Brook Street

Last updated: 09/08/2017

Brook Street runs from Boxworth Road to the southern end of Church Lane following the course of the brook and was once a major centre of commercial activity with three pubs, a bakery, shops, coalyard, wheelwright, blacksmith and the schoolhouse.  Today all of these are closed and the buildings have been converted into private houses.  Many cottages also stood along the side of the brook and a number of them remain today.  Some new houses have been built at the southern end of Brook Street but the street is largely unchanged.  These pictures show the street as it was at various times throughout the 20th century and early 21st century; one recurring theme is flooding which is still an occasional event.
Brook Street has also been a frequent subject for commercial postcards sold in the village post office, one of the earliest by Raphael Tuck and Sons of London featuring Disbrowe Cottages.  The photograph must have been made around 1900 as examples on the page that have been posted show postmarks as early as 1902.


Brook Street cottages around 1901

This picture is of Disbrowe Cottages in Brook Street and is one of the earliest commercial postcards.  This picture links to a collection of  examples with the message and when it was sent and some other pictures of the cottages.




View south to Brook Street

Picture of the north end of  Brook Street taken from the bridge over the brook in Smith Street.  This picture is from the early 1900s and shows the telegraph poles going to the post and telegraph office in Brook Street.

Brook Street looking north to Boxworth Road

Picture of the north end of Brook Street looking towards Boxworth Road.  The butchers shop is visible on the opposite side of Boxworth Road.

Brook Street showing pubs around 1909

Picture of Brook Street looking south during the winter, showing how muddy the roads became.
This picture dates from approximately 1909.

Brook Street circa 1915

Picture showing the bottom of the Causeway with the Dolphin Inn and the Plough.  This picture dates from about 1915.

Brook Street cottages around 1901

This postcard shows a group of cottages in Brook Street around 1901.  Most of the buildings pictured are still standing today.

Brook Street showing the old sluice

Brook Street in the 1920s showing the sluice gate at the northern end of the culvert and watering place for animals.  The wheelwright's workshop is on the left next to the last telegraph pole.

Brook Street from the north 1930s

Brook Street in the 1930s or early 1940s.  A cottage on the left of the street was bombed and destroyed during the second world war.

Right side of Brook Street looking south

Brook Street in 1900s showing the Three Horseshoes pub and beyond it a grocer's shop.  The post and telegraph office is at the end of the row of buildings.

Brook Street looking south around 1913

Brook Street looking south from the sluice showing Disbrowe cottages and Daniel's barn.  This picture was on a card postmarked 1913.

Picture of schoolhouse in Brook Street

Picture of the schoolhouse in Brook Street in the early 20th century.

The old schoolhouse in the early 20th century

The old schoolhouse in Brook Street, again in the early 20th century.  The cookery school on the Causeway can be seen in the background.


Brook Street 1958-1959

Brook Street looking north along the brook in the winter of 1958-1959.

Brook Street winter 1958-1959

Brook Street looking north showing the sluice and the wheelwright wprkshop and the village shop in the winter of 1958-1959.

Northern end of Brook Street 1958-1959

Northern end of Brook Street showing Randall's Cottage and Knibbs butchers shop in the winter of 1958-1959.

The Plough in the 1980s

The Plough in Brook Street in the 1980s.

Building new houses 1965

Building new houses on the meadow beside the schoolhouse in 1965.

Low Farm in Brook Street

Low Farm, possibly in the 1940s.

Low Farm winter 1961-1962

Low Farm at the end of Brook Street in snow during the winter of 1961-1962.

Low Farm in the 1980s

The front of Low Farm during the 1980s.

Low Farm well

The well at Low Farm in the 1980s.  Many houses along Brook Street had their own well.

New bungalows 1966-1967

New bungalows at the bottom of the meadow completed 1966.

Relief culverts being laid in Brook Street

In the mid 1960s relief culverts were laid from the sluice to the remaining waterway at the end of Cotterell's Lane to reduce the flooding in Brook Street.

Relief culverts in Brook Street

The new culverts viewed from outside Horseshoe cottage.

Plough and Long Gable in 1980s

The centre of Brook Street with the Plough and Long Gable in the 1980s.

View from southern end of Brook Street

View along Brook Street from the southern end around 1980.  New bungalows new to Low Farm are visible on the right.  The old butcher's shop building is also largely intact; now it is buried in vegitation and collapsing.

Houseshoe cottage around 1980

This view shows the west side of Brook Street opposite the Causeway around 1980.  Horseshoe Cottage (formerly the Three Horseshoes pub) in the foreground.

Brook Street in early 1900s

This view shows the a very similar view to the previous picture as it was in the early 1900s.  The Three Horseshoes pub sign is visible in ther foreground.  The telegraph poles connect the post office at the end of the street.

