Did you know, Scaplen's Court has origins dating all the way back to Medieval times?
Can you see the metal antelope standing watch over the inn?
Poole's trade was more than cod and fishmongers!
More than a printers, this site sold lottery tickets!
Meet the marine biologist who helped invent the aquarium!
Built in 1704, Barfoot Mansion was originally double the size!
How long did it take to travel to Bristol from the London Hotel by coach? Find out here!
From apprentice to Master shoe-maker, Hawkes made a legacy for his family...
When was Poole's first moving picture screened?
Uncover more about one of the most recognisable buildings along the High Street...
Pick up an activity sheet to complete along our Discovery Trail & enter into our free prize draw!
87 High Street, Poole, BH15 1AH
Today, No. 87 is home to Ginali’s restaurant, while No. 89 is currently vacant, but in the 18th century, the two buildings were just one mansion home, sitting proud as the grandest property along the stretch. Built in 1704, the manor was placed north of the corn market and set back from the rest of the street, with a classically proportioned design. Having three storeys, additional cellar room, and a width of seven bays wide, the house was undoubtedly a status of wealth for the merchants who inhabited it.
Samuel Weston, a local merchant and M.P., resided in the manor until his death in 1716, and left the property to his son – William. However, by the mid-century, the mansion was in the hands of its most infamous owner: local merchant, William Barfoot.
Following Barfoot’s death in 1766, with his wife Lydia following in 1771, the property was inherited by their daughter Anna. However, by 1775 the house was being auctioned at The Antelope Inn. Just two years later, the building was subdivided and has remained that way throughout the years.
Did you know..?
In the 19thcentury, one of these buildings became ‘Poole Town and County Bank’, run by the Ledgard family who also resided on the premises. George Welch Ledgard founded the bank in 1821, after a relatively successful run as a Newfoundland merchant, and went on to become a prominent local townsman, serving as mayor in 1820, ‘21, ‘22, ‘26 and ‘31.
Barfoot Manor. Source: Jenny Oliver
88 High St, Poole, BH15 1DB
One of Poole’s public houses with a long and interesting history is the Butler and Hops in central High Street, known for 100 years or so as the London Tavern Inn, which has occupied two buildings on the present site. It was in the 1930s that the proprietors decided to demolish the old hotel and rebuild in a more modern style. During demolition, a foundation stone with the date 1725 was found, and later built into the garden wall.
It was in the early 1760s that John Butler, Gentleman, rebuilt or converted a house on High Street into an inn known as the Angel. In 1766, it was given a new name of the French Horn and Trumpet and by 1771, the London Tavern name appears in local press notices.
Auction sales were frequent. In the comfortable surroundings of the London Tavern, you could put in a bid for a horse or a house, buy a carriage or even invest in a sailing ship like the ketch William and Catherine (74 tons) and the 90-ton schooner Amity on offer in 1807. Businesses were offered for sale there, a corn mill and mill house by the River Stour at Longham Bridge and in July 1811, a Poole brewery, with dwelling house, malthouse, offices and twelve tied public houses, including the Jolly Sailor, Air Balloon, Anchor and St. Clement in Poole and the George and New Inn in Longfleet.
Did you know...?
As one of the larger inns in Poole, the London had an important part to play in the life of the town. It was there that Poole merchants and businessmen could catch the coach which ran three days a week to London, taking only two days for the journey.
The London Tavern’s main business as a coaching inn continued to develop, as roads improved, and more routes and faster services were added. In 1815, the Wellington Post Coach operated between the London Tavern and Bristol three times a week, taking 13 hours or so each way. By 1822, the Sovereign, an elegant light post coach, was making the journey to London in just one day. It left the London Tavern at 6 am. and arrived at Southampton in time to catch the London coach, reaching London nine jolting hours later (or around fourteen hours for travellers from Poole).
For more info and sources, read our blog post ‘Buying A Corn Mill On The High Street’
High Street with the London Hotel on the right, decorated for Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee
99a High Street, Poole, BH15 1AJ
In the Victorian era, Poole’s street-markets declined as more goods and food were sold from shops, often set up in old merchants’ houses on the High Street...
In 1827 a Poole smallholder called Joseph Charles Hawkes went to London as an apprentice to learn the art of making boots and shoes. He returned to Poole as a Master Shoemaker in 1847 and set up shop, along with his son Joseph Alfred and for as long as the shop was open, it remained in the Hawkes family. If you look up, you can still see the Hawkes name stone and date at the top of the building and the family initial on the drainpipes.
