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Archive Mysteries Solved

Thanks to your detective work, these and many other mysteries have been solved. Many thanks for your help.

With over nine million photographs in the Historic England Archive, there are many more photos we need your help to identify. Please keep an eye out for more mysteries coming your way... 

Suburban villa mysteries

Sepia archive photograph of a three storey victorian villa set amongst trees.
Bracken House in Walton on Thames, Surrey. Now identified as 4 Station Avenue, north-east of Walton on Thames railway station (on the corner plot adjacent to Hersham Road). The historic maps of 1886-7 shows two houses with the correct footprint for this property. Neither now survives. The whole site is now occupied by Oakdene Court and the houses on St Vincent's Road. Photographed by Bedford Lemere and Company in May 1884. The photographer's daybook records the architect as Richard Norman Shaw. Historic England Archive BL05130

East midlands industrial mysteries

Archive photograph looking across an expanse of water towards the gable end of a brick building in an industrial complex.
MYSTERY SOLVED - our thanks to Toby for this one, and to Nigel for the correction to the street number we had assumed. Warehouse on the River Trent is William Gleadell & Sons, Corn Millers at 90 Bridge Street Gainsborough, Lincolnshire. The company appear to have owned two premises on this street - the other one is at number 54. Photographed by Eric de Mare (active 1945-80). © Historic England Archive AA98/05324

Church mysteries

Archive photograph of an aisled church in an Early English style with a tower offset to one side of the centre line.
MYSTERY SOLVED - our thanks to Jeremy for this one. Christ Church, Quay Road, Bridlington, East Yorkshire. The image shows the church prior to the addition of the spire in 1859. Photographed onto a paper negative circa 1853. © Historic England Archive CC61/00057

War memorial mysteries

Archive photograph showing a group of people gathered around a war memorial. In the background there are tramlines in the street and a terrace of houses.
MYSTERY SOLVED - Many thanks to a number of people including Mr D Lovell: The unveiling ceremony of a First World War memorial at the junction of Oldham Road and Taunton Road, Ashton under Lyne. The terrace visible in the background on Oldham Road has since been demolished. Dated 15 May 1921. G Farthing War Memorials Collection. Historic England Archive FAR01/01/048.

Public house mysteries

Archive sepia photograph of a public house with Watneys brewery signage.
The Star & Garter public house at the junction of New Cross Road and Wilshaw Street, Lewisham. The pub still exists, but was rebuilt in the 20th century. It is one of a series of Watneys pubs recorded by photographers H and R Stiles in the 1880s and 1890s. Historic England Archive AL2405/019/01

Northumbrian mysteries from the Thomas Tate Album

Exterior of a small cottage with a donkey and people posed outside.
MYSTERY SOLVED - Thank you Alan, especially for explaining about the donkey! The Castle Dairy in the grounds of Alnwick Castle. The donkey would be loaded up with milk and make his own way to the Castle. After they had taken their requirement he would be sent off to the square where locals helped themselves. He would then wander back to the dairy. Item from the Thomas Tate Album of carte de visite photographs of north east England. Historic England Archive NCV01/01/028

Village mysteries

Archive black and white photograph of a detached brick and thatched cottage with a large television aerial
MYSTERY SOLVED: Thank you Trevor, Toby and Elizabeth. Nineveh Cottage, Stratford Road, Wellesbourne, Warwickshire. It was lived in until the 1980s but was demolished after a fire, and a new house now stands in its place. Photographed between 1945 and 1965 by S W Rawlings. © Historic England Archive AA002203

Mysteries from the London Midland and Scotish Railway Collection

Black and white archive print of the exterior of a large country house with terraced gardens and a statue.
MYSTERY SOLVED: Thank you Chris. Park Hotel, East Cliff, Preston, viewed from Miller Park. The former railway hotel is now offices for Lancashire County Council. Photographed for the London Midland and Scottish Railway between 1880 and 1900. Historic England Archive DD004419
Archive black and white photograph of an upland area with a muddy track running beside a dry-stone wall.
MYSTERY SOLVED - Thank you David. View north-east from the Hayfield area looking towards Kinder Scout, Derbyshire. The Kinder Reservoir (completed 1911-12) now occupies the area in the centre of this image. Photographed for the London Midland and Scottish Railway 1896. © Historic England Archive CC025326
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