The commercial centre of town
From early coaching days, Castle Square had become the commercial centre of town, when the Castle Inn after which the square is named became established. When the inn was demolished in 1823, the square was opened up into a broad thoroughfare which became the main coaching centre of the town, with most routes from London and other places terminating here. Numbers 1-8 on the south side of Castle Square are all listed buildings; number 1 was probably designed by Wilds and Busby in the 1820s.
Early days of motorised vehicles
The view depicted is from Old Steine and dates from the first decade of the 20th century, at the time where horse drawn omnibuses were being replaced by motorised vehicles. Although Motor Buses operated there from 1903, the Horse Buses continued to run up until 1916.
Former businesses in the square
On the left-hand corner is the “Coal Owner’s Direct Supply Association” which occupied the site from around 1900 until 1920. On the right-hand corner is Needham’s, a well-known outfitter’s stores until it was replaced in 1933 by the art-deco ‘Electric House’.
Research kindly supplied by Andy Grant