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Summary:

Earliest information: 1732
Original estate: Priory of St. John
Common Rights? Yes - 14 ft frontage; 2 horses or 4 cows.
Date of current building: 18th century
Listed?: No
This property was often referred to in historic documents as "The room over the river".

Thumbnail History:

All the properties on the "island" [1-7 Bridge Street] stand on land that was previously the Priory of St. John the Baptist, which had been established in 1232, and was dissolved by Henry VIII in c1547. In 1740 a new road incorporating two bridges was built for easier access to town from Charnham Street, replacing old road in front of Riverside House and through the ford across the River Dun (by Forge Cottage).

Quit rent 6d.

Bigg -> Woodroffe -> Batt -> Lye -> Sims -> Freeman -> Baigent -> Faryab -> Furr.

Photo Gallery:

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- 6 Bridge Street, Jan 2007

- Advertisement for Freeman Bros, c1890. Note address given as 8 & 9 Bridge Street

- North end of Bridge Street, c1910

- RF Norris, c1960

- RF Norris, c1960

Timeline:

1232: Priory of St. John the Baptist built on
the "island".

c1547: Priory of St. John dissolved by Henry VIII

1732: (See Inventory of William Biggs, tallow chandler under 7 BS. He definitely had ownership of 6BS and 7BS, but in view of the extensive property listed in the inventory, he probably owned the whole area now occupied by 5 BS, 6BS and 7BS.)

1740: New road and two bridges built for easier access to town from Charnham Street, replacing the old road in front of the Tannery (stood to rear of Riverside house) and the ford (by Forge Cottage).

1753-61 (QR) Phoebe Bigg... for Room over the River (6d)

1774-1804 (QR) Anthony Woodroffe for his room over the river, q.r. 6d.

1805-17 (QR) Devisees of Sarah Woodroffe for the room over the river, q.r. 4d.
1818-23 (QR) Devisees of Sarah Woodroffe (deleted) Batt for the room over the river, q.r. 6d.

1832 (QR) Robert Batt for the Room over the River (6d)

1836 (QR) ....Lye for the Room over the River late Woodroffe's, q.r. 6d.
1841 (CS) Elizabeth Lye

1847 (CL) William Sims (owner & occupant)

1861 (CS) George Hives (27) (chemist)

1861 (CL) James Langford (owner) G. Hives & others (occupants)

1871 (CS) ?William Taylor (25) (chemist)

1881 (CS) S. Brown (38) (tobacconist)

1891 (KD) Freeman Bros.
1896 (CL) Thomas Gray Freeman (owner & occupant)
1903 (KD) Freeman Bros
1903 (T&M Register) Thomas Gray Freeman (owner and occupier until 1917)
1914 (CL) Thomas Gray Freeman

1918 (T&M Register) Miss Emily Augusta Freeman (owner until 1968; occupier until 1963)
1920 (KD) Freeman Bros
1932 (QR) Miss Freeman, for "Formerly rooms over the River formerly Woodroffes then Jas Langfords", q.r. 6d.
1939 (Blacket's) Misses Freeman, tobacconists and fishing tackle
1939 (KD) Freeman Bros (6BS)
1947 (CL) Miss Emily Augusta Freeman (owner & occupant)
19?? (Robert James) Mr Freeman had 21 The Croft built where he lived, and then his two daughters Misses Freeman lived (now Norman & Barbara Barr).

1951-66 (KN) Kath Norris took over fishing tackle and tobacco from Freemans. Red Stores (5BS) run by manageress. Upstairs, Norah Smith ran a photographic studio.
1966 Norris moved to 1BS, then 10HS in 1971.

1964 T&M Register) Peter John Whiting (occupier)
1952 (CL) Miss Emily Augusta Freeman
1956 (CL) Miss Emily Augusta Freeman (owner & occupant)
1963 (CL) Miss Edith Gray Freeman (still fishing tackle)

1965 (T&M Register) Jeanette Baigent (occupier)
1968 (CL) Void

1968 (T&M Register) Myles Wyndham Thimbeby (owner)

1969 (T&M Register) Jeanette Baigent and Raymond Cyril Baigent (owners)
1970 Mr. & Mrs. Ray & Jan Baigent bought 6 BS (already owned 5 BS) opened Childrens Shop (clothing) in 6 & 5 Bridge Street
1970-83 (CL) Janette Baigent (Childrens Shop)
1983 Property sold - remained empty and boarded up
1984 (CL) Janette Baigent
1985 (CL) Janette Baigent

c1990 Bought by Mr Faryab of Malmesbury
2000 (CL) Void
2005 (CL) Void
2009 (NWN) West Berkshire Council used its legal powers to repair damaged windows and paint the frontage to improve the appearance of the derelict building.
Feb 2011 (NWN) Owner unknown.
Feb 2011 NWN article "Calls for action on decaying building"
2011 (CL) Void

2014 Bought by Greg & Rachel Furr

2017 (May): Rebuilding work started.

See also:

- Bridge Street Photo Gallery