Poole Heritage Walk

The Cockle Trail

The “Cockle Trail” in Poole, my local big town, was launched in 1998 to mark the the 750th anniversary of it’s ancient charter. Markers, like the one above, are set into the ground in front of buildings of historical note. I set out with my Canon EOS 30, loaded up with a roll of Ilford’s Delta 400, to have a look at some of the buildings I’ve passed often without paying much attention to!

Beech Hurst

I started my walk at “Beech Hurst” a Georgian Mansion built in 1798 for a merchant who had become very wealthy with the Cod trade connection with Newfoundland. From here I turned right and headed for the “Guildhall”.

The Guildhall

The Guildhall (above) was built in 1761, originally the ground floor housed market style shops, while upstairs was a courtroom. It is said to have been partly funded by the then members of Parliament who were representing the town. It stands at the head of Market Street, where further down is “Byngley House” (below).

Byngley House

Byngley House (above) was built by local trader Thomas Byngley in the late 16th Century. He was a one time mayor of Poole. A little further down the street in the same direction are the St Georges Alms-house’s. These were originally built by the fraternity of St George in the 15th Century, but since restored. I wanted to include the lamp on the left as a “nod” to the small recess in the wall just to it’s left. It is thought that this might have housed the first street light in Poole!

St Georges Almshouses

Continuing on we reach Church Street, and St James Church. There has been a place of worship on this site for over 800 years, maybe at first a wooden chapel, as the town grew so did the church, a stone building was built in the 16th century but even this was too small as the town grew further. Eventually in 1819, this too was demolished and the St James we see today was built. Tucked just behind is the Old Rectory built in 1765.

St James Church, Poole
The Old Rectory

West End House, was also built in the 18th Century for yet another wealthy merchant, John Slade. Maybe of more recent interest it was later the home of the Carter family – founders of the Poole Pottery.

West End House

Next door is the Hotel Du Vin, originally built in 1778 for Benjamin and Isaac Lester, yet more wealthy merchants of Poole. The fireplace in the dining room is decorated with marble fillets of cod, as a reminder of the Newfoundland Cod Trade, source of these merchants wealth. (below)

Hotel Du Vin

The King Charles pub is said to be named after King Charles 10th of France, as he is believed to have landed here on his way to exile in 1830. Of course it is said to be haunted!

King Charles Pub

Nearing the end of my walk, I reached the quay, and the site of the Poole’s Old cellars. Slightly confusingly, they are at ground level and not below as one might expect. Now home to the Poole History Centre. Just across from here is the Old Harbour Office, this re-built version erected in 1822.

Poole Old Cellars
The Harbour Office

The tall building in the background is the home of Poole Museum, but that’s for another post! Suffice to say that on the top floor there is a café, that does good coffee and chocolate fudge cake – well it would be rude not to!

All of the above images I made with Canon’s 40mm, onto which I’d put a yellow filter. The film was processed in my developer of choice – Ilford’s Ilfosol, diluted 1-9, for 7 mins at 20 degrees.

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