Harper Street is one of the oldest streets in Tetbury. It is first mentioned before 1398 as Hatter Street. By the early C17th it was called Harper Street. Between 1917 and 1930 the name changed to West Street. This was at the request of one Harry Barnes, founder of the Tetbury Coal and Coke Company who bought a house on the corner of Bath Road and Harper Street [Source: great grandson by email Feb 2014].
In the late C16th houses were built at the entrance to the street. In the most recent edition of Pevsners Guides, the Buildings of England - the Cotswolds, by David Verey, West Street is described as "once packed with artisan housing". Most of this appears to have been demolished to make way for the carpark.
The Prince of Wales Inn, locally known as the Drum and Monkey, with its skittle alley, formed part of the continuous line of houses along the street. This Inn has now been redeveloped to make way for new housing.
Amongst the many reports of petty crimes, suicides, inquests on the residents of Harper Street the following are the more outstanding. Copies of these newspapers can be seen at either Cheltenham Local Studies Library or Gloucestershire Archives. Digital copies can also be seen through subscription website British Newspaper Archive.
mentioned as Hatterystrete in a title deed
Gloucestershire Archives ref.D1571/T71
Survey of the Manor lists properties on Hatters Street:
south side - two tenements
north side - a burgage, a burgage and barn, a burgage and pigstye, cottage, garden and pigstye, and a barn.
26/5/1719 1/Trustees of Thomas Stedman, dec. and 2/Giles Body did 'grant bargain sell release assure and confirm' to Gilbert Gastrell and John Sloper
Abstract of title 9/10 Jan 1729/30-27 Aug.1771 Messuage, garden and appurtenances in Harper Street, Tetbury (title of John Carisbrook)
Gloucestershire Archives ref.D2957/300/19919/195
Lease and Release between 1/Gilbert Gastrell, gent 2/Giles Body, son and heir of late Nathaniel Body, clothier 3/Samuel Craddock, cordwainer
Bargain and sale of messuage in Harper Street (half of deed only, mentions Hoopper, Minchin)
Gloucestershire Archives ref.D4457/5
Deeds of seven cottages, Harper Street. Includes office copy will of John Turner, Tetbury, tiler (proved 1775); schedule of title deeds (1864)-1892; sale particulars, 1881; probate copy will of Richard Brookes, Tetbury, mason, 1896 (Smith family, John Turner, Hopkins alias Seaborne family, Sam. Large, Sealy family, Giles family, Lamb family, Bailey family, Thos. Perrin, Wm. Fry, Ann Cox, Richard Brookes)
Gloucestershire Archives ref.D4890/Box 1/4
10 April 1759 Deed to Declare the Uses of a Fine [Nb. refers to a fee payable to the Lord of the Manor, not a fine as we understand today]: Giles Pike the elder of Tetbury, woolstapler (1), Thomas his eldest son and heir (2) and Thomas Emley of Tetbury, cordwainer (3): messuage, and two little messuages in Harper Street, Tetbury, and a messuage near the Green.
Gloucestershire Archives ref.D1774/1
Ann Smith and others convey to John Turner
Various properties, in the Chipping Croft, Gumstool Street, West Street, etc. Includes some deeds with marginal plans, and leases to the Tetbury Gas and Coke Company, 1836, 1866.
Gloucestershire Archives ref.D566/T/2/27
Draft and Copy Deeds: Gloucestershire: Cirencester: Messuages including copy abstract 1750-1762, copy deed of messuages in West Street Tetbury, Long Street.
Gloucestershire Archives ref.D2525/E154
Messuage and ground where barn stood in Harper Street, Tetbury and 'new erected' cottage on the site of the barn
Gloucestershire Archives ref.D182/III/143
Auction sale at the White Hart - there were three cottages on Harper Street with tenants, Mrs Cleaver, Mrs Bigland and Mrs Crook, advertised for sale by auction 17th November as freehold property.
Gloucestershire and Wiltshire Standard
Mrs Cook, wife of Stephen Cook, was the lodging house keeper.
A cottage on Harper Street, owned by the late William Bennett and occupied by Henry Brookes was to be auctioned along with other properties.
