Broadway Clock House.
Newbury lies on the main A4 London-Avonmouth road. This parallels the Kennet & Avon Canal and London-Bristol railway. As such, is was an important coaching route. Newbury, amongst other major towns along the way, reflected this importance.
At the junction with what would have been the main road into Newbury at Speenhamland, lies the Broadway Clock House. Now almost a quiet backwater, because the A4 has been re-routed, and the road through Newbury Town Centre largely pedestrianised, with the traffic using the nearby A339.
The junction, and incumbant feature, has an interesting history – portrayed by posters on the Clock House, which was once the centre-piece of the roundabout. The brick building on the left was the George and Pelican, where Admiral Lord Nelson frequently stayed on his way from London to Bath. Two other coaching inns (behind the camera) – The Chequers and The Bacon Arms – still exist.
The site of the Broadway Clock House originally housed the “Speenhamland Lamp” – a gas lamp mounted on a stone obelisk. In 1888, it was moved to the corner of Speen Lane, as local residents felt something more appropriate was required for such a key location. To celebrate 50 years of Queen Victoria’s reign, a Jubilee Clock was erected on the site instead.
Over the course of the next few years, the site was embellished with a water trough for horses, and a red public telephone box. With cars becoming more popular, it became a traffic roundabout. By 1929, it had been rebuilt as the Broadway Clock House we see today. The “house” housed a public telephone, as well as sheltered seating. In 2009, it ceased to be a roundabout, when the current layout was adopted.
- Taken: 7 Mar 2017
- Camera: Canon 5D MkIII
- Lens: Canon EF 24-70mm 1:2.8 L II USM
- Focal Length 24mm
- 1/80 Sec
- ISO 100