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In the 16th and 17th centuries Knowle developed northwards along High Street from Kenilworth Road and The Square.  Originally it comprised a line of straggling cottages with mellow brickwork and crooked roofs winding through Knowle.  

Knowle Library is the oldest building in High Street, the south end dating from about 1400.  Other timbered-framed buildings include the bakery, the central part of The Greswolde, the black and white building called Kingscote (next to Kimbell’s Walk) and many of the former cottages.  The Old Surgery, on the corner of Hampton Road, was an early 19th century addition to a timber-framed smallholding.  

During the 19th century many of the cottages became shops, but their fabric remained largely intact and the general ambience of the street scene remained unchanged.  A jumble of cottages near The Square was replaced in the 1840s by brick built houses, demolished in their turn in the 1960s.  Redevelopment in the 1960s saw many cottages demolished to make way for modern blocks of shops and a new precinct.  All but one of the remaining cottages have now been converted to shops and offices, some left as just a shell.  Greville Court and Brisker Court are both more recent attractive developments.  High Street is still a village street, where one can meet acquaintances and stop for a chat.


High Street looking north,1905.  The bakery (with the rendered frontage, then a private house) is on the right.

Looking south  c. 1910, with the Greswolde Hotel on the left and timber-framed cottages, then rendered, right.