Gloucestershire and Wiltshire Standard 9/6/1855
Three messuages conveyed from Mr Thomas Perrin to William Fry for £80 (see 1836)
Two freehold cottages occupied by Mr Golding and Porter, on 29th October.
Gloucestershire and Wiltshire Standard 18/10/1862
A tenement or messuage occupied by Isaac Wood and Daniel King for auction 6/2/1867. Gloucestershire and Wiltshire Standard 19/1/1867
A cottage or tenement with garden and appurtenances in occupation of Robert Bailey for auction 13/3/1867
Gloucestershire and Wiltshire Standard 2/3/1867
To be sold by auction 16/9/1869 'all those eight freehold cottages or tenements situate in Harper Street with the building (formerly used as a workshop), piece of garden ground, court yard, and appurtenances there to belonging, in the respective occupations of Miss Ann Witchell, Mrs Cook, Mrs Slade, Thomas Edmonds, Samuel Grant, Benjamin Wood, John Southwood, Thomas Garrett.' The frontage was 46' 6" and contained by admeasurement 603 square yards. There was a good well of water in the court yard.
Gloucestershire and Wiltshire Standard 4/9/1869
Mr W Fry, baker, was selling by auction his Harper Street property comprising firstly a messuage or tenement with outbuildings, bakehouse and appurtenances thereto belonging, lately in the occupation of Mr W. Fry, baker. Also three freehold cottages late in occupation of William Cox, James Lambert and William Cox.
Gloucestershire and Wiltshire Standard 3/9/1870
Two cottages conveyed from Mr Charles Sealy to Mrs Ann Cox for £45
in occupation of William Teagle and William Ball
to be sold by auction 15/6/1872 two freehold cottages or tenements with the gardens and appurtenances and in occupation of George Russell and Thomas Pegler.
Gloucestershire and Wiltshire Standard 15/6/1872
Tetbury: deeds of messuages in West Street, Long Street and The Green, with wills with probate of Francis BELL and Sarah BELL, 1877, 1891; copies of wills of Thos NEWCOMBE, 1776, and Mrs. Georgiana PRYDE; conditions of sale of messuages in Long Street, Tetbury and related papers
Gloucestershire Archives ref.D1347/T19
Sale of seven freehold properties to be held at the Eight Bells on 8th October by Fowler and Ludlow in two lots.
Lot 1 was 2 cottages and garden occupied by George Wood
Lot 2 was 5 cottages and garden occupied by Joseph Mann, Thomas Garrett, William Allen and Mary Cox.
When part of the estate of late Mr George Lloyd was sold by auction at the Ormonds Head Auction Room property on Harper Street was sold:
Lot 8/ 3 cottages £64 to Mr James Horton
Lot 9/ 2 cottages £67 resold soon after to Mr George Pride fo £69
Lot 10/ 2 cottages £74 to Mr Lamb.
An earlier advert (23rd July) shows
Lot 5/ 4 cottages and stable and carthouse with occupiers as in 1893 plus Patience Treherne and one empty
Lot 6/ cottage and garden occupied by Robert Ball and a carthouse occupied by Mr James Maggs, and a stable
Lot 7/ cottage and garden occupied by Charles Cox
Lot 8/ three cottages occupied by Richard Gilpin, Thomas Jones and Fanny Elliott Lot 9/ two cottages occupied by James Golding and George Sparrow
Lot 10/ two cottages and gardens adjoining above occupied by Albert Horton and Thomas Golding sen.
Lot 10: Tetbury & Malmesbury Wills held by the Society of Genealogists gives information about this sale and lists all deeds that were held. May 1842 the executors of Mr Joseph Hughes sold to John Bishop. The devisees of Mr John Bishop's will sold in March 1867 to Mrs Cox. On her death, in September 1882 the properties were sold to George Lloyd. As seen from the news item above Mrs Lloyd sold to Mr William Lamb in 1892 who in 1894 sold to Mr James Horton. On the death of James Horton the property was conveyed to William Lamb in December 1911.
