Victorian Powys for primary  schools
Powys Digital History Project
Hay and district
In Victorian times
  The old cottages of Chain Alley  

This old photograph shows the row of cottages which once stood below the road level in Newport Street on the north-east edge of the town.
This was known as 'Chain Alley' because the vertical drop at the side of the road in front of the cottages was guarded by wooden posts linked by lengths of chain. There were 13 cottages here, and they had fallen into a very bad state of repair.
Because they were on the road in to the to the town centre from the railway station it was called "a very desirable improvement" when they were knocked down in 1884 !

Chain Alley
Chain Alley, Hay
with thanks to
Eric Lewis Pugh
of Hay

The famous diaries written by the Reverend Francis Kilvert, the Curate of Clyro from 1865 to 1872, include a number of references to Chain Alley.
After the cottages were demolished the site remained as an open space for some time, being known locally as 'Cats Park'. There are now houses and other buildings occupying the site.

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