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A selection of photographs, prints and postcards. Some have personal or family connections
Ashbourne: Church Street, about 1905

Whilst the shop fronts and the street "furniture" are different today, the buildings at the north eastern end of Church Street have changed very little in the intervening years. At this time the streets lamps were lit by gas which was produced by Ashbourne Gas Company's works on Mayfield Road[1].

Because the numbering is a little confusing, two enlargements of the shops and houses on either side of the road are included.

On the left, with a large sign above the shop door, was the family business of Henstock and Son (now no.11). An advertisement in 1897 shows they were selling "Fancy Chocolate Boxes, Tom Smith's Crackers, Rich Iced and other cakes (own manufacture), pork pies, sausages, ices, jellies, creams" as their normal range of provisions[2]. The business by then was run by Thomas J Henstock, a baker and confectioner, and his wife Catherine although Mr. Henstock's father, John, had started the firm[3]. Their pre-Christmas advert (below) shows a similar range of tempting fare on offer.

Ashbourne Telegraph, 20 December 1907

Are prepared to supply the best.

Iced Cakes, Christmas Puddings,
Mince Pies, Cadbury's Fancy Boxes
Caley's Chocolates, Chocolates.
PORK PIES a Speciality. :-: Made Dishes to Order
Henstock & Son, Church Street, Ashbourne.

Thomas's first wife died in 1905 but he married again in 1908. Mr. Henstock was a member of the Congregational Church and a local preacher; he passed away in March 1911[4]. His son Frank (Arthur Frank N. Henstock) was then studying at Aberystwyth University, having gained a scholarship from Ashbourne Grammar School. He joined the Sherwood Foresters in WW1, was promoted to captain and was awarded the M.C. but did not survive the war[5].
Buildings ID

Many of the buildings in this part of Church Street are grade 2 listed today, including the Henstock's former home and that of their immediate neighbours. In 1911 these were Mr. Harrison, a retired farmer, and Arthur H Reckless who was a chemist and druggist at what is now no.9.

Just behind the lamp post on the same side of the road is Oswald House, which has a flight of stone steps up to the front door with a metal handrail to each side of the steps. It is a slightly taller building than the ones on either side, although it is also three storeys high, and is thought to date from 1740. Architecturally, the buttress like "extension" on the right front of the house is strangely out of keeping. Perhaps it was a later addition to the front of the building. It was the home of John Howell (1834-1915) and his wife Elizabeth at the time; Mr. Howell had co-founded the grocery firm of Howell and Marsden a little further along the road in 1863[6].

There were then two smaller shops (nos. 5 and 3). The large building (no. 1), which had previously been the Wheatsheaf Commercial Hotel, was the Ashbourne Branch of the Crompton and Evans Union Bank Limited; its manager, who lived on the premises, was Alexander M Wither. This building holds a prominent position as it is at the road junction and faces down Dig Street.

We will now cross the road and look and the buildings on the south east side of Church Street.

buildings ID

On the far right is the red brick building known as the Clergy Widows Almshouses, which is late Georgian[7]. It is only partially shown.

Next door, at no. 14, was the house and shop of Albert Ainsworth who had a cycle and motor cycle dealership at the property. Next door, at no. 12, was a grocer: Henry Harvey was here in 1901 and Harry Thomas Drabble in 1911. The later was described as a Wine and Spirit Dealer as well as being a grocer.

Then there is the sign for the White Hart, a posting house and livery stables. There was an arch which lead to a yard at the rear. In the 1880s and early 1890s Mrs. Elizabeth Burton was running this hotel. Her son Hugh applied for the permanent transfer of the licence in 1894, which was granted but by 1901 Edward Cannon was the licensed victualler[8]. He was born in Fulham.

In 1913 one of the Cannons sold 12 horses 28 carriages and other items as he needed more room for motors. In 1916 Mr. A. Cannon gave up the Business as he was joining the Army although they were still there in 1932[9]. The building today appears to have been either modernised or redeveloped, with the far end demolished to provide access to the back. It is no longer an hotel.

Between the hotel and the turning for Dig Street is a late 18th or early 19th century building that eventually became known as the Corner House; it was another family business, the jewellers run by the Twells[10]. Louis B Twells was a jeweller and silversmith in 1871, who also cut hair (1861 and 1881). Their large shop premises, by this time run by Harry Twells, were on the corner, at the junction of Church Street and Dig Street.

To return to the top picture, the drapery of Charles H Coates was on far corner of Dig street behind where a man is standing in the roadway.

"Church Street, Ashbourne". Published by S. Hildesheimer & Co. Ltd., Manchester. Printed in Berlin. Unused. The earliest postal date for other cards like this one is 1905. Stamp box: 1/2d postage stamp Foreign 1d. With nothing but address on this side.
Postcard and all three images in the collection of, provided by and © Ann Andrews.
Researched, written by and © Ann Andrews.
Intended for personal use only.


[1] "Kelly's Directory of Derbyshire", 1912. A contract between the Local Board and the Ashbourne Gas Company was sealed in 1881; it was for lighting the public lamps for one year ("Derby Daily Telegraph", 16 November 1881).

[2] "Ashbourne News Telegraph", 15 January 1897.

[3] John Henstock, was was born in Bonsall, was shown as a hosier in the 1871 census. He and his family were living in the Market Place. But in 1874 Wright's Directory of South Derbyshire listed him as a baker on Church Street.He passed away on 6 June 1915, aged 78, at Sturston Lodge which was the home of his daughter Lizzie Coates ("Ashbourne News Telegraph", 11 June 1915).

[4] "Ashbourne News Telegraph", 10 March 1911. Thomas John Henstock was the second son of Mr. John Henstock, an old and respected tradesman of Ashbourne. His second wife was Mary Ellen Goodacre. She was still at the shop in 1912.

[5] "Ashbourne Telegraph", 17 May 1918. Frank was killed in action on 22 March 1918. He is commemorated at both Pozieres and Ashbourne.

[6] Oswald House is shown as having 9 rooms in the 1911 census. John Howell retired from Howell & Marsden in 1899 ("Derbyshire Advertiser and Journal", 27 October 1899).

[7] Pevsner, Nikolaus (1953), "he Buildings of England, Derbyshire", Penguin Books.

[8] Information about Mrs. Burton from Kelly's 1881 Directory, the 1891 census. Her son's application was published in the "Derbyshire Advertiser and Journal", 14 April 1894.

[9] Information about the Cannons has been extracted from the 1901 census, the 1911 census, Kelly's 1912 Directory, "Derbyshire Advertiser and Journal", 28 Feb 1913 and 25 Feb 1916, and "Ashbourne News Telegraph" 10 March 1916. They were still there in 1932 although by the 1939 Register the licensee was Alfred Ault.

[10] From the 1901 and 1911 census returns for Ashbourne, Kelly's 1912 Directory, the 1881 and 1871 census (for the Twells). Harry Snelson Twells, who ran the shop in 1911 and dealt in both jewellery and china, eventually moved to Derby and died in 1949. He was buried at Ashbourne ("Ashbourne Telegraph", 23 December 1949). He had been educated at Queen Elizabeth's, was a councillor, and had played football and cricket for the town ("Derby Daily Telegraph", 8 December 1949).

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