A walk down Poole High Street in 1855

A walk down Poole High Street in 1855 and you’d be surprised at the things people were buying in the shops, goods long since vanished from the modern store and the pro­ducts of trades which are almost unknown in our day.

At No. 118 and a branch in Fish Street was Mr. William Waterman jun., a furnishing and general ironmongers. This wasn’t the limit of his industry. This Will-of-all-trades, was also a white and blacksmith, a bell hanger and cutler, a gun maker, tin man, brazier and gas fitter. He was a manufacturer of “the improved kitchen ranges, stoves, etc” and among other things sold powder and shot, charcoal, oils and colours. John Hayman and Co. whose brush manufacture adjoined the Antelope Hotel, were brush, mop, patten and cloche manufacturers. Among their wares were shell combs, chamois skins, gaiters, butter churns, and bath brick.

The London Hotel

The London Hotel

Two doors from the London Hotel was William Penney, the pharmaceutical chemist, late of W. Allen, Hanburys and Barry of London. If you’ve always associated Brown Windsor with a rather tasteless soup in cheap restaurants, then you may be surprised to learn that his Old Brown Windsor was a SOAP, which he sold together with the honey and glycerin varieties. The admirable Mr. Penney, as well as selling surprisingly modern things such as Schweppes’s soda water, was also well stocked with “pommades, cosmetiques, bouquet essences, and every requisite for the toilet.” He also had finest Bermuda arrowroot, sago, tapioca, and the best isinglass – No, he was not a grocer as well. His pure cod-liver oil was “made from fresh and healthy livers”, which must have been comforting to know and there were “all kinds of medical apparatus of family utility.” That great standby of Victoria vapours, spirit sal volatile, must have been a steady seller.

At Longfleet was Lance’s carriage and dog cart repository. The firm also had a “manufactory” at Hunger-hill, Wellington Row, Poole, and had been established 42 years. They had carriages of every description “built and repaired on the best principles” and moderate terms. New and second-hand merchandise was always on sale. At 91 High-street was Henry Selfe, the watch and clock-maker, who also sold musical boxes, French and American clocks, and at Dorset House, opposite the London Hotel, family grocer and tea dealer Edward Taplin could offer you superior British wines as well as exotic Westphalian hams; his sideline was that of agent for the New Equitable Life Office.

Buckley's China Shop

Buckley’s China Shop

What with all this and Buckley and Son of No. 144, who sold Minton, Chamberlain and Dresden china, Bohemian and French glass, not to speak of alabaster vases, we seem to be missing quite a lot in the Poole High Street of 1963.

Finally as night draws on, let’s pay a call on Richard Hopkins, who was not only a tea dealer and grocer but also a tallow chandler, selling both sperm and wax candles. On the same premises you could fill up your bag with fish sauces and pickles, cigars and fancy snuffs, and round off the day with a Guinness’s Dublin porter, for which he was sole agent, to be consumed, one presumes, off the premises.

Information taken from Philip Brannon’s Guide of Poole

With many thanks to Andrew Hawkes for providing this. – Katie & Jenny


About Poole High Street Project

Contact: Jenny Oliver - j.oliver48@btinternet.com
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3 Responses to A walk down Poole High Street in 1855

  1. jason says:

    We just found out a relative of ours was a saddler in the high street in 1855. He was George mundon. Would love to know where he was on the high street.

    • George Mundon was in business at No. 86, next to the London Hotel (now the Globe Cafe’). The first reference to him that I have found is in a directory of 1823-4 as a saddler and then he appears in directories up to 1839. In the 1841 census, George is listed, aged 55 with his wife, Deborah (45) and 6 other family members, probably his children and maybe his daughter-in-law. George Mundon (junior) and Thomas Mundon are also saddlers. By the next census in 1851, George has died, Deborah has moved out and the business is being run by George junior from No. 86. He is shown as a widower with a daughter and 2 sons, employing 3 men. In 1861, George junior is still in business at 86 employing 3 men and a boy and has married again (to Henrietta aged 35) with 6 children, ranging in age from 1 to 13. A directory of 1867 is the last reference I have found to the High Street business. By 1871, the family is listed in the Branksome Arms pub near Bournemouth. In 1940 a bomb fell on No. 84, High Street and No. 86 was probably badly damaged. The site today is occupied by the Polish Market, in a modern building.

      • jason says:

        Thank you for that information. We know some of the family moved to market street as well but have no idea what number.

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