Butchers Row

Where what used to be Middletown, in High Street, a row of booths stood there for around 700 years that over the centuries became timber-framed structures. Butchers Row was used as slaughterhouses. In 1830, the ‘disagreeable practice of slaughtering pigs in the street’ was abolished in Ledbury. By 1840, the booths had been removed from High Street and destroyed; all except a couple that in recent times have been restored and relocated.

One structure was re-erected in Skipp Alley (off The Homend). When the timber-framing was reassembled, a first-floor beam was put in upside down, as may be seen on the front.

Another booth was stored in a garden behind 14 High Street until it was relocated to Church Lane and renovated by the Ledbury and District Civic Society to become what is now known the Butcher Row Folk Museum

National Westminster Bank

National Provincial Bank Ltd, incorporated 1 July 1880, was established as a provincial bank but with a London head office. It was structured to be a branch banking enterprise concentrating on a large number of smaller accounts rather than a small number of larger accounts. In 1835, a branch opened in Ledbury and, quickly becoming successful, relocated to Homend House where it has remained since. In 1970, National Provincial Bank merged into National Westminster Bank, part of RBS Group since 2000.

Turner Court

On the east side of The Homend, Turner Court, named after a former chairman of Ledbury Town Council and owned by Elgar Housing Association, was sheltered housing flats and home to more than twenty elderly residents until vacated and sold to a developer in 2010. The ground floor of the building has since been converted into offices, residential flats, and a tapas bar.

Cottage Hospital

Founded in 1872, the present building dates from 1891 to 1899, when it was funded by Michael Biddulph MP to mark the coming of age of his eldest son, John.

The hospital was built on the site of a cider and perry factory, whose orchard was developed for housing by Ledbury Benefit Building Society – now Belle Orchard.

After 1948, the NHS hospital took over the running until it closed in 2002. In 2009 the building was converted into apartments and workspace and renamed the Old Cottage Hospital.

Daws Court

Before 1987, when Dawes Court, a block of flats, was built, fronting The Homend and Homend Crescent was the Boys’ School, opened in 1868 and enlarged in 1894 to accommodate 230 boys.

Dawes Court is named after the Very Reverend Richard Dawes, Dean of Hereford Cathedral and Master of St Katherine’s Hospital, as this school was founded largely through his efforts. All that remains of the school is a wall in The Homend and remnants in Homend Crescent. The school bell tower was lifted off by crane and removed to Longacres where it now rests in the grounds of Ledbury Primary School.

Barrett Browning Institute

Pasted Graphic
In 1890, the idea was proposed for a clock tower in High Street as a memorial to Elizabeth Barrett-Browning, one of the three famous poets associated with Ledbury. A committee was formed and in 1891 a mock-up tower was erected. Following concern that siting the tower in the middle of the street would cause congestion, an old tan yard, formerly a house belonging to the Hankins family and in medieval times a bakery, was donated for the scheme. By then, the original plan had become ambitious. Designs were invited; forty-five entries were received, and George Hill, a local builder, submitted the lowest tender. The official opening of the Memorial Clock Tower and Institute was in 1896. In 1938, the Institute took on the public library. In 1963, Pevsner described the building as ‘really terrible’.

Cinema

Cinema, the Homend, Ledbury
In The Homend, at the corner of Bank Crescent, this old photo taken on Carnival Day during the 1940s shows the cinema. The building is now occupied by a greengrocer and other shops.