Houses and cottages in Harper Street
Gloucestershire Archives ref.D1388/SL/7/70
Cottages in Harper Street
Gloucestershire Archives ref.D1388/SL/7/78
Cottages in Harper Street
Cottages for sale by auction on 8/6/1893: four cottages, a stable and a carthouse and a further three cottages. An earlier advert (8th April) gives further information - two of the first lot of cottages were let to Martha Timbrill and Lewin Hall, and the carthouse and stable to Mr Aaron Millard. In the second lot of three cottages these were let to William Cleaver, Widow Nelson and Charles Cox.
Gloucestershire and Wiltshire Standard 3/6/1893
1/For sale by auction six freehold cottages, two fronting Harper Street and four at the rear. Two empty and four occupied by Sarah Ann Sharp, Widow Garrett, James Lambert and Thomas Box. A strip of land at the rear was used as a drying yard.
2/Also, three long-leashold cottages next to the above cottages with one fronting Harper Street and two behind. One was void and the other two occupied by Widow Townsend and Thomas Bathe, the latter having a small strip of garden.
4/Also adjoining the above, three freehold cottages, one fronting Harper Street and two at the rear, all of which were void.
A right of way went from lot 2 to lots 1 and 4, and drainage was connected to the town sewers.
Gloucestershire and Wiltshire Standard 6/6/1896
Three cottages with gardens at the westerly end of Harper Street, in occupations of Charles Waters, Edward Cleaver and Matthew Cleaver; for sale by auction 2/5/1900
Gloucestershire and Wiltshire Standard 14/4/1900
Three freehold cottages for sale by auction 17/2/1904. Two cottages with appurtenances adjoining the Prince of Wales Inn and in occupation of Albert Horton and Thomas Golding. The yearly rental of the pair was £8. The third cottage with appurtenances, in occupation of T.Pegler with an annual rent of £4 15s.
Gloucestershire and Wiltshire Standard 6/2/1904
It was once a notorious area of the town and associated with poverty. A newspaper report from 25 February 1905 shows some of the characters’ behaviour:
TETBURY PETTY SESSIONS
ASSAULT BY A WOMAN
A married woman, of Harper Street, was summoned for an assault on a married man, also of Harper Street It appeared that the complainant and defendant, with others while in the Talbot Hotel on Saturday night, had some dispute on a trifling matter; in the course of which, defendant alleged, that complainant made some offensive remarks to her. Meeting with him later in the street she went for him, striking him a violent blow between the eyes, cutting his face open, the blood flowing freely. The man declared he did not lift a hand against the woman, and she has positively asserted that he pressed his hand against her breast, and pushed her back. Both had been drinking. Charles Belcher, a youth corroborated complainant's evidence in every particular. The chairman said the defendant had undoubtedly committed an assault. If provoked, as she possibly was, she should have kept out of the man's way. Fined 1s.
As instructed by the trustee of the late Mr James Horton to sell by auction 10/4/1907 five freehold cottages with yards, wash-house and outbuildings. Two cottages fronting the street in occupation of James Hayes and William Compton, and three cottages at the rear in the occupation of William Bignell, Thomas Martin and William Moulder. All were connected to the public sewer.
Gloucestershire and Wiltshire Standard 6/4/1907
In May 1908 cottages on Harper Street were bought by Mr Charles Hill for £58 10s, annual rent for the pair was £9 19s 4d. However the cottages that made up King's Bench on Harper Street produced no bid so were withdrawn. King's Bench comprised seven cottages and yard.
Gloucestershire and Wiltshire Standard 16/5/1908
Two freehold cottages situate in Harper Street, occupied by Mr O.Prosser and Mr A.Garraway both of which had been re-roofed and new floors added. Auction sale 15/9/1909
Gloucestershire and Wiltshire Standard 11/9/1909
Case of Scarlet fever in Harper Street.
Cheltenham Chronicle 19/11/1910 p.4 col.b
A report prepared by Mr Davidson, sanitary inspector for Tetbury under the Town Planning Act gave details of 60 cottages in Harper Street. The report had already been before a special committee who recommended that amongst other things that every cottage should be fitted with a w.c. and where practicable connected to the town sewer. Thre were instances where there was only one w.c. between two or three cottages and in one instance two for seven cottages. Cleaning caused problems over differences between the cottagers over who was reponsible for such important work. The article concludes 'how could they expect to enforce morality amongst the people if they allowed such disgraceful conditions to exist?'
