Then & Now

Demolition of Liggins’ Bakery – Then & Now

This Then & Now pairing shows the demolition of Joseph Liggins’ bakery buildings which stood at the corner of Park Hill and Stoneleigh Road, opposite the Wyandote pub. The Victorian buildings of the Albion Street area have suffered badly over the last 50 years, culminating in the recent demolition of the Albion Tavern. The Victorian… Read More Demolition of Liggins’ Bakery – Then & Now

Then & Now

Tainters Hill – Then & Now

This then and now shows the windmill on Tainters Hill, built in 1778. Rob Steward records in Kenilworth History 2000 – 2001 that “this mill battled on, driven by the wind, grinding com for the inhabitants of Kenilworth for seventy-six years until it succumbed to the power of steam”. Rob also speculates, that whilst the… Read More Tainters Hill – Then & Now

Then & Now

Liggins’ Bakery, Park Hill – Then & Now

Joseph Liggins’ Bakery stood at the corner of Park Hill and Stoneleigh Road, opposite St Barnabas’ church and the Wyandotte pub. The bakery premises was formerly Parkhill House. Robin Leach records some details of Joseph Liggins in his book Kenilworth People & Places Volume 2 (Rookfield Publications, 2013). In the census of 1871, Liggins was… Read More Liggins’ Bakery, Park Hill – Then & Now

Then & Now

The Brethren Meeting Rooms – Then & Now

This Then & Now pairing shows the site of the Brethren Meeting Rooms near the junction of The Close and Park Road. It was one of a spate of ‘tin tabernacle’ constructions built during the mid 19th century as a result of the development of corrugated galvanised iron for the use of constructing prefabricated buildings.… Read More The Brethren Meeting Rooms – Then & Now

Then & Now

The Common – Then & Now

Harry Sunley tells us in A Kenilworth Chronology (Odiborne Press, 1989) that various of the common lands of Kenilworth were enclosed by act of Parliament in 1755, with the exception of “forty acres of Hilly Wast Ground [which] are to remain as unenclosed and common land so that the poor of the parish should from… Read More The Common – Then & Now

Then & Now

The Square from the Clock Tower – Then & Now

The Square must have been established along with the building of the new Castle End borough on lands granted to the de Clintons as lords of the castle manor in the early 12th Century as a result of a charter issued by the pope on land issued to them by Henry I. Residents of the… Read More The Square from the Clock Tower – Then & Now

Then & Now

Building of Talisman Square – Then & Now

This remarkable street scene, dated 28th November 1965, shows the building of Talisman Square in progress. In the ‘then’ photo, both the Almshouses that used to front onto Warwick Road and the Tannery buildings behind have been demolished and building the new shopping precinct is already well under way. A sign proclaims the forthcoming pedestrian… Read More Building of Talisman Square – Then & Now

Then & Now

Noah’s Ark – Then & Now

This characterful property, known locally as Noah’s Ark, was situated at 95 – 99 School Lane. It was an 18th century building with a distinctive mansard roof; a roof with sloping sides, each of which becomes steeper halfway down. This row of houses sat at ninety degrees to School Lane, with the lower end butting… Read More Noah’s Ark – Then & Now

Then & Now

The Vaults – Then & Now

The Vaults, which fronts onto Station Road behind The Kings Arms & Castle. This building has a long and varied history to it. The first incarnation of this structure was on a completely different site, originally as the town’s station opened in 1844. An engraving of this can be found on the Windows on Warwickshire… Read More The Vaults – Then & Now

Then & Now

The Kings Arms & Castle From the Rear – Then & Now

This shot of the rear of the Kings Arms & Castle shows just how much it was altered during the 1985 demolition and rebuilding. The original building, also used as the Abbey Courts Leet in the 16th century, was later extended by the addition of gables to the rear of the building which can be… Read More The Kings Arms & Castle From the Rear – Then & Now

Then & Now

Fancott’s Bakery – Then & Now

Harry Sunley tells us in A Kenilworth Chronology (Odiborne Press, 1989) that DS Fancott established Fancott’s Bakery in the high street in 1825. It remained in the Fancott family until 1979. The D.S. in question was David Soden Fancott, who became a master baker and a well-established figure in the town. Robin Leach’s excellent book… Read More Fancott’s Bakery – Then & Now

Then & Now

Lower Ladyes Hills – Then & Now

Rob Steward’s book The Inns and Roads of Kenilworth (Odiborne Press, 2000) records that the ancient brook side trackway that would later become Lower Ladyes Hills was improved by the Enclosure Award of 1756, where it is referred to the be description “One other footway leading from the North side of Odiborne Bridge along the…… Read More Lower Ladyes Hills – Then & Now

