It’s clear, from looking at our historic image from 1900, that some of the shops on the right were demolished to make way for what is now Cranwell Road (between the ‘Benjamin Fawcett’ Wetherspoon public house and ‘Bar Forty One’). But, as with Middle Street South, the street retains much of its original character, changed mainly by the increase in traffic.
That’s the end of the trail! Why not visit the Driffield Centre nearby and see what it has to offer?
(Re-trace steps and turn right. Follow the street until you reach a junction with a car park on your left. Cross into the car park and the Driffield Centre is in front and to the right).
Still in the Market Place, looking north during the early 1900s, you can see from this archive image that there used to be another hotel close to The Bell Hotel, called The Swan or ‘Black Swan’. The building has since been demolished and some retail outlets, including a pizza takeaway, sit in its place, slightly further back from the street.
Here we are back in the Market Place, looking north in 1905. An old dark fountain sits in the foreground of our archive image, but it has long since disappeared, but what happened to it is currently unknown. Maybe you can answer the mystery of its disappearance?!
One thing that is familiar though is The Bell Hotel on the right, with its distinctive bell above the entrance.
On 20th May 1910, a surge of water came down from the Wolds and flooded many of the streets. Driffield Beck overflowed and spread out across 200 yards, flooding houses to a depth of about six feet. Bridges were swept away, which forced people to be evacuated by boat. This is the scene as it was on Exchange Street at the time, the natural dip in the road making it even more susceptible to the floodwater.
The point from which our archive image was taken is slightly elevated, so it will be difficult for you to make an exact comparison with the present-day scene, but the distinctive building occupied by The Original Keys today can be clearly seen straight ahead. Back at the turn of the 20th century, in this historic image, you can see how the entrance was much wider and has since been enclosed.
Previous names for this public house include ‘The Cross Keys’, and The Ferret & Sprout’.
Looking north up Middle Street, it’s clear that the buildings themselves remain little changed since this image from the early 1900s, which allows the opportunity to observe the change in style of the street and shop fronts. Notice ‘Stockdale’ clock & watchmakers on the right, ‘Stead & Simpson’ on the left, the fashions of the pedestrians, and the complete absence of any cars!
(Our trail begins on George Street, in between The Buck Inn and an Indian restaurant. Use ‘View on map’ from the trail’s homepage to reach point ‘1’ and the start of the trail).
As you compare our archive image with the scene in front of you, it’s hard not to be struck by the difference. Whilst the basic structure remains intact, the face of the Primitive Methodist Chapel (seen here in 1910) has been replaced to suit the needs of modern retail premises, currently occupied by ‘Pocklington Carpets’.
The absence of the building’s original frontage makes it completely unrecognisable today, but if you look carefully you can just make out the old church building behind the shop front.