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Sutton's Victorian High Street

Sutton High Street has changed beyond recognition over the last 200 years.

At the beginning of the 19th century a scatter of houses, pubs and craft based shops ran southwards up the High Street from Sutton Green to the Cock cross-roads. The village was on the main road from London to Brighton and two large coaching inns, the Cock and the Greyhound, served passing travellers. After the railway came, the population of Sutton grew and the village turned into a town. By 1900 the High Street was densely built up but change did not end then, and many of the Victorian and Edwardian buildings have now been demolished and replaced by newer ones.

The earliest photos of the High Street date from the mid-19th century. The first view looks north down the High Street towards the Cock cross-roads behind the cart. The sign across the road is for the Cock Inn which is to the right of the photo behind the tree. There is another pub on the left edge of the photo. This was predecessor of the Green Man ( now O'Neills). Note the gravel road surface.

Another mid-19th century view, the second photo is looking north down the High Street. The building projecting forward in the centre of the photo is at the entrance to West Street. The timber frame across the road in the distance held the sign of the Greyhound Inn which was where Superdrug and Dolland & Aichison are now.

The third image looks south up the High Street in the late 19th century. The tower of the Baptist church is seen in the background. This stood on the site of Waterstone's bookshop. The church was built in 1886. The photo is probably not much later.

The fourth photograph is looking north along the lower part of the High Street about 1890.

Finally, looking down the High Street from outside the railway station, probably in the 1890s. The Railway Hotel (now The Litten Tree) is on the left. The sign of the Cock Inn can just be seen beyond the trees.