The business consisted of a shoe-making workshop, a wholesaler and leather storage in the cellar, by 1861, Hawkes was employing 21 men, 8 women and 3 boys, likely to be apprentices. Shoe and boot making was more practical than for fashion and they specialised in hand-made thigh and knee-length oiled leather fishing boots, hob-nailed agricultural or navy boots and elastic sided walking boots. One of the best sellers was the leather fishing boot using the traditional method going back to the Newfoundland fishing era, and commonly worn by those working in the Poole fishing trade.
Did you know…?
By 1897 Hawkes’ was probably the largest shop in Poole, stretching 96ft long (about 30m) along the High Street.
It was the first shop in town to use electric lighting, they installed their own gas engine and dynamo which also powered the shoe repair machines, and one of the first to have a telephone. As international trade and fashions became popular, Hawkes attempted to keep up with the latest trends by modernising with a luxurious fitting room and x-ray machine installed!
For more info and sources, read our blog post ‘A History of J.A. Hawkes & Son’.
123-125 High Street, Poole, BH15 1AN
In 1882 a “large rectangular building with tall windows and rather spartan wooden seating, a useful venue for talks, concerts and entertainments of all kinds” was built at the back of what is now 123-125 High Street. What later became the Amity Hall was used by the Ancient Order of Oddfellows and then the Amity Lodge of Freemasons.
The Amity Palace of Varieties became established as a home for theatre and entertainment, for example in 1890, for two nights only, people were able to watch Mr George H Hayes and Professor Thomas A Barwick in their “grand entertainment of music, conjuring and ventriloquism.”
On 13th November 1896 Poole saw its first cinema showing when John D. Ablett brought his ‘Theatrograph’ to the High Street. Poole’s first moving picture was billed as “Animated photographs! Scenes in real life faithfully reproduced! The marvel of the age!! The wonder of the century!!!”
“During the following year, the residents of Poole had their second experience of the cinema, when on the 16th June, Alexander, Howe and Cushing’s United Show came to the Amity Hall, bringing a “mammoth menagerie” of animals and curiosities alongside “London’s latest scientific craze” the cinematographe. The first full week of moving picture shows occurred from Monday 4thOctober 1897 when the Poole brothers ‘Myriorama’ presented scenes of Africa and the Royal Wedding with an interesting accompaniment from performing foxes ducks and rats to name but a few.” [poolehighstreet.wordpress]
Did you know...?
Within recent memory, to locals, Amity Hall was known fondly as 'The Flea Pit' and for a sixpence you could see films like ‘Flash Gordon’ and ‘The Lone Ranger and Tonto’! [Tom Scott’s Poole Days]
For more info and sources, read our blog post ‘The Amity Hall'.
Amity Hall Cinema and Music Hall.
From the 1929 Poole Guide.
153 High Street, Poole, BH15 1AU
In the late 18th century, Samuel White – one of the numerous wealthy merchants of Poole – died, and left his impressive inheritance to close family; this included Samuel Rolles, his nephew, who used his share of the money to construct Beech Hurst in 1798.
If you look up at the building, the Rolles’ red and white coat of arms is displayed for the street to see, while inside there are three floors all connected to the central staircase, as well as a sizable cellar previously used for the storage of goods.
Rolles only spent 11 years in the completed property, dying in 1809 and leaving the building to his wife Amey and their 2 unmarried daughters. However, by 1841 his third (married) daughter – Dove – resided at Beech Hurst with her husband, Isaac Steele, and their three children; Isaac Jr., Jonathan and Anne. In adulthood, Isaac Jr. became head of the household and was involved in local politics, but as both brothers remained bachelors until their deaths in the 1860s, Beech Hurst fell out of the family’s possession.
After White, Beech Hurst was home to Heber Dowling Ellis, a medical practitioner and who used the house’s mahogany room as a consulting office. Ellis also worked as a surgeon, assisting the people in local factories, Boscombe Cottage Hospital, and Dorset Rifle Corps. Ellis was appointed the first Medical Officer of Health for Poole in 1873.
Beech Hurst has also hosted solicitors, another practitioner, the mayor of Poole (for 1889, 1890 and 1895), a Gas and Water Company, Tracy’s Ltd. House furnishers (in the 1960s), and it is now the offices of Jacobs and Reeves.
For more info and sources, read our blog post ‘Step Inside Beech Hurst’.
Beech Hurst viewed from North Street. From the Ernest Bristowe collection, poolehistory.org.uk