Two buildings survive from this century-old picture of Watford


Lower High Street is a very different scene today but this was how it looked around 120 years ago when Watford photographer William Coles captured a horse and cart making is way along the road around 1900.

The Watford Observer has again teamed up with Watford Museum and is delighted to showcase some pictures from its archive – this week showing one of the town’s main roads looking in the direction of Bushey Arches when Coles would have positioned his camera just beyond the current museum building.

The museum’s volunteer archivist Christine Orchard said: “Of this busy scene just two buildings on the right-hand side of this image have survived.


Both belonged to George Capell’s furniture business as can be seen by the painted wall-sign up near the roof of one building and on the side wall of the second one.

“This business was established in 1827 by his father although the exact location is uncertain. George took over the business in the 1860s.

“We do not know when he gave up the business but from street directories it seems there was a furniture related business here into the 1970s.”


Watford Museum has now reopened to the public. Admission is free but book first – call 01923 232297 or email [email protected] For more information, visit

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