View of eastern side of Brrok Street 1980

This view shows the eastern side of Brook Street around 1980 with the Plough and Long Gable visible.

Plough during a flood 1930s

This view shows the Plough and Long Gable during a flood sometime before the second world war when Brook Street was bombed.

Cottage in Brook Street around 1980

View of a cottage in Brook Street opposite the end of Cotterell's Lane around 1980.

The Old Schoolhouse in the 1980s

The Old Schoolhouse in the 1980s after renovation.

Horseshoe Cottage in the 1980s

Horseshoe Cottage in the 1980s.

Disbrowe Cottages in the 1980s

Disbrowe Cottages in Brook Street during the 1980s.

Cottage and Long Gable in the 1980s

The view was taken from the end of Cotterell's Lane looking across Brook Street in the 1980s.

The Cottage in the 1990s

The Cottage (No 11) during the 1990s.

North end of Brook Street early 1900s

This picture shows the north end of Brook Street in the early 1900s with the footbridge over the brook in the foreground and Knibbs butchers shop on Boxworth Road in the background.

J W Throssell with cartwheel

J W Throssell the wheelwright with a cartwheel made for exhibition in the 1950s.  The old wheelwright shop is in the background.

View of 1983 flood from north end of Brook Street

Brook Street flood in 1983 viewed from Boxworth Road.  Until recently floods have been a regular feature of life in brook Street.

View across flood from Cotterell's Lane 1983

View across Brook Street from Cotterell's Lane in 1983 flood.

View of Long Gable in 1983 flood

Looking south from Cotterell's Lane towards Long Gable and the Plough during the 1983 flood.

View along Brook Street 1983 flood

View southwards along Brook Street during 1983 flood showing The Bakery and Horseshoe Cottage.

brook Street looking south early 1900s

View of Brook Street from the footbridge by the end of Cotterell's Lane in the early 1900s.  The telegraph connection to the post office is visible.

View southwards from sluice

View southwards along the brook from the sluice showing cottages and barns a
in the early 1900s.

Cottage at south end of Brook Street

This view shows taken in the early 1900s shows a small cottage that originally stood across from Low Farm.  It has long since vanished but the original plot is still visible.

View of brook during summer looking towards the sluice

This view shows the brook largely dried up.  A pony and trap on the road shows the typical transport of the time.

Brook Street in the 1920s showing the coal yard

A postcard of Elsworth from the 1920s  or 1930s showing Throssells shop on the left and on the corner of the Causeway the coalyard at no 1.  There was a large door at the rear of the shed opening onto Brook street.  Shell petrol is advertised on the stide of the carpenters shop.

Disbrowe Cottages in the early 1900s

A photo of Disbrowe Cottages, probably in the early 1900s.  This seems to be a similar view to the Raphael Tuck postcard which is earler than 1902.  A now vanished cottage adjoins what it now Jasmine Cottage.

The Old Bakehouse, January 1922

A woman and child standing outside what is now No 2 Brook Street (The Old Bakehouse) in January 1922.  The edge of the bakehouse can be seen on the left and the roof appears to be thatch while the house roof is slate.

Brook Street looking north

A picture looking down Brook Street from outside Throssell's shop looking north.  This must have been taken before 1915 when the Three Horseshoes ceased to be a pub.  The telegraph wire to the post office further down is present so it must be after 1901.

Looking south from the sluice

The view along the brook from the sluice showing the cottages on the western side.  It is summer and the brook is overgrown, the date is probably late 1940s or early 1950s as power or telephone wires can be seen along the bank.  The old oil lamp post and water spigot are also still there.

Sluice and brook in 1986

View of the brook and sluice in 1986.  The wooden rails have since been replace with concrete posts and pipes.

A winter scene from the 19080s

A winter scene in Brook Street in the 1980s.

Old Post Office and wheelwright shop in 1990s

Building work during the conversion of the wheelwright shop and garage to residential use in the 1990s.

View of No 10 (formerly shop) around 1990

View of No 10 Brook Street around 1990, formerly a grocer and haberdashery shop until the 1960s.

View along the brook from the sluice in the 1980s

The view along the brook from the sluice in the 1980s.  The old barn on the left has now very largely collapsed.

Horseshoe Cottage around 1990

View of Horseshoe Cottage around 1990 (formerly the Three Horseshoes pub).

West side of Brook Street in the 1990s

Houses along the west side opposite the Causeway in the 1990s.  At this time the wheelwright shop at the end was being converted to residential.

The Bakery in Brook Street around 1990

View of the house with former bakery to the left around 1990.

Randall's Cottage in the 1990s

Randall's Cottage in the 1990s taken from the junction with Smith Street and Boxworth Road.

The Plough in the 1990s

The Plough in Brook Street in the 1990s.

