2 Horn Street is in the centre of the picture. The path is very narrow on the corner, to gain as much road width as possible. On the right is the short and narrow alley that takes you up into the square.
In 1902 Winslow Rural District Council bought 2 Horn Street in Winslow, just so they could knock half of it down.
It was a road widening scheme. Although the first part of Horn Street was very wide and still is, the entrance to the street was no more than nine feet wide between the pavements. That’s about as wide as the little lane, almost an alley, that takes you in to the modern Market Square.
But this corner, right on a junction, had been two way. It had been “a very sharp and dangerous corner” said the Buckingham Advertiser and North Bucks Free Press, after the work had been completed in March 1903.
Map of the junction. The fire station doesn’t seem to have a number, so I’ve marked it as being in Bell Walk. The Bell Hotel doesn’t seem to have a number either, but its address is Market Square, Winslow, so it might once have been 1 Market Square.
2 Horn Street had been built as two separate houses, then later made into one; it couldn’t have been too difficult to remove one half.
The Winslow History website has a photo of the remaining house before the work had finished.
It’s possible to see that the demolished part of number 2 had lower ceilings; in the remaining part there’s what looks like a small flight of stairs to go between the different floor levels.
The photo also shows the construction of mains sewerage in the town. It seems likely that the council took advantage of the street closure this caused, to knock down half of 2 Horn Street with minimum extra disruption.
The only photo I've found of the demolished half of 2 Horn Street is in the background of a photo of the George and its proprietor, taken in 1885. It's in this book.
Before the road was widened, the corner of the kerb would have been about where that pothole sits, on the central white line. On the left, no pavement is shown on maps of the time, but high sided vehicles needed to be careful not to hit the jettied upper floor of 5a Market Square (left). The view through would have been very restricted.
Before the road widening, the entrance to Horn Street was a narrow gap in the corner of the Market Square. So now we can see how the block of buildings that includes the George pub is an island built on the square, rather than just being the South side of it.
But the block to its South was also built on the Market Square, on an area known in the 18th Century as the Buttermarket.
From this direction, anybody coming the other way would not be visible until you were both nearly at the narrowest part of the road; nor would they be able to see you. The side turning up into the square just makes matters worse. On the right the buildings are built on the area once known as the Buttermarket.
The house numbering in this part of Winslow now starts to make sense. 1 Horn Street (now a cafe) is opposite number 2.
The half timbered Elizabethan house just across the road is 5a Market Square (but at the link I've wrongly said it's in Horn Street), behind it is 5, then 3 Market Square. Behind 2 Horn Street is 7, then 9 Market Square.
I used a Sony A6000 and zoom lens just like this one for the photos in this post.
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2 Horn Street has been the home of many different businesses over the years, but it’s now a private house. It was the Corner Cafe when I was a Winslow schoolboy, though I don’t think I ever went in there.
It’s funny, but I just accepted the way the road is here without thinking why. But the clues are all there.
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