New Street

                                        New Street

New Street has been here for around 600 years. At the end of this road is a small house. It was in the roof of this house a cockpit used to be located back in the 18th century, and from here people would watch cock fighting. The cockpit is long gone now, along with the sport of cock fighting.


Another intriguing part of this old road, ironically called New Street, are the pair of tall houses on the right. The buildings stand out from the others because of the 4 gables. The houses were built at the beginning of the 20th century, with the primary use being as a hospital.

              New Street tall houses with four gables

This hospital was built not only for the residents of Somerton, but also for the labourers working on the new railway that was being built at the time. A project such as the creation of the viaduct and railway line often resulted in injuries and so a hospital was required to cope with this influx in casualties.

It was also around this time that there was a smallpox outbreak in the area. The residents of Somerton were not happy to have labourers with smallpox being treated in the hospital, for fear of the other patients catching it.

Instead the smallpox patients were treated in tents outside the town and were provided with meals and tobacco to keep them there.

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