Then & Now

Preparing to Repair the Breach in the Tiltyard, 1964 – Then & Now

Here’s a view which is almost impossible to recreate today – a view through the breach in the tiltyard beneath Mortimer’s Tower, taken in 1964. The ‘then’ photograph probably shows the end of the stone bridge eastern side wall in the bottom left. In which case the camera was about three metres below the general… Read More Preparing to Repair the Breach in the Tiltyard, 1964 – Then & Now

Then & Now

Laying the Pipes Under the Tiltyard, 1964 – Then & Now

It was widely assumed that Colonel Hawkesworth drained the mere and breached the Tiltyard dam to render the former royalist stronghold indefensible. However an article on page 32 in Kenilworth History 2015: “The question has often been asked when the breach in the dam was made? This is not known. Hawkesworth may have just opened… Read More Laying the Pipes Under the Tiltyard, 1964 – Then & Now

Then & Now

Filling in the Gap in the Tiltyard, 1964 – Then & Now

The ‘then’ photo shows the preparations for filling in a gap in the castle’s Tiltyard by the Ministry of Public Building and Works in 1964 . The restored Tiltyard entrance opened in 1967, replacing the lower walkway which sits beside the Tiltyard. The dam was probably constructed in three phases; initially circa 1125, then subsequently… Read More Filling in the Gap in the Tiltyard, 1964 – Then & Now

Then & Now

St Nicholas Church – Then & Now

Another shot attributed to J. Tarver from 1963, this time of St Nicholas Church taken from within the Abbey ruins, with matching a 2016 counterpart shot. It is not known when St Nicholas’ Church was established. The nearby Priory (later Abbey) of St Mary was established by Geoffrey de Clinton in 1122 and we do… Read More St Nicholas Church – Then & Now

Then & Now

Garden of Rest Stonework part 2 – Then & Now

This Then & Now set is part 2 to the earlier part 1 posting here: //www.khas.co.uk/garden-rest-stonework-pt1-now/ ‎ According to The Abbey of St Mary guidebook by E. Carey-Hill (Odiboure Press, 1985) “What is now known as the Lapidarum Wall was completely rebuilt from its foundations, including the bench, in 1984. The work was carried out by… Read More Garden of Rest Stonework part 2 – Then & Now

Then & Now

Garden of Rest Stonework part 1 – Then & Now

According to The Abbey of St Mary guidebook by E. Carey-Hill (Odibourne Press, 1985) “When the north cloister wall of 1890 was rebuilt in 1984, the carved stones were grouped according to architectural type”. He goes on to say “Not all examples of each type have been exposed, as some are buried in the wall… Read More Garden of Rest Stonework part 1 – Then & Now

Then & Now

The Tannery, Warwick Road Updated – Then & Now

Today’s Then & Now pairing is an updated version of an earlier post showing the Tannery, Warwick Road. Thanks to Robin Leach for pointing out that the original ‘now’ photo was taken from the wrong angle. The updated ‘now’ photo is taken from as close to the original spot as today’s buildings will allow, as can… Read More The Tannery, Warwick Road Updated – Then & Now

Then & Now

St. Nicholas Church from South-West, 1963 – Then & Now

This pair of pictures from 1963 and 2016 shows the Abbey’s Tantara Gatehouse with St Nicholas’ Church in the background. The 1963 shot is labelled as having been taken by a J. Tarver. As can clearly be seen from the ‘then’ picture, the gatehouse had become overgrown and it was later designated as dangerous and fenced… Read More St. Nicholas Church from South-West, 1963 – Then & Now

Then & Now

The Mill in 1964 from Forge Road – Then & Now

This black and white photo from 1964 shows the mill taken from what is now Forge Road, Mill End, shortly before its demolition. Originally built as a mill for bread flour, it was later used as an oat mill for cattle feed. According to Harry Sunley in A Kenilworth Chronology (Odibourne Press, 1989) the mill was… Read More The Mill in 1964 from Forge Road – Then & Now

Then & Now

The Mill, Mill End, from the yard 1964 – Then & Now

The mill was powered by water wheel, fed from a pool called Woodmill Pool, located over the modern day allotments between Manor Road and Lower Laydes Hills. The pool was created by damming Finham brook at the spot where the mill stood (off screen, to the right of the photos above). According to Rob Steward… Read More The Mill, Mill End, from the yard 1964 – Then & Now

Then & Now

Mill End from The Common – Then & Now

For readers under the age of 60 or so, this ‘then’ image will present a completely unfamiliar scene. It shows the mill buildings which once stood on the edge of the Common at Mill End, to which it gave its name. According to Rob Steward in Kenilworth History 1997 – 1998: “Townpool and Woodmill Pool… Read More Mill End from The Common – Then & Now

