DescriptionRose Street is believed to be the beginning of Wokingham's planned development. Its earliest mention is by the name La Rothe, which is descriptive in origin and denotes a cleared area.
The street is cigar shaped, not parallel as it might appear at a glance; it remains narrow at either end, although the south-western end was substantially widened in the mid 20th Century to enable the easier passage of vehicular traffic. This form of layout is called an enclosed street and it is easy to understand how, by blocking the narrow ends, the street would in effect be enclosed and contain any activities within its boundaries.
This would have been the natural place for the commercial activities of fairs and the market, prior to the transfer into the market place we know today.
Rose Street has a large number of timber framed buildings, the earliest estimated to date from the 14th Century, although many of them are disguised by the much later addition of brick facades.
The street would have provided homes for a variety of townspeople, including both merchants and craftsmen; although it remains substantially residential today, it supports far fewer residents than in the past.
Rose Street lost a number of historic houses during the 20th Century, some replacement housing and others to car parking spaces. It remains however Wokingham's most important historic street, and it is hoped that future developments will allow it to remain its historic integrity for future generations to admire.
Because of its contribution to Wokingham’s heritage, this building is part of the Wokingham Society’s Blue Plaque Trail. A leaflet giving details of all of the buildings on the Trail can be obtained from the Wokingham Town Hall Information Centre and Wokingham Library. An electronic version is available from www.wokinghamsociety.org.uk The Trail is also available on a downloadable App called Wokingham Town History.
SourceWokingham Society’s Blue Plaque Trail
WOKINGHAM A Pictorial History by J. and R. Lea
“Rose Street,” Wokingham's Virtual Museum, accessed September 20, 2020, https://www.wokingham-tc.gov.uk/museum/document/WTH0313.