The historic centre of Hungerford is delightfully compact and contains some fascinating buildings. The street plan you see today, with a north-south High Street, was laid out in the 13th century on on the footprint of an older village. Which was centered on The Croft, where you will find the Parish Church of St. Lawrence.

Some of the most interesting buildings are shown on the map below. Just click a marker to find out more about them. You can zoom in and out and move the map around using two fingers. You can then use the “Next” and “Previous” buttons to progress around the trail. You can visit them in any order.

More detailed walks can be found on the Town Walks page of the Hungerford Virtual Museum website.

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The Heritage Trail Introduction

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The Heritage Trail

The Town Hall and Corn Exchange.

The Town Hall and Corn Exchange were built in 1871. There had been three earlier town halls dating from the 13th century. All had been in the middle of the marketplace.
A new town clock was given to the town in 1862 and the cupola of the 1786 town hall was much altered to accommodate the clock. However, the changes made the building unstable, and it was decided to build a new town hall, including a large and impressive clock tower.

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The Tri-Service Station.

On the land between the old Ebenezer Wesleyan Chapel (on your left) and the Hungerford Hub (Library, on your right) a huge animal feed mill was built in 1932 – the Great Western Mill. It was a big employer in the town.

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The Croft

The Croft is a quiet green, lying away from the hustle and bustle of the High Street. It probably originated as the village green of the original vill of Hungerford, before the “new” medieval town was laid out slightly to the east sometime between 1180 and 1250.

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St. Lawrence’s Church

The Parish Church of St. Lawrence was built in 1814-16 in Georgian Gothic style. It is adjacent to the Kennet and Avon canal, and the Bath stone for the church was the largest of the early contracts for the canal company after the canal had opened in 1810.

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Croft Hall.

The Croft Hall opened in 1900. The site was originally part of the land used for the Free Grammar School, founded in 1635, which closed in 1884. In 1898 the school building was sold to Sir William Pearce of Chilton Lodge and soon demolished.

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The Jubilee Bridge.

The brick bridge over the Kennet and Avon canal was designed by John Rennie and built in 1799. For the first 100 years of its life, it carried nothing heavier than horses and wagons. Through the 20th century and onwards, however, it has had to support increasingly heavy vehicles.

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The Bear Hotel

The Bear is one of the grand coaching inns of England, with a long and rich history. It is thought to have developed a lodging house for the adjacent medieval Priory of St John (see War Memorial) which was founded by 1232. There is documentary proof of its use as a Hospice in 1464.

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The War Memorial

This is Hungerford’s main War Memorial. It was built on the island in Bridge Street which had, since 1232, been the site of the ancient Priory of St John the Baptist. The Priory was dissolved by Henry VIII.

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The John o’Gaunt Inn.

By 1764 it was Hungerford’s first workhouse, but when a larger workhouse was required in 1782, the paupers were moved to the “High House”, now Charnham Close, 26 Charnham Street.

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