Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Bridge Street

I have recently discovered some traders using Bridge Street as an address in Wolverton. There is a chemist who gave his address as Bridge Street in an 1852 Trade Directory and in 1864 a shoemaker by the name of Barley is using this address.
At first I thought Bridge Street might be a mis-transcription at the printers but the fact that it was repeated in subsequent directories means that it must have been an actual address. Barley shows up in various censuses around this period living with his family in North Street, New Bradwell but his place of business, employing 6 men, was at Bridge St. Wolverton.
My conjecture is that the upper floor of the gas works (which would have been at the Stratford Rd level) was used as a lock-up shop after the gas works moved in 1845. "Bridge Street" was probably a designation used by these shopkeepers to indicate where they could be found.

Here are the references:

1 1853 Post Office Directory Lewis, William Salter, chemist and druggist, Bridge street
2. 1864 Post Office Directory Barley, William, shoe maker, Bridge Street
3 1876 Harrod & Co. Barley, William, shoe maker (no address)
4. 1877 Post Office Directory Barley, William, shoe maker, Bridge Street
5. 1883 Kelley's Barley, John, shoe maker, Bridge Street
6. 1887 Post Office Directory Barley, William, shoe maker, Church Street

I can't find any record for William Salter Lewis in either the censuses or the Pharmaceutical Society so he was not there for long.

William Barley was born in Stony Stratford, and from 1861 onward lived in North Street, New Bradwell.

The new road to Stony Stratford opened in 1844. Apart from the Royal Engineer (1841) nothing was built on the road until 1859. It was variously described in censuses as the Wolverton Road and then the Stratford Road. 

By the way, this Bridge Street reference cannot be Bridge Street in New Bradwell. This street had not been built in 1853 and when it was first erected was named "Top Street".


simon garrett said...


William Salter Lewis was born in Stony Stratford in 1824 to Thomas Harris Lewis and Mary Salter. Thomas was a surgeon/druggist in the town. He died in 1850 and it seems likely that William took over from him. He married a lady called Selina and ended up living in Leamington.

William's father was my 3rd great gradnfather so any information on this family gratefully received at simon@evensaul.co.uk

Bryan Dunleavy said...

Thanks for the info. My guess is that the Wolverton shop was likely a branch of the Stony Stratford business. I don't think anyone actually lived on "bridge Street".