Explore Bradford: Kingston Road

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Kingston Road turns off from Silver Street at the Old Market Place. It was previously called Mill Street and before that it seems to have been Frogmere Street. In medieval times it led to the mill that in later centuries developed into woollen cloth and then rubber factories.

Click on the thumbnail pictures for a bigger view.

Junction of Kingston Road with Silver StreetThe Silver Street end of Kingston Road with the Georgian building that was the Christopher chemist shop on the corner. Next to that, in the 19th century, was the Rose and Crown public house and a coach house. The more modern building was part of the Avon rubber company’s laboratories.

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Spencer Moulton Centenary BuildingOn the opposite side is the Centenary Building that was put up by the Spencer Moulton rubber company in 1948 to celebrate 100 years since Stephen Moulton set up the company here. It features a carving of a man tapping latex from a rubber tree. The building was used as a laboratory and has now been converted into flats.

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Manvers HouseThe big Georgian building with a Gibbs-style doorway, 3 Kingston Road, is called Manvers House and is named after the Manvers Earls who inherited the Hall estate to which it belonged. On the right hand side of it is a 17th century building of which only the ground floor survives. The house was the home and surgery of a doctor, like most mansions in Bradford at one time. The whole building was for several years the headquarters of the Avon Rubber Company and still belongs to it, but is now occupied by Hitachi Information Control Systems Europe Ltd. (formerly The Railway Engineering Company).

The Iron Duke rubber calender machineOpposite Manvers House stands The Iron Duke, the rubber calender machine that was the basis for the pioneer rubber company that was set up in Kingston Mill by Stephen Moulton in 1848. After 46 years in storage in Bristol, it has been restored and set up here as a memorial to Bradford on Avon’s long industrial past. It is part of the Museum’s colllection.

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Avon House, Kingston RoadRivers House or Mill Street House or Avon House and now called Kingston House, 9 Kingston Road is an early 18th century mansion (the three bay, three-storey part under a pediment, before 1727) which was extended to the right in the middle of the 19th century.

It was a private girls’ school for a while near the end of the 19th century. When it was bought by the Spencer Moulton company in 1899, it became their offices; the monument to the company’s workers who died in the two World Wars is on its wall.
Kingston House in more depth

Greenland Lower MillAt the far end of The Paddock, beyond Kingston Road is the remaining piece of Greenland Lower Mill. The mill was purchased by the Wilts, Somerset & Weymouth Railway in the 1840s and partly demolished to make way for the railway viaduct which came into use in 1857. The Moulton rubber company bought it from the railway and it lately served as the company’s carpenters’ workshop.

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