Then & Now

The Castle from the Air – Then & Now

This remarkable pair of aerial photos shows the castle from the air, taken from the west. The ‘then’ photo dates from before the Elizabethan garden had first been restored in the 1970s. The ‘now photo’ dates from 2016 showing the Elizabethan garden, now bedding in nicely following an archaeological dig in 2006 and the completion… Read More The Castle from the Air – Then & Now

Then & Now

‘Clappergate’ Stile – Then & Now

In the days when the Abbey Fields was a patchwork of farmers’ fields, the ‘tumbledown’ or ‘clappergate’ stile shown in this old postcard was situated in the Abbey’s Tantara Gatehouse to prevent cattle straying out of the fields. A larger field gate was situated in the main archway. In June 1973 it was destroyed by… Read More ‘Clappergate’ Stile – Then & Now

Then & Now

Abbey Ruins 1960s – Then & Now

Today there is comparatively little to see above ground of the ruins of St Mary’s Abbey in the Abbey Fields. Following the Abbey Excavations in 1840, in the 1880s and in the 1920s, in which the ruins were steadily uncovered for the first time since their destruction following the Reformation, the ruins have long since… Read More Abbey Ruins 1960s – Then & Now

Then & Now

The Abbey ‘Barn’ – Then & Now

This shot from 1963 shows the Abbey building known as the ‘barn’, clad in ivy and bathed in the July sun. There appears to be a rickety fence and style between the barn and the stone wall opposite. Other than that, and the loss of a stone cross grave stone head, the scene is relatively… Read More The Abbey ‘Barn’ – Then & Now

Then & Now

Warwick Road Aerial Photo – Then & Now

This fascinating aerial view of Kenilworth is dated May 1920, and was obtained from the absorbing Britain From Above website. To the modern eye this scene is notable for the amount of green space that surrounded the now very much built-up Warwick Road area. In fact, it takes a while to familiarise yourself with some… Read More Warwick Road Aerial Photo – Then & Now

Then & Now

Talisman Square, mid 1960s – Then & Now

Talisman square, mid 1960s and again in May 2016. The ‘then’ picture shows the footbridge being built between the offices built above the north and south sides of the square as part of the ‘walkway in the sky’ concept that developers of the 1950s were so fond of. The bridge was removed in the early 2000s. In the… Read More Talisman Square, mid 1960s – Then & Now

Then & Now

De Montfort Hotel – Then & Now

The De Montfort Hotel (now the Holiday Inn) opened in 1967, occupying part of the site destroyed by the landmine of the 21st November 1940.  Historically,  the Square had been more of an intimate affair, comprising a cozy triangular area enclosed by low rise buildings on all sides. The ‘then’ picture shows that at this… Read More De Montfort Hotel – Then & Now

Then & Now

The Clock Tower Post-War – Then & Now

The Square, early 1960s and in December 2015. At first glance, little has changed between the two images. However, a handful of the buildings on the left of the clock tower survived the landmine of November 1940 before being cleared for the post-war Abbey End redevelopment, as shown in the modern image. Up until the early… Read More The Clock Tower Post-War – Then & Now

Then & Now

High Street / Castle Hill Cottage – Then & Now

A timber framed cottage at the junction of Malthouse Lane, with High Street in the distance and Castle Hill behind the camera. As Rob Steward explains in Kenilworth History 2001 – 2002, this cottage is “…probably early 17th century and of ‘cruck’ construction. Cruck construction consists of two purpose-grown curved tree branches cut longways down… Read More High Street / Castle Hill Cottage – Then & Now

Then & Now

Talisman Square – Then & Now

The ‘then’ photo below shows Talisman Square, largely as had been initially conceived in the post war planning of the late 1950s. The ‘now’ counterpart photo was taken in December 2015. Talisman Square replaced the Tannery and Warwick Road almshouses, which were demolished in 1965 and 1963 respectively. Talisman Square was so named following a competition in… Read More Talisman Square – Then & Now

Then & Now

The King’s Arms & Castle – Then & Now

The King’s Arms & Castle, 1960s. According to Rob Steward’s “The Inns and Roads of Kenilworth” (Odibourne Press, 2000) the “King’s Arms Inn” was the venue of the Abbey Courts Leet in 1563 and remained so until the nineteenth century. By the nineteenth century, Coaches used to call in at the King’s Arms ‘from a… Read More The King’s Arms & Castle – Then & Now

