eastland road

eastland road

Formerly known as Ryall's Lane and then Kiddle's Lane


Eastland Road has been around, primarily nothing more than a field access track in the lower part of Kingston Manor's Middle Field, for centuries but has only recently acquired its present name. Between the 1760s and the 1790s wealthy glove manufacturer John Ryall had a glove factory in the area and the lane was known as Ryall's Lane and is shown as such on Watt's map of 1806 seen below.

By the time of the 1841 census the lane was known as Kiddle's Lane after glove manufacturers John and William Kiddle who were active in the 1840s and 1850s. Even so, at this time the track still didn't extend beyond the point where today's Eastland Road crosses Gordon Road.

The first houses built in Kiddles Lane were a couple of cottages close to  William Bide's leather factory on the corner of Reckleford, and a larger residence roughly where the modern Kiddles development is today. Both cottages and residence appear on maps between 1831 and 1858 but by 1886 the two cottages had become a short terrace of five.

Both the single residence and the terrace were still standing in the early 20th century but the terrace had been demolished by 1927 and the single residence by the 1940s. The earliest houses surviving today are Clifton Terrace, built in 1870. These were followed by Jubilee Terrace built in 1887, the year of Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee, followed in 1889 by Wayside Terrace - both built by local builder Lyndall Pomeroy.

The name Kiddle's Lane survived well into the twentieth century and Eastland Road became used around 1920. Today the name Kiddles has been used for a modern housing development built almost on the site of Ryall's Leather Dressing Yard, later Kiddle's Dressing Yard, off Eastland Road.




E Watts' map of Yeovil of 1806 shows the location of John Ryall's glove factory and dressing yard in what was known at the time as Ryall's Lane.


Map based on the 1903 Ordnance Survey (turned through 90° with north at left) showing Kiddle's Lane running from Reckleford at right as far as the newly-built Gordon Road at left.


Map based on the 1901 Ordnance Survey showing the different speculative housing projects built in the early days of New Town.

Most of these developments have their own page -
Agra Place, Clifton Terrace, Jubilee Terrace, Mount Pleasant Terrace, North Terrace, Smith's Terrace, Swastika Terraces, Wolverton Terrace, York Place,




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

In the top half of the photo, Kiddles Lane (today's Eastland Road) runs left of the chimney with fields either side!!! Behind the chimney is Mount Pleasant and the dark hedgerow in front of the houses marks the site of the rope walk that extended to the trees at right.

This photograph dates to about 1900 and shows, at centre, the chimney of the Eastland Road brickworks with its associated buildings clustered around its base. To its left is the leather works built by William Bide (recogniseable by the double roof with a row of six black windows). Running along the bottom of the photograph is Station Road with the Alexandra Hotel at bottom right.


Reckleford at the junction with Eastland Road. Within the decade the house at the left was demolished for the widening of Reckleford to dual carriageway standard. Reckleford School, seen at the right, remains today. Photographed in the 1960s.


Courtesy of Mark Rowe

The junction of Eastland Road, Reckleford and Wyndham Street during winter 1982.


The 'top' of Eastland Road, seen from Highfield Road in a colourised photograph of the 1970s. The Monarch Laundry , on the corner , is seen at the extreme left of the photograph.


Courtesy of Chris Rendell

Eastland Road seen from the Nelson Inn with the Monarch Laundry (still there) on the opposite corner. Photographed in 1985.


The early housing of Kiddle's Lane, now Eastland Road, including Wayside Terrace right of centre. Photographed in 2013.