Disbrowe Cottages in the 1990s

Disbrowe Cottages in the 1990s.  They are largely unchanged today.

Number 10 (formerly a shop)

No 10 in the 1990s, formerly a shop.  There have been changes to the building since with chimney pots  added to the large square chimney stack.  The street is unusualy clear of parked cars.

Old bungalow at the end of Brook Street

This small bungalow stood in a field at the south end of the street, reached only by a footpath.  It was demolished in the 1990s and replaced with a large house and a vehicle bridge was built over the brook for access.

Randall's Cottage from Smith Street

Randall's Cottage in the 1990s taken from Smith Street.


Randall's Cottage from Smith Street

Randall's Cottage with building work going on in the 1990s.

Long Gable in the 1990s

Long Gable in Brook Street in the 1990s.  The house is largely unchanged today.

Bungalows in Brook Street

One of two pairs of semi-detatched bungalows built in the 1960s.  The left hand bungalow is the only one of the four that has not been extended since then.

Jasmine Cottage in the 1990s.

Jasmine Cottage in the 1990s.  The cottage has changed substantially since with the tree on the left being removed and an extension built to the left of the cottage.  The porch has also been demolished.

Holworthy Cottage

Holworthy Cottage in Brook Street in the 1990s.  This was originally two cottages that were renovated and converted into one house in the 1960s.

Number 24 Brook Street

A cottage in Brook Street that has been modified over the years.  A recent feature of cottages in the area has been the addition of tall chimney pots because of the thatch.

Randall's Cottage and the old butcher's shop 1990s

The northern end of Brook Street in the 1990s showing Randall's Cottage and Knibbs butchers shop (now a house).

The Old Bakehouse from the south in the 1990s

The Old Bakehouse (built c1843)
showing the bakehouse at the end in the 1990s.

Bungalow in Brook Street

One of two modernist bungalows built in the late 1960s/early 1970s at the southern end of Brook Street.

The old schoolhouse after restoration

The old schoolhouse after extensive restoration work.

View south along Brook Street beside the brook

Looking south towards Disbrowe Cottages in the 1980s.  The old barn can be seen on the left; it has since collapsed.

Looking north from Disbrowe Cottages 1980s

Looking north from Disbrowe Cottages in the 1980s.  The old barn is still standing and the tangle of power lines can be seen.

View of the old Throssell shop and wheelwright shop

View across Brook Street of the old Throssell shop and wheelwright workshop beyond in the 1990s.  Both are now residential.

The old post office in the 1990s

The old post office, also known as "Twoways" in the 1990s.

Brook Street in the 1980s

Looking south from the middle of Brook Street in the 1980s.  


View across Brook Street from high ground, winter 2010

The view looking west from the eastern side near Church Lane winter 2010.  Jasmine Cottage is in the centre of the picture.

View looking northwest across Brook Street, winter 2010

The view northwest across Brook Street from near Church Lane in the winter of 2010.  Holworthy Cottage and Twoways (the old Post Office) are in the background.

View northwest across Brook Street, winter 2010

The view northwest across Brook Street from near Church Lane in the winter of 2010.  Twoways (the old Post Office) and houses to the north are in the background.


Low Farm

Low Farm, possibly in the 1930s or 1940s.  The cottage in the background has since vanished.

Rear of Low Farm

This picture shows Low Farm taken from the paddock behind the building.  This paddock was built on in the 1970s.

View of cottage and old butchers shop

This picture shows the old butcher's shop that stood at the southeren end of Brook Street, and a now vanished cottage that seems badly damaged.  The remains of the butcher's shop still exist.

North end of Brook Street, early 1960s

The north end of Brook Street with Randall's Cottage, in the early 1960s.  The electricity cables have bee joined by new concrete streetlights.

Looking across Brook Street from Cotterell's Lane, 1960s

A view across Brook Street towards Long Gable from Cotterell's Lane in the early 1960s.  The power cables and new concrete streetlights are visible.

Wheelwright shop and street lamp

Picture of the wheelwright shop in the 1900s together with the old oil lamp that stood by the sluice and the telegraph pole for the telegraph to the old post office.  The original steep thatched roof of the tithe barn can be seen in the background.

The Plough in 1920s or 1930s

The Plough in the 1920s or 1930s looking in better repair.  Huntingdon Fine Ales are long gone.

Long Gable pre-war

Long Gable before Brook Street was bombed, destroying the cottage next to Long Gable and the end of Long Gable itself.

View across from the end of Cotterell's Lane

View from the end of Cotterell's Lane looking across Brook Street.  The cottage on the left is now a single house and the cottage to the right was destroyed by bombing.
The dilapidated roof of a barn that stood in the Causeway can be seen in the background.

