A classic view from around 1920 of Hertford Street and Warwick Lane. On the left is the Bull Yard, on the corner of which is the famous Peeping Tom pub - with its famous statue peeping from the top window. Surprisingly, many parts of Hertford Street survived the war, but during post-war development the buildings at this bottom end of the street were demolished to create the new Bull Yard - an open square rather than the narrow alley it once was.
Built in 1812-13, Hertford Street was an early form of 'bypass', built after alleged complaints in 1807 by the Prince Regent, who found some difficulty using Warwick Lane and Greyfriars Lane as the main route into the city. The land given up to build the street belonged to the Marquis of Hertford (also Lord of Cheylesmore and owner of Cheylesmore Park), after whom the street was named.
The year is 1914 and the area where Hertford Street and Warwick Lane meet Warwick Row appears neat, uncluttered and inviting to shoppers. Although the modern scene is not a particularly unpleasant one, there's an almost intangible feel of being unconnected, and it somehow lacks the cohesion presented one century previous.
The most significant change noticed by drivers will be that since 1968, when Hertford Street was pedestrianised, they have no longer been able to use that direct route to reach the town centre, but have to take a sharp right turn into New Union Street.
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