Explore Bradford: Silver Street, northern side

Ward's CornerThe first building on Silver Street and just around into Horse Street (Market Street) is known as Ward’s Corner after the newsagent and stationer Atkinson Ward, whose wife Elizabeth Rebecca Ward was a writer under the name of Fay Inchfawn. No 2 was the shoe shop of Mark Uncles before his son Rowland moved it up Market Street.

 

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The King's Arms public houseThe King’s Arms lies on the corner of Coppice Hill and includes the remains of a 17th century house there. At the centre of Bradford’s Market Place, facing the site of the old Town Hall, there must have been a tavern here for many centuries. It seems to have had several names- The George, The Boot, New White Hart- but the King’s Arms from at least 1809, except for short period in the 1990s under the name of the Sprat & Carrot. It had briefly developed into a gastro-pub and then became King’s Spice, more Indian restaurant than pub. It has now closed and become an interior design studio and two houses.

 

Harding's Brewery shopThere are very few buildings of brick in Bradford. These shops were built at the end of the 19th century for Harding’s (later Ruddles’) Brewery shop; the short tower of the brewery can be seen behind. It replaced a timber-framed building with two floors jettied out over the ground floor. This was then the shop of  Jennings, outfitter, in the 1870s. The brick building became T.W. Coupland’s grocery (International Stores in 1936) and a wine merchant (Peter Dominic > Threshers > Ruby Red), the middle a chemist (formerly that of Arnold Scrine) and the right has recently changed from being a florist.

Goodall'sThe dress shop that was called Spirit, number 7,  continued a long history in drapery and clothing. John Alford was a linen draper there in 1822, becoming J. Alford and G. Chapman which was purchased in 1876 by William Rogers, silk mercer and undertaker, who had the façade remodelled. John Frank Goodall bought it in the 1890s and the drapery, haberdashery and outfitting establishment lasted for over a century. It was briefly occupied by Frank & Elsie, a shop selling vintage clothes and other things, but in 2016 became a wedding shop.

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IndianNumber 8- Avon Spice Indian takeaway -was also part of the drapery shop of William Rogers and then of J.F. Goodall. More recently, in the 1980s, it was M. & G. Phillis, selling men’s and boys’ clothes.

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Pike'sNumber 9- recently Hair Like Silk hairdresser, was previously Pike’s butcher shop. It had become an ice-cream parlour that was run along with the The Olde Sweet Shoppe next door (opened in 2010); the two combined in this building, but have now gone.

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Sweet Shoppe The next  was Ernie Sadd’s barber shop. Its narrow front with gable facing the street is how most, if not all perhaps, buildings would have been in the centre of the town, where street frontage would have been at a premium. In its present state, the painted ashlar stone is from a 19th century refacing, although there may be old features hiding within.

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Canterbury HouseNumber 10 has been known as Canterbury House for over a century, because of being a butcher selling New Zealand lamb. It has been a butcher’s shop from at least 1830, only ceasing from being one in very recent years. Mario’s “famous” pizzas did not last very long! It has been Jumble Jelly, a shop selling knitting wool (later moved to behind 33) and is now Holidays & Cruises travel agent.

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The DairyNumber 11- now Carina Baverstock Couture -seems to be a Georgian building with big Victorian sash shop windows on the ground floor, but the right hand side at least dates from the 15th century and has a fine medieval timber roof. It would have been originally two medieval houses with their gables facing the street, given an ashlar frontage that unified them into one building.

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Silver Street HouseSilver Street House has an early 18th century façade, but conceals a core that goes back to the 16th century. It was the Angel inn, then the New Bear Hotel, before closing in 1958, sold off and converted into flats. It was becoming derelict until rescued by the Bradford on Avon Preservation Trust in 1974 and restored. It is now six flats.

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Bunch of Grapes pubThe Bunch of Grapes public house stands on the corner of Silver Street and Whitehead’s Lane, close to the site of the medieval chapel of St Olave. It was described as “newly built” in 1762. This was the shop of chemist William Harris, then of Thomas & Emanuel Taylor, the chemists who changed over to become wine merchants. It was already known as The Bunch of Grapes in 1846 when the Taylors bought it; they remained there until the 1930s, when it was turned into a public house. The pub closed suddenly in October 2013 and re-opened in November 2015.

 

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