Then & Now

The Square, Early 1960s – Then & Now

The Square, early 1960s. Where the roundabout now stands once stood an elegant building with grand bay-windows, which can be seen on many a postcard of the Square from before the turn of the century. The ‘then’ image above shows its somewhat truncated state in the early late 1960s, following a number of enforced reductions in its… Read More The Square, Early 1960s – Then & Now

Then & Now

Building the De Montfort – Then & Now

The ‘then’ picture above shows the tower crane in place used for building the De Montfort Hotel, as heralded by an advertising board, which was to open in 1967. The vacant plot shown right of centre here was once occupied by a house known as ‘The Firs’ which was in itself formerly the site of the Green Dragon… Read More Building the De Montfort – Then & Now

Then & Now

Postcard of The Square – Then & Now

  UPDATED 19/02/2016: I am very much indebted to the incomparable Robin Leach for correcting the inaccuracies in the previous version of this text. The ‘then’ image above shows an early 20th Century postcard of The Square, taken from the junction with Station Road and Warwick Road with its equivalent image from December 2015. On the… Read More Postcard of The Square – Then & Now

Then & Now

Old Farmhouse on School Lane – Then & Now

By the mid-1960s the demolition of what were seen as damp and draughty old half-timbered buildings was in full swing. A nation only recently emerging from rationing and austerity was embracing modernity with an alarming disregard for heritage. This then and now pairing shows a ramshackle old farmhouse on School Lane which was swept away… Read More Old Farmhouse on School Lane – Then & Now

Then & Now

Kenilworth Castle Aerial View – Then & Now

This pair of aerial photos, from 1947 and 2016 respectively, shows a rare mid-twentieth century aerial view of Kenilworth Castle and its modern day equivalent: The ‘then’ photo shows the end cottage on Castle Green before its demolition and behind it stretches a sparsely populated Clinton Lane with very little in the way of modern… Read More Kenilworth Castle Aerial View – Then & Now

Then & Now

Malthouse Lane – Then & Now

Malthouse Lane, which was known as Quarry Lane at the time of the 1861 census and then Malthouse Lane by 1874. To the extreme right of the image, behind the Malthouse, now lies the 1960s development including Amherst Road and Berkeley Road, on which lies two wooded hollows which were formerly quarries used during the building of Kenilworth Abbey… Read More Malthouse Lane – Then & Now

Then & Now

Almshouses, Warwick Road – Then & Now

These former almshouses on Warwick Road were demolished in 1963 to make way for the Talisman Square development on the site of the adjoining former tannery. Next door was Olive Aldridge’s haberdashery, now Warwick Estates and Kenilworth Weekly News offices. The ‘now’ pictures were taken in December 2015. It was a time of change in… Read More Almshouses, Warwick Road – Then & Now

Then & Now

The Square, Abbey End – Then & Now

Pre-war postcard of The Square, Abbey End, taken from the War Memorial end looking towards the clock tower. Following the landmine on 21st November 1940, all the buildings on the left were destroyed or damaged beyond repair. The rubble was later cleared to make way for a temporary carpark until the Square was redeveloped in… Read More The Square, Abbey End – Then & Now

Then & Now

J.C. Clarke, Wheelwrights, Bridge Street – Then & Now

Another shot of the timber framed tannery buildings that later housed J.C. Clarke, Wheelwrights up until 1952, which stood on Bridge Street until it was demolished in May 1961. The Ministry of Housing had endorsed the Council surveyor’s view that the buildings had become dangerous, despite them having been listed as having architectural or historic… Read More J.C. Clarke, Wheelwrights, Bridge Street – Then & Now

Then & Now

Tilt Yard Mill, 1964 – Then & Now

1964 – Charles Blick and John Drew at Tilt Yard Mill site. Now obscured by the more recent 1960s bridge and undergrowth, this 1964 picture shows the excavation of one of a number of watermills surrounding the castle and abbey. As Rob Steward put it in Kenilworth History 1997/98 “To control the water of the… Read More Tilt Yard Mill, 1964 – Then & Now

Then & Now

The Castle from the Brays, 1907 – Then & Now

The Castle from the Brays. – Old post card postmarked 1907. Mortimer’s Tower was originally a Norman stone gatehouse, extended in the late 13th and 16th centuries. Following the slighting of the castle by Colonel Hawkesworth at the end of the Civil War, the Tiltyard became impassable and thus in the ‘then’ picture it is… Read More The Castle from the Brays, 1907 – Then & Now

Then & Now

The End Cottage, Castle Green – Then & Now

The End Cottage, Castle Green met with a sorry fate, having been struck on more than one occasion by passing motor vehicles. It was eventually demolished in the 1960s. The remaining end cottage now bears a plaque above the door stating “These eight cottages were restored & improved by Kenilworth Urban District Council with financial… Read More