Home History of Rode Shops Lower Street Shops

Lower Street Shops

Above: Heath’s Stores (18 Lower Street). c1940


(published in the LINK in June 1976)

Had the plans for Rode to be on a proposed rail link between Andover and the Radstock Coal Mines materialised, a visitor to Rode early this century might well have arrived by train, alighting at Rode station, planned for the far end of Crooked Lane – but mercifully, for the peace of the village, the route was diverted.

From the various records and recollections of Lower Street, it is impossible to determine exactly which was what, when, so, with the present (ie, 1976) residents in brackets for easier identification here is a potted history of those houses in Lower Street which have in the past played a role in the community other than as the dwellings they are today:

Corner House (Gibson) – Barber shop, Brewery Offices, Cobbler

Next Door (Dutru) – Outfitters, Fruit Shop, Surgery

Silcox Hall (Baker) – Built to commemorate Queen Victoria’ s Jubilee – Vicar collected tithes for Church here; later a fish & chip shop.

8 (Sladden) – Forge on site of garage, blacksmith to village horses. On opposite side of the Big Shard was a pump.

10 (Sparey shed) – Carpenter

12 (Clare) – Butcher, complete with slaughterhouse

14 (Thornley) – Grocers shop.

18 (Swinley) – General Stores, butcher

20 (Davis) – Bakery

24 (Brooksbank) – Cobbler

On the site of the Brooksbanks’ patio there was a cottage joining then to 1, Farthing Row (Parker) in which lived the District Nurse.

Between Farthing Row and Halfpenny Row was the Temperance Hall (yes, some children did call it the Tenpence Hall!), on the remains of which the Parkers have created that lovely open garden.

33 (Thomas) – In an old cottage on this site lived a clock winder and repairer who, as well as tending those village clocks requiring his attention, also made weekly visits to Amerdown, Orchardleigh, etc.

25 (King) – General Stores, selling home-made butter produced in the dairy behind.

21 (Gayer) – Toyshop, butcher specialising in offal, faggotts, chitterlings

17 (Hornsey) – Bakery

11 (Roche) – Home of “Bobby”’ Hart, the village policeman.

9 (Dorman) – Coal merchant.

Next to Mrs. Keen there now remains only a shell of what was once a cabinet maker’s shop and Undertaker.

(Red Lion) – Butcher, with farm buildings behind.

From information contributed by Mrs. Banner, Mrs. Bridges, etc

The above is very much E & 0 E (errors and omissions excepted) as has been the whole series, but I would like to thank all the kind folk in the four villages of Rode Major who have provided me with information and reminiscences. I think they enjoyed stirring up the past as much as we enjoyed hearing about it, and surely it is thanks to them and their like – the many other life-long or long-term residents still in the Parish whom I was unable to visit – that we comparative “newcomers” can consider ourselves lucky to have found such a friendly and happy community in which to live. Doing our best to preserve the attractive old houses (and to maintain the same high standards for new ones!), we hope our children may join their grandchildren to carry this heritage into the next generation. [Jenny Swinley. From an article in the June 1976 edition of The Link]

NumberDatesOwnerTradeLinks (where applicable)
Silcocks HallFish & chips
8 (garage)1895-1915KempBlacksmith
9Spider MillettCoal merchant
10Bert WoolleyCarpenter/undertaker
Michael Sparey??
11ToogoodBake house & shop
“Bobby” HartVillage policeman
12 (outhouses)KintonButcher/slaughterhouse
18Mr & Mrs HeathGeneral shop/sweets
Butcher (offal, etc)
[adjacent cottage – now demolished]District nurse
Temperance Hall
25Mr & Mrs TowseyGrocer/sweets
General stores/dairy
33Clock repairer
Above: Later list produced by Peter Harris (2016)
24 July 2023
Last Updated
3 October 2023