Cheltenham Chronicle 23/9/1911 p.4 col.c
At an Urban District Council meeting Jesse Cook of Harper Street wrote that he was unable to drain his house as there was no main sewer in Cottons Lane. The question was referred to the Sewers Committee.
Cheltenham Chronicle 20/1/1912 p.4 col.c
Tetbury Urban Council had served statutory notices on the owners of a large number of cottages on Harper Street. The surveyor who had served the notices said an owner had done a large amount of work and so the cottages should be inspected before any further action was taken. A letter from the Local Government Board stated that many of the working class properties in Tetbury were unfit for human habitation and pointed out the annual report of the Medical Officer of Health from the previous year had stated a number of cottages in the town including Harper Street were unfit for human habitation. However he did note that the chairman had woken up and was doing something about the conditions reported.
Cheltenham Chronicle 20/6/1914 p.4 col.b
Tetbury Board of Guardians reported that there was no casual ward for females at the workhouse and that the wives of vagrants were sent to lodging houses on Harper Street.
Cheltenham Chronicle 13/11/1915 p.4 col.d
Tetbury Licensing Sessions heard from a representative of the Stroud Brewery Company that the sudden death of the landlord of the Prince of Wales, Mr Oates, who had been the tenant for many years, meant that they were seeking a suitable tenant. Superintendant Perkins from the Tetbury District police stated that when he had taken over the role there were frequent complaints of trouble from the Prince of Wales Inn but when Mr Oates took over this was soon altered.
Cheltenham Chronicle 12/2/1916 p.4 col.a
Tetbury police court transfered the license of the Prince of Wales from the deceased John Oates to H.E.Cull.
Cheltenham Chronicle 11/3/1916 p.4 col.a
A case of child neglect was heard by the Petty Sessions when a couple from Harper Street were brought before the magistrates for neglecting their five children.
Cheltenham Chronicle 17/6/1916 p.4 col.c
The Urban District Council granted permission for Mr M.H.Barnes, Harper Street to have a water supply.
Gloucester Citizen 22/7/1921 p.3 col.c
report of the Tetbury Urban Council meeting which accepted the change of name from Harper Street to Romney Street.
Cheltenham Chronicle 28/2/1925 p.7 col.g
report of sale held at the White Hart by Moore, Allen and Innocent in which the estate of the late H.W.Jenkins was sold. A cottage and garden in Harper Street, let at £12 per annum was sold to Mr C.Paish of Painswick for £175.
Gloucester Citizen 12/7/1926 p.3 col.f
Road accidents - Photograph album of scenes of road accidents [in Chipping Sodbury Division] - West Street, Tetbury, with van DG 7052.
Gloucestershire Archives ref.Q/Y/6/4/1 pp.74
Building control application: alterations and additions, 20 West Street, February
Owner: Holborow & Sons
Architect, agent or builder: Holborow & Sons, Tetbury
Gloucestershire Archives ref.DA36/710/2/99
Building control application: drainage system and w.c.s, 63 and 65 West Street, 13 November
Owner: Messrs. Pearce Pope
Architect, agent or builder: Holborow & Sons, Tetbury
Gloucestershire Archives ref.DA36/710/2/292
Face of Gloucestershire - the story of Tetbury; Little; Bryan
Illustration of West Street.
1952 article in Gloucestershire countryside, Vol. 7, 1949-52, p.462-5 NB A copy of this journal is also available in Cheltenham Local Studies Library.
No'81 was classed as unfit for human habitation by the TRDC, the current owner and also occupier was waiting for a council house to become free before moving out.
In 1962 a slum clearance scheme was put into place that would see West Street redeveloped. No's 35-77 West Street were purchased as the first part of the slum clearance. A total of £3,800 had been borrowed by TRDC as the purchase price for all cottages. It was planned in that a second part would be bought up as each property became vacant (81-95) and as the first section was rebuilt to start buying up the third (1-33 and including some property on Church Street). A rolling program of redevelopment was intended.
PT 21747: Various roads, Tetbury (General Traffic Regulation) Order, 1994:West Street
Gloucestershire Archives ref.K1438/4
Gloucestershire County Council:Road number 41518 West Street, Tetbury
Notes Road Traffic Order under the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984