Townsend, sometimes written as Town's End, as its name suggests is at the eastern edge of the town however the name has been applied to different parts of the road over time. The earliest mention ot Townsend in the records was in 1589.

Essentially that part of London Road, now called Sherborne Road, extending from the junction of Reckleford and Sherborne Road as far as Wyndham Street is the only part that has been called Townsend for the past several hundred years.

Nevertheless although its eastern end has always been the Reckleford / Sherborne Road junction, the name Townsend was applied throughout most of the nineteenth century to what is now Lower Middle Street as far as Central Road and even as far as Stars Lane on occasions.



Edward Bullock Watts' map of Yeovil of 1806 shows Townsend Close at centre, completely devoid of buildings.


The same area on Watts' map of 1831 showing the build-up of properties along the southern side of Townsend.




This interesting aerial photograph, probably taken during the early 1960s, shows the junction of Reckleford and Sherborne Road at lower left with Townsend running along to bottom right. The house at the junction (now a pedestrian / flowerbed area) is at lower left, the Duke of Wellington at lower right and the industrial units between the Sherborne Road houses and Wyndham Hill at top right.


 This photograph features in my book 'Yeovil From Old Photographs'.

This is probably the earliest photograph of Townsend and dates to about 1890. It is taken from Sherborne Road with that part of the old London Road, known as Townsend, running off to the left and Reckleford runs off to the right. This view is completely unrecogniseable today with the large house on the corner now the site of gardens, pedestrian walkways and traffic lights, while the row of houses at left were demolished in the 1970s. Note the single, large Sugg lamp.


The same corner house seen from Townsend, probably in the 1960s.


Courtesy of Chris Rendell

Opposite the 'corner house' above, these houses were the first to be built along the south side of Townsend and seen on the 1831 map above. Photographed in 1983 shortly before their demolition.


Courtesy of Colin Haine

The eastern end of the run of buildings on the south side of Townsend, photographed in the early 1980s.


Courtesy of Vivien and John Cornelius

The same buildings, just a bit further along, photographed in 1992 just before demolition.


Courtesy of Colin Haine

The western end of the run of buildings on the south side of Townsend, photographed in the early 1980s. To the right of Dave's Plaice fish & chip shop is the Duke of Wellington.


Courtesy of Vivien and John Cornelius

By 1992, just before demolition, Dave's Plaice had become the Fish Fryer.


Courtesy of Vivien and John Cornelius

The Duke of Wellington and Cashman's Shopping Centre, just before demolition. Photographed in 1992.


The view to Townsend from Sherborne Road in the mid-1960s.


.... and pretty much the same view in 2014 less, of course, most of the buildings. The old Pankhurst's garage building is now the gaudy red and yellow National Tyres.


Courtesy of Colin Haine

Demolition begins. The fish & chip shop was originally called Thorpe's, later Dave's Plaice. At extreme right the Duke of Wellington has already been demolished.


Courtesy of Chris Rendell

The demolition of the old houses on the south side of Townsend, circa 1983.


Courtesy of Chris Rendell

.... and from a slightly different perspective.


Looking along Townsend towards Sherborne in the mid-1960s. The Duke of Wellington is set back on the right where the dark transit van is pulling out.


Again looking along Townsend towards Sherborne, but closer to the junction with Reckleford and the start of Sherborne Road, in the mid-1960s with Pankhurst's garage at centre.


.... and almost the same view photographed in 2016.


Looking west along Townsend. Photographed in 2016.