Old Photographs: St Margaret’s Street

see St Margaret’s Street today

Click on the thumbnail pictures for a bigger view

flood, St Margaret's StreetA flood in St Margaret’s Street with the water reaching right up to number 5. It was probably in the late 1890s. George Bush & Sons were carriage builders at number 4 from the the 1880s until the beginning of the 20th century. The building was demolished about the time of World War 1 and is now a public garden. On the other side of the road the high wall enclosed the private garden of Westbury House, then home of County Architect Charles Septimus Adye.

Queen's Head, St Margaret's StreetLooking across the foot of St Margaret’s Street from the bridge at the beginning of the 20th century. The Three Gables is in the centre -formerly three 17th century houses, but at that time two gables were the Queen’s Head Inn, the other a tea shop. On the right is the garden side of Westbury House.

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St Margaret's StreetLooking up St Margaret’s Street towards Hall’s Almshouses. In this view it is clear that the road continued into what is now Frome Road, with Besoar Street turning off on the left towards Trowbridge. On the left the Midland Railway Office had been the French Horn public house.

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Bryant's shop, St Margaret's StreetThe same building in 1994 was Bryant’s ironmongery shop, which closed in around 2001; its sign is now on display in the Museum. It has gone on to be a series of rebranded restaurants: The Rialto, La Dolce Vita and now the Thai Barn, moved from Bridge Street. The building next door was once the Green Tree cafĂ©.

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Burgess family, bakersThe baking family of Burgess outside their shop, 15 St Margaret’s Street, in the 1890s. The building is now Backhouse Betting and the window has been extended to both sides of the doorway.

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Besoar StreetBesoar Street, now part of St Margaret’s Street, looking towards the town centre in about 1900. The main casualty here has been the loss in the 1960s of the three gabled 17th century houses on the right.

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Besoar (St Margaret's) Street c1960By about 1960 the shops have closed and television and street lights have arrived. Two of the gables have been removed, but the houses were demolished not much later.

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flood, library, St Margaret's 1979The Bradford on Avon branch of Wiltshire County Council’s Library Service was for many years situated in a “temporary” building in the St Margaret’s car park. It was frequently threatened by flooding from the river, notably by a very high level at the end of December in 1979. It was eventually replaced by the present, more substantial building in 1990.

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