John Snook was a local builder responsible for some of the houses in the Bedford Place area, most notably the Riding School in Carlton Place, designed by William Hinves and built in the early 1840s. He may have built Wilton Cottage and other houses designed by Samuel Toomer in the 1820s. He also built one of the first houses in Bedford Mews, Carlton Place, and most of the buildings in Canton and Amoy Streets off the west side of Bedford Place. Snook’s two sons were involved in the China War of 1840-42 and this connection may have been responsible for the naming of those two streets. Snook was fond of using the ‘Kent Hod’, a distinctive buff-coloured brick, which were transported by barge from the Thames to Southampton.
The 1841 census reveals that John Snook was then 45 years old and that he was born in Shaftesbury. A street directory of 1834 lists him at Terrace Cottage, a substantial dwelling on the south corner of Bedford Place and Carlton Place. By 1861 he was living at Bedford House, Bedford Place.

Further reading:
More Stories of Southampton Streets, by A. G. K. Leonard, p28-29. (HS/h)


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