From the Barrett Browning Institute (the Library) down to the small Mission Hall stood the tanyards with the not very pleasant smelling tanpits which were open and in full view of the public.
The hides of cattle were brought from Worcester and Gloucester on Saturdays. On Sunday mornings men met together early and with axes and knives cut the pieces of flesh off that part of the hide near the horns and also skinned the tails and took them home for dinner. That was known as 'rumps and buns' and provided many a meal for a family.
At the bottom of the tannery was a right of way through to the National Provincial Bank garden and into the orchard.
The large Mission Hall was built on the site of Mr A Ballard's joinery shops and offices, sawpits and timberyard. Subsequently the buildings were used as a vinegar works after which they were demolished and the Mission Hall erected by Lady Henry Somerset. The large house adjoining, known as 'The Foley', was built at the time of the joinery shops.
The houses all the way down to the bridge on the same side were similar in style to their present appearance but The Brewery Inn was then unknown.
There was a small thatched house occupied by Mr T Brookes at the corner of the lane known as 'Dirty Hole' which was known as The Quiet Woman kept by a man named Hardwick.
In front of these houses an open ditch ran thence dose to the wall of Mr Gregg's workshops and on down to the meadows at 'Happy Land' open all the way, and used for all kinds of purposes.
At this time the Canal to Hereford was not made, and a railway was not even dreamt of, green fields and stately oaks and elms were there instead. The making of the Canal to Herefordshire (the contractors were Messrs Ballard and Brassey) was talked of for some years before it was commenced, but like the Gloucester Railway it did come at last. When the Canal started there seemed to be a need for a public house near Bye Street Bridge and the present lodging house was licensed and a big trade was done among the canal people.
Bye and bye it ceased to be a public house and The Brewery Inn was given a licence under the title of 'The Boat Inn', its present name being given to it some time later. In the centre of Bye Street, opposite the Cattle Market, was a blacksmith's shop and two cottages.
Going back to the Barrett Browning Institute and (the Library) taking the other side of the street the houses down to Mr Summers' shop were much the same as they always were. Mr Summer's place was a butcher's shop kept by James Cale and approached up a flight of stone steps. It afterwards became a public house called The Horse and Groom', being kept by a Mr Benjamin Cooper, and afterwards by Mr George Ellsmore.
(As before stated Ledbury was called Lliadeburge in the Domesday Book. It belonged to the See of Hereford before the Norman Conquest and the Bishops of Hereford had a Palace here, which it is stated stood on the site of St. Katharine's Hospital).
A small fragment of the old structure may still be seen in the wall of a cottage below Mr J Lloyd's house (now removed).
This street was once called Bishop Street The small houses below have undergone little change, but in the small opening between these cottages were a nest of tiny thatched cottages which lay back from the street.
The White Lion was then in full swing being kept by a Mr George Barnes. Mr Broad's premises were then large old tumbledown timbered buildings, tenanted by a man named Bailey who sold Herefordshire Cyder. There were little huts of dwellings at the back of the premises. Mr Hodges and Mr Davies premises have each new frontages as before they were good specimens of portions of old Ledbury.
The old cottages farther down the street have undergone but slight change. From these down to Mr Daw's yard was a high stone wall which fenced off a large orchard before the Cattle Market was established. The large house close to Mr Daw's timber yard was not built until after the canal to Hereford was made, the road along the front of which led to the Ledbury and Gloucester Canal new wharf.
The houses in 'The Dingle' have not changed in appearance, but the approach to them was far different as compared with the present time. Instead of having to go down to the houses you had to go up a bank out of the road because the roads were a great deal lower then than now in fact that locality was in a valley instead of on a hill as at present the making of the bridge causing the houses to be in such a deep crevice.
Instead of the present Bridge House (Mr T Ballard's residence) and the premises behind, the whole was a market garden, worked by Mr John Milton, who kept a shop where Mr Bache's shop is now.
Directly after the canal to Hereford was made Mr Thomas Edy had Bridge House built, and it was known for some years as 'The Bridge Inn' kept by James Greenway and subsequently by Mr Goode during whose tenancy the licence was lost. A bowling alley was attached to this inn as to many others in the town.