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Barnards Green History

Just over two years ago, Barnards Green History Group started researching the development of Barnards Green shopping area. The group recently produced a book with their findings but are still looking for more information. Barbara Hartley-Woolley takes up the story. 

We were given twelve panoramic photos of the shops taken in the 1970s. Thinking it would be fun to find out more, we spent two years on research and uncovered some fascinating stories about the area we live in.

Using research tools including old newspaper cuttings, maps, directories, photos and planning applications we slowly added to our knowledge of how Barnards Green shops developed. Building on that, last summer was spent chatting with groups of people, all of whom had recollections about their times living or working in the shop area.

The development of the area began when the farmer of Pigeon House Farm, which stood on the site of today’s car park at the junction with Geraldine Road, sold land for development. By the 1870s the farm land was slowly being bought for shops and housing to be built on. 

Last summer, after designing over 40 history posters for each of the current shops, we were persuaded to put our findings into a book. This was completed towards the end of last year and is available from several Barnards Green shops. Copies have been sent all over the UK and even abroad!

There is still work to do – in particular we really want to hear from people with photographs and postcards that we might not have seen yet. 

DO YOU KNOW THESE BUILDINGS?
First image – Have you any photos of the farm buildings which stood in the area where Merrievale Court now stands? Humphris Riding School and George Hinds used the old farm buildings

Second image – Rose Cottage was originally a half-timbered cottage with an orchard to one side. Two families living there were connected to notorious murders. It was renamed The Chestnuts and demolished in 1968 to make way for flats.

If you have any memories of these buildings, or other stories and photos of old Barnards Green, please get in touch with the history group by emailing bghistorygroup@gmail.com or by letter via the Just So Gift Shop in Barnards Green.