More photos from the old and the new

Today I finish my series of three posts looking at how particular locations have changed in appearance between some old photos that I found and which date from the 1880’s and 1890’s and how they look today using Google Steet view.

Originally I was just interested to see if I could find the locations for myself to see what if anything remained of them but as I investigated I realised it was fascinating to see how some places have changed dramatically and others remain almost unchanged.

Whereas some of the locations in post 1 and post 2 reveal some quite big changes, these photos all have much more subtle changes and with the exception of cars and modern signage, not much has changed.



The old photo above is of a street in the centre of old Shrewbury, its beautiful Tudor style buildings just as popular today as they were back then.  The main building has barely changed except perhaps for slightly modified windows behind the shutters on the ground floor.

It’s interesting that the old building at the end of the street seems to have entirely vanished and been replaced by a 1960’s monstrosity.  It is possible this building was simply torn down before building regulations were tightened though I’d imagine this to be unlikely.  More likely perhaps is that it was bombed in WW2 or was perhaps destroyed in a fire.     All of these events make it more remarkable that we have so many old buildings around at all.

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Whitby Abbey

Whitby Abbey

Whitby Abbey sits perched ontop of tall dramatic cliffs on the Yorkshire coast.  It was somewhere I was lucky enough to visit last year.   Destroyed following the dissolution of the monasteries by King Henry VIII centuries ago, it know is a haunting and perhaps haunted ruin sat overlooking the beautiful town of Whitby.   Perhaps it is because of all of this that it is of course features heavily in the novel Dracula.

The Abbey would have looked pretty much as it did in the photo above when Brahm Stoker visited it and as you can see, the building itself is pretty much unchanged.  The ground has been levelled and excavated to make it easier for sightseers and this has also revealed additional column supports on the right.

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Robin Hood's Bay, Whitby

Robin Hood’s Bay, Whitby

It’s never quite clear why Robin Hood’s Bay has its name but its been named this way for centuries.  Many believe that Robin Hood was actually from Yorkshire so maybe there is something to it.

Google don’t yet do a sea-view but this image is taken from the very limit of their streetview and it seems from the curvature of the wall and the windows above it that this is one place that hasn’t changed from the 19th to 21st centuries.


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Google Beach view of Robin Hood’s Bay.



The Pantiles, Royal Tunbridge Wells

The Pantiles, Royal Tunbridge Wells

The Pantiles in Royal Tunbridge Wells is as fancy as it’s rather immodest name suggests.  Of course they don’t allow Google streetview down there but the photo below from a nearby road gives the idea that the whole place is as posh today as it was in the 19th century.


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The Pantiles in Royal Tunbridge Wells



The Gap, Margate

The Gap, Margate

These photos are of The Gap in Margate, Kent.  The new photo below is taken from where the man, boy and horse are situated on the left of the lane.    Margate used to be a booming seaside resort and it is really clear how things have sadly changed these days though before the Margate tourist agency email me, it is improving quickly these days.

It’s neat to see there is still a bridge over the top of The Gap though it looks like the undergrowth needs a bit of a trim.

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York Gate at Broadstairs

York Gate at Broadstairs

I adore the old photo above showing the Victorian children posing under the gate.  Wouldn’t it be fascinating to know what happened to them?   This old gate is around 500 years old and its great to see the weeds have now been removed from the top.

The shop on the left has now got 21st century windows but the barbour wall in the back remains the same.  Interestingly the old iron boot scraper on the right has gone.  You don’t see these that often anymore but there are still plenty around.  The idea is for those little Victorian children to scrape the mud off their shoes before going inside.   Obviously when the street was tarmaced then the scraper was removed.


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York Gate at Broadstairs a century on



Ventnor, Isle of Wight

Ventnor, Isle of Wight

The beautiful scene above is from Ventnor on the Isle of Wight just off the south coast of England.  The Isle of Wight is famous for being rather old-fashioned and it still looks very laid back in the photo below.

It wasn’t possible to get the precise view as the road above has now turned into a pedestrian zone so there is no Google Streetview.  Instead this is taken from the prominent wall on the right which remains unchanged.

One change however is the sad removal of the pier.  Piers are a rather endangered thing around the U.K. due to their age, expense to maintain and repair and their preponderence to be hit by ships or burnt down in fires.  Sadly though the entrance to the pier is visible, the pier itself has apparently recently been removed.


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Modern day Ventnor, Isle of Wight



The Market Hall in Ross-On-Wye

The Market Hall in Ross-On-Wye

Finally we finish off this series of posts with a look at the old Market Hall in the beautiful market town of Ross-On-Wye.     120 years on and it looks like the market is as booming as ever.  You can still just about see the old gas lamp below just at the right side of the market hall and the buldings on the right obviously have the same windows


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Ross On Wye Market Hall today

I hoped you enjoyed these comparative posts between the 19th century and 21st centuries.


About Stephen Liddell

I am a writer and traveller with a penchant for history and getting off the beaten track. With several books to my name including several #1 sellers. I also write environmental, travel and history articles for magazines as well as freelance work. I run my private tours company with one tour stated by the leading travel website as being with the #1 authentic London Experience. Recently I've appeared on BBC Radio and Bloomberg TV and am waiting on the filming of a ghost story on British TV. I run my own private UK tours company (Ye Olde England Tours) with small, private and totally customisable guided tours run by myself!
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6 Responses to More photos from the old and the new

  1. Neidotta says:

    So interesting post! It’s cool to see how places change 🙂


  2. Jade says:

    Loved this post. I often like to search for then and now pictures of the places I’ve lived, I always think everything looked so much nicer back then 🙂


  3. Francis says:

    Fascinating. I’m raring for more comparisons!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Nice! Isn’t it interesting that while we often think that we “lose” bits of history because it falls or is torn down, the truth is that most historical sites are lost through addition of chaotic bits and pieces of architecture which obscure the original, (dare I say simpler and therefore superior?) building composition. These are called improvements by some!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thanks. I enjoyed these

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Pingback: Bushey Heath now and then – Photos of my street from 130 years ago | Stephen Liddell

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