church Road, give the village a quasi-urban character. Many of the older buildings were still used as dwellings in 1978.

There are two medieval buildings in the village besides the church. The Old Palace is described below. At the south end of High Street nos. 4–10, part of what was called Parsonage Row in 1615, comprise a small late-medieval timber-framed house with a central two-bay hall and cross-wings with elaborately carved gables giving a faôade of modified ‘Wealden’ type. The hall and north cross-wing have exposed timber-framing and the hall has a two-storey oriel window; the south cross-wing is cased with brick and hung tiles. An upper floor was later inserted in the hall, probably in the 17th century, and an extension at the rear of the building is probably of the same date. (fn. 13) The building formerly belonged to Tarring rectory manor, and it is possible that it was the original rectory house.
“A History of the County of Sussex: Volume 6 Part 1, Bramber Rape (Southern Part)”, 1980

The Parsonage – a journey back in timeThe Parsonage began its journey back in 1987, but Parsons Row and Tarring Village have a long and illustrious history dating back to 1066!Tarring was given by King Athelstan of England to the archbishops of Canterbury in the 10th century. At the time of the Domesday Book in 1086, the village was known as Terringes, and consisted of 50 households. It is thought that the place name means “Teorra’s people”, with Teorra being a Saxon settler. There is a tradition that the village was visited by Thomas Becket, the martyred archbishop, in the 12th century and also by St Richard of Chichester, patron saint of Sussex, in the 13th century. West Tarring is noted for its 13th-century parish church of St Andrew, 13th-century Archbishop’s Palace, numerous old houses including the 15th-century, now Grade II listed, timber-framed Parsonage Row. The present day Parsonage, now the oldest restaurant in Worthing was formerly home for the Sussex Archaeological Museum in the mid 80’s. Since 1987 the Parsonage has adapted and grown with the changing preferences of its customers and visitors.
The Parsonage

Burntisland, Scotland


The Port, Burnt Island
1930s
Publisher: Valentine

Google Street View.

“The Port” is the tall building on the corner.

Burntisland stands on the north shore of the Firth of Forth, more or less opposite Leith. As a settlement it formed at a very early date around what was one of the best natural harbours on the river. It is believed that the Romans under Agricola brought troops and supplies ashore here during their invasion of northern Scotland in AD83 (see our Historical Timeline). Fast forward a thousand years or so, and in 1119 Rossend Castle was built on a rocky bluff overlooking the harbour and ideally placed to help defend such a strategically important site. The land around Burntisland was part of the property endowed by David I on the Abbots of Dunfermline in around 1130, and in 1382 the abbey extended the castle.

In 1850 Burntisland became the terminus for the world’s first roll-on roll-off ferry, when a railway ferry carrying trains loaded with coal, grain, whisky and limestone opened across the Firth of Forth to Granton. When the Forth Rail Bridge opened in 1890, the rail ferry ceased, though main line trains to Dundee and Aberdeen continue to pass through the town. Over the past 150 years, Burntisland has seen booms resulting from the export of coal and in shipbuilding. During the Second World War the town’s shipyard produced 69 ships of all types.
Undiscovered Scotland

Princes Street, Edinburgh


Princes Street East End, Edinburgh
c.1920

Balmoral Hotel & Waverley Market on right

Google Street View.

Princes Street is one of the major thoroughfares in central Edinburgh, Scotland and the main shopping street in the capital. It is the southernmost street of Edinburgh’s New Town, stretching around 1.2 km (three quarters of a mile) from Lothian Road in the west, to Leith Street in the east. The street has few buildings on the south side and looks over Princes Street Gardens allowing panoramic views of the Old Town, Edinburgh Castle, as well as the valley between. Most of the street is limited to trams, buses and taxis with only the east end open to all traffic.
Wikipedia.


Princes St. looking West, Edinburgh
Postmarked 1918
Publisher: Raphael Tuck & Sons
On back:
PRINCES STREET is the finest street in Edinburgh. Practically a mile long, on one side it is lined with splendid shops and magnificent hotels, clubs and public offices, while on the other is a series of beautifully laid-out gardens decorated with statues and monuments, including the graceful Scott Monument (200 feet high) erected after designs by Kemp in 1840-44

Google Street View.

Read more

Milsom Street, Bath, England


Milsom Street, Bath

Google Street View.

Milsom Street in Bath, Somerset, England was built in 1762 by Thomas Lightholder. The buildings were originally grand town houses, but most are now used as shops, offices and banks. Most have three storeys with mansard roofs and Corinthian columns.
Wikipedia.

Milsom Street was the fashionable shopping street in Bath: “Do you know I saw the prettiest hat you can imagine in a shop window in Milsom Street just now,” enthuses a friend of Catherine Morland, Jane Austen’s heroine in ‘Northanger Abbey’. It was also a fortuitous street for chance meetings: “in walking up Milsom Street, she had the good fortune to meet with the Admiral. He was standing by himself at a printshop window, with his hands behind him, in earnest contemplation of some print…”
British Library Online Gallery

Vicars’ Close & Wells Cathedral, Wells, Somerset, England


Vicars’ Close, Wells
No date or publishers clues (About 1920, give or take a decade.)

The body of Vicars Choral has been in existence since the 1100s, singing the daily round of divine services in the Cathedral in place of the canons. Initially they lodged among the townsfolk rather than on Cathedral grounds, allowing them to succumb to worldly temptation. To rectify this unsatisfactory situation, in 1348 Bishop Ralph of Shrewsbury founded a College of Vicars, of whom there were more than forty, and provided a communal hall and buildings for accommodation grouped around a quadrangle, in much the same manner as an Oxford or Cambridge college. Bishop Ralph also endowed the Vicars with a landed estate which provided them with a small income. In the early fifteenth century a chapel was built for the Vicars, and the quadrangle was converted into a street, now known as Vicars’ Close. Largely undisturbed, Vicars’ Close is the oldest continually inhabited street in Europe and still houses the organists and the men of the choir, as well as other employees of the Cathedral.
Wells Cathedral

The first houses on this attractive street, close to Wells Cathedral in Somerset, were constructed during the mid 14th century and the street was completed about a century later. The area was initially used to house a group of chantry priests. Although changes and improvements have been made over the years, the properties are still essentially the same as they were centuries ago. Almost all of the 27 houses on Vicars’ Close are protected as grade 1 listed buildings. The street derived from a significant land grant by the canon of Wells Cathedral, Walter de Hulle. The chantry priests were supported by the rents from tenants who lived on the land.

During the 12th century, the group of clergy who served the cathedral were responsible for chanting the divine service eight times a day and were known as the Vicars Choral. At the end of the street is the Vicars’ Hall which housed several communal and administrative offices relating to the Vicars Choral. In particular, was a room associated with the collection of rents used to support the clergy. This hall contains a gateway that links Vicars’ Close to St Andrew Street.

Atlas Obscura

The residences are built of stone from the Mercia Mudstone Group. There were originally 22 houses on the east side and 20 on the west. They line each side of a quadrangle which appears longer than it is because of false perspective achieved by building the houses at the upper northern end nearest the chapel 9 feet (2.7 m) closer together than those at the lower southern end closest to the Vicars’ Hall. Each house originally comprised a ground floor hall of approximately 20 by 13 feet (6.1 by 4.0 m) and an upper floor of the same size. Both had a fireplace in the front wall. Washing facilities and a latrine were outside the back door. The date of some of the buildings is unclear but it is known that some had been built by 1363 and the rest were completed by 1412.
Wikipedia.


Wells Cathedral  [View] from North West

Street View