From research that Geoff has done into the history of the building it would seem probable that the present building was erected in the early 1790s making it over 200 years old. Windsor Street is now the oldest preserved street in Uxbridge and was originally called Cattesditch and then the Lynch (meaning a slope). Presumably it was renamed Windsor Street because it is on the road to Windsor. Although the street now finishes at the shop next door (No 23 Ladbrokes) it originally had 4 more shops before it turned into Cross Street. The buildings that were either side of number 22 and 23 are much older in history (the bakers is early 1700s and photographs show that number 24 was of similar age) and so it is probable that an earlier building on the site was pulled down and the present 2 shops erected in their place. Both 22 & 23 are taller than the buildings that are either side of them and therefore more modern. The original maps show that the buildings formed an enclosed courtyard with the entrance where our side extension is now located.
The building is brick-built with massive central oak timbers holding the floors and supporting the upper levels. Markings on some of the timbers may suggest that they came from ship’s timbers. The rating records give the names of the original occupiers, the earliest of which is 1791 but evidence from the lease documents of No 21 could possibly give the occupiers of a previous building on the site. The first occupations are revealed in 1830, Number 23 is a Public House (the Carpenters Arms) and our shop is a Butchers with a slaughterhouse out in the courtyard. Up until the mid-century there are several changes in occupiers but the occupations stay the same . No 23 become the Waterloo Soldier in 1840 but in 1842 it becomes the Crispin with the publican also being a shoemaker. (Saint Crispin was the patron Saint of shoemakers). Our shop was still a Butchers and was now run by the son of a family who ran a Butcher’s and Eating House at the top of the street. In 1865 Geo Rowles expands his butcher’s business in Edgware with a second butchers in our shop. He obviously invested in the building because when we dug out the floor we found a bottle with a note in it saying “This new shop front and new floor enameled by Geo Rowles February 1882”. The butchers business finally comes to an end in 1898.
If you had looked out of the shop in the 1890s then the scene would be very different. Just opposite would have been the old Fire Engine House, with it’s gleaming hand-pumped engine. Next to this, where the Old Post Office is, you would have seen the Uxbridge Almshouses.
By 1902 the entrepreneur who ran the shop next door (James Turner) expanded his business and occupied both shops. He was a Cabinet-maker, Insurance Agent, Undertaker and Picture-Frame Maker so I wonder which of these business’s he operated from our part of the shop. In more recent times the shop has been a stationers, newspaper office, clothes retailer and antique business before finally becoming Maranatha.
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