North Street

North Street is a long street stretching from Scotgate in the south to Recreation Ground Road in the north.  In 1911 the southern part was in All Saints’ Parish and the northern part in St Michael’s Parish. It was narrower than it is now and there were far more households living along the street.

The southern side of the street marks, for the most part, the path of the old town wall. Properties on Barn Hill and Broad Street backed onto North Street with warehouses, maltings and other small industries having access to the street. In parts, small houses had been built against the wall and most of these have now disappeared or been rebuilt.

The fields on the northern side of the street had been encroached upon in the 19th Century. Near Scotgate were a few older houses then at the eastern end there was a hotch-potch of small properties and terraces with many occupants. The Strict and Particular Baptist Chapel was in the middle and had been rebuilt in 1900. Most of this area is now (2015) North Street Car Park – the Chapel remains.

The occupants, like the houses, were a very mixed group. There were agricultural workers and industrial labourers alongside tailors and a grocer with their own businesses. By 1914 those in better paid occupations were beginning to move out of the street into new developments.