Alignment of buildings can tell us much about the past. Two examples may suffice:
A) After the devastation of WW2, a ring road was planned that would pass around the city. This was broadly achieved with the exception of the segment passing through Northgate, Radigund Street and Pound Lane. Growing resistance to the demolition of these older properties meant that the final ring road segment was never built. Building lines in Northgate (Maison Dieu Vetinerary Care, Master John and William Hill betting shop) respect this 1950s building line, providing for a road that was never built. Some of the Barrett’s showroom post-war developments also make way for the ring road that was never built.
B) Before construction of the present Radigund road bridge in 1840, crossing of the Stour at Radigund bridge meant use either a narrow footbridge or (for carts) use of a ford. Modern property lines reflect the earlier approach to the ford crossing.
What to see:
- properties in Northgate set well back from the current street building line (Image 1)
- evidence that building lines for modern properties still provide for the old ford crossing (Image 2)
- images of the Radigund ford in old prints (Image 3)