Long Gable in the 1940s or 1950s

Long Gable after the war with Brok Street flooded.  The neighbouring cottage has gone along with half of Long Gable.  Electricity has arrived in Elsworth as well.

Brook Street flood early 1900s

This picture shows Brook Street flooded, the depth indicted by the horse and cart.  The view seems to be looking west towards the old butcher's shop.  The cottage seen in the centre is long gone, and a barn was built on the roadside there.

Brook Street flooded outside Low Farm 1980s

Brook Street flooded at the south end around 1990.

Flooding in 1993

Brook Street flooding in 1993 at the bottom of the Causeway.

Flooding in the 1990s

Looking north at flooding from the bottom of the Causeway in 1993.

Looking south from Smith Street

Looking south from Smith Street during a major flood.

Throssell's shop in Brook Street early 1900s

This picture shows Throssell's shop on Brook Street.  At this point in time the roof of the main building was thatched but is now tiled.

Some pupils outside the schoolhouse

This shows some of the school pupils outside the schoolroom around 1900.  A postcard of this dated 1903 exists indicating it must be prior to this date.

The old Post Office

This picture shows the old post office, possibly in the very early 1900s before the telegraph was installed.

Low Farm

Low Farm in the early 1900s, showing that in those days Brook Street was an unpaved track.

View across Brook Street from The Causeway

This picture shows the view from the Causeway just above the Dolphin across Brook Street.  The sign of the Three Horseshoes opposite is visible.

Another flood in Brook Street

Another flood in Brook Street.  The telegraph pole and street lamp are in the flood but it has not reached the Three Horseshoes.

View from end of Cotterells Lane to Boxworth Road

A view along the last part of Brook Street towards Boxworth Road, with the butcher's shop in the distance.

Brook Street looking north, possibly in 1940s

A view looking north along Brook Street.  This is a commercial postcard, probably from the 1940s.  There is still no electricity and the Three Horseshoes does not seem to be a pub any more.  The Plough is still open.

Throssell's shop in the early 1900s        View of Throssell's shop in Brook Street

These pictures are similar to a previous picture but show a wider view of Throssell's shop on Brook Street.  At this point in time the roof of the main building was thatched but is now tiled.  The pictures must be earlier than 1915 as the sign of the Three Horseshoes pub can be seen in the distance and this pub closed in 1915.

Brook Street looking south

Picture of Brook Street looking south in the early 1900s.  The bakery opposite has a large wall at the front that has gone.

View across Brook Street from the old post office

View across Brook Street from the front door of the old post office showing the church in the background.  The street lamp that used to stand by the sluice has gone.

Drawing of Low Farm in the 1930s

This is a drawing of Low Farm made in 1930 by Lawrence Iggulden, vicar of Elsworth from 1927 to 1946.

The post office in Brook Street

The post and telegraph office in Brook Street in the early 1900s.
The sharpening wheel and bits of wood belonging to the wheelwright's shop next door can be seen next to the driveway .

The old post office and wheelwright yard early 1900s

The post and telegraph office is on the left with the sign and post box by the door.  In the background at the top of the yard is the blacksmith shop which is still present.

The old post office and wheelwright yard

The old post and telegraph office seen from the far side of the brook.  The oil lamp that stood by the sluice is visible on the far right and in the background is the tithe barn with the original thatched roof.

Brook Street late 1920s/early 1930s

A view of Brook Street from opposite Holworthy Cottage looking north, probably in the late 1920s or early 1930s.  Electricity has not yet arrived and the old oil lamp is still standing opposite the post office. The street water supply from the mains is also visible.

The Schoolhouse in Brook Street

The old schoolhouse in Brook Street.  The building looks a little run down so this may be not long before it closed.  The schoolroom on the Causeway is visible in the background, as is the building that became the post office in the 1970s.

Brook Street looking south from opposite Cotterell's Lane

This picture shows Brook Street looking south from a position opposite the end of Cotterell's Lane.  It may have been taken after 1915 since the Three Horseshoes pub sign seems to have been taken down and this closed in 1915.

Elsworth School 1925-1927

This picture of the pupils of Elsworth school was taken in 1926 or 1927. 

Elsworth school pupils in 1921

This picture of Group 1 pupils of Elsworth school was taken in 1921.  Disbrowe Cottages can be seen in the background.

Class of 1923

Class 1 of 1923 at the old schoolhouse in Brook Street.

Daisy and Nell Richardson in the schoolyard

Daisy and Nell Richardson in the old schoolyard, probably in the early 1900s.  Horseshoe cottage can be seen in the background but the pub sign is obscured by the tree.

School pupils in the 1920s

School pupils at the old schoolhouse in Brook Street, probably during the 1920s.  This picture was a formal photograph of a class by "Scholastic Souvenirs Co., Bispham, Blackpool".

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