Skip to main content

The Avenue

Entry by Fabio Casale.

History
In, 1847 a six-acre plot on the south side of the turnpike road to London (Lexden Road) abutting on the north onto the path to Lexden and widow Gonner's land. The land west of West Lodge and east of Bunting's Nursery was bought for £1,500 by John Taylor the younger of West Lodge backed by George Errington. He laid down an avenue 50 ft wide separating ten plots 50x130 ft on each side, connecting them the newly-installed sewerage system.
The twenty plots including the avenue were eventually bought up by Henry Winnock Heyward for £2,022. He built three terraces of 2, 3 and 7 houses on the west side (giving the avenue the temporary name West Terrace Road) while on the east side four double-storeyed semi-detached villas. He had borrowed heavily expecting to sell to the recently returned military. However, they did not buy houses for officers but instead paid for their billets. Receiving rents but no sales and owing £14,000 to a London group and £10,000 to local banks, Winnock was declared bankrupt in 1868 and the properties auctioned off in 1882 when the name became The Avenue with official numbering odd on the west side starting from Lexden Road.

Buildings
Set back from the road with by an iron fence with slate-topped brick pillared gateways. All were built of grey gault bricks (except the two Gothic houses in red brick) with slate, hipped roofs. Most had principal (with mahogany balustrade) and secondary staircases, cellars and outhouses. Built to a high standard with internal wooden shutters to generous double-sashed windows with glazing bars, wcs and lavatories (hand basins) with piped water. Wooden ground floor resting on rafters supported by spaced brick pillars to allow underfloor ventilation. Miles of wire connect the rooms to the bells in the kitchen. Marble fireplaces in the principal rooms. Slate in bedrooms.
Entry by Fabio Casale.

Nos 2, 4, 6 and 8
Pair of semi-detached houses originally known as West Villas 1 & 2. Extend to rear boundary with four main and two secondary bedrooms. External wooden slated shuttering on top floor windows.
Owners
1870 JF Robinson
1879Thomas Hammond
1897 John Cooper Bland

No 2
1920 Judge Hugh Eardley-Wilmot
1946 Auction C Belcham who converts it into three flats as they are now.

No 4
1915 Ernest Hammond Turner then Henry Gurney Hammond Turner until 1968
Victorian conservatory to front south side, and a brick detached garage built in 1980. Entrance hall: encaustic floor tiles.
1870 John Fredrick Robinson
1887 J Cooper Bland

No 4
1919 Walter Littlebury JP
1973 rear garden sold (now Della Court, West Lodge Road) and let as Essex University lodgings. Now family home.

No 6
1919 Osmond Thomson-Smith, coroner.
1960 Tomkins Homes Ltd converted into three flats as they are now.
Entry by Fabio Casale.

No 10
Gothic semi-detached. Unfinished at the 1868 auction.
18?? Georgiana Middleton
1875 Reginald Benjamin Beard
1945 Coteash Holdings Ltd convert into nine flatlets
1966 Rev Henry Heath reconverts into a single dwelling
1988 Blue plaque to Field Marshall Wavell unveiled
Entry by Fabio Casale.

No 12
1880 John Robert Mann
1946 R Tovey, dental surgeon
Entry by Fabio Casale.

Nos 14 & 16
West Villas 5 & 6, same as Nos 2, 4, 6, 8
1871 John Fredrick Robinson/Bright Wool
1879 Charles Coleman
No 14 auctioned in 1920
No 16 1920 Robert Cook Alexander
1927 George Edward Tomson, solicitor, for 35 years
Entry by Fabio Casale.

No 18 & 20
West Villas 7 & 8
Different from previous villas: gault bricks frontage with cheaper, red bricks at rear; glass-covered wooden porch to two tall sashed windows rising to give walking access to drawing room. Slate hipped roof, pitched centrally to collect rain water into a large slate tank in the roof space with ball valve for overflow to run into a large underground tank at the rear between the two houses. Central domed skylight over the landing. Lobby, entrance hall, three rooms (kitchen, scullery cellar and coal store), wc, four main and one secondary bedrooms. At rear, wc and tool house.
Both possess a separate coach house.
1870 John Fredrick Robinson
1877 Charles Coleman wine merchant

No 18
Corner stone: C Panton 26 Oct 1858
1920 John Stuart Borough Architect
1948 Royal Eastern Counties Hospital nurses’ home till 1983

No 20
Curved brick wall to south, entrance pillared
1920 George Rolfe McGeorge for 30 years
Entry by Fabio Casale.

The Avenue West

Nos 19-23
Terrace of three houses.

No 19 "Weston Villa"
1868 Auction. Basement: second kitchen, larder, cellarage. Ground floor: entrance hall, dining room with large projecting window to garden, drawing room with bow window, back stairs, kitchen scullery. First floor three best bedrooms, wc. Second floor: four bedrooms, housemaid's closet
Later addition small conservatory attached to dining room at rear.
1868 Evatt Sallows Sanders merchant
1886 George Carman banker for 35 years

No 21
Central part of terrace: central door with a tall bow window on either side, five sashed windows on each floor.

No 23 (as No 19)
1870 Henry Crush Joslin, ironmonger
1961 converted into flats
1986 reconverted to single dwelling
Entry by Fabio Casale.

No 25 as "South House", "Derby House", "the Bishop's House"
1868 Auction: superior and noble detached residence in red and white brick with stone dressings. Basement: wine and coal cellars. Ground floor: vestibule, entrance hall, dining room (21x18 ft) oriel window to the east, drawing room (23x18 ft) with oriel window south facing library, servants' hall, staircase, kitchen, scullery, larder, butler's pantry, wc. First floor: five principal bedrooms, two dressing rooms, wc. Second floor: four secondary bedrooms, closet.
The house is partly unfinished. (No mention is made of a coach house.)
1870 Rev James George Bullock Rector of St Runwalds and St Nicholas
1909 Chelmsford Diocese as residence for Colchester prelates: Grenville Brunwin-Hales, Robert Henry Whitcombe, Charles Henry Ridsdale, Narborough
1995 Springboard Housing Association spends one million restructuring and extending
Entry by Fabio Casale.

No 27
Coach House and stables of No 25
1961 Chelmsford Diocese sells now-derelict building which is converted into a dwelling
Entry by Fabio Casale.

Nos 10 &12
Gothic houses (east side of avenue)
1868 Auction Sale. Basement: kitchen, scullery, larder, housekeeper's room, butler pantry, storerooms, wine and beer and coal cellars, wc. Ground floor: large entrance hall, dining room (20x14 ft), drawing room (20x15 ft) with noble bay window facing west, library, back hall and staircase, wc. First floor: three principal bedrooms, dressing room, wc. Second floor: three second bedrooms, dressing room. Garden and lawn in front enclosed with ornamental palisades, rear garden.
House partly unfinished.
Entry by Fabio Casale.

The Avenue West

Nos 1 & 2
Three-storeyed semi-detached pair.

No 1 (was No 9 West Terrace)
Large courtyard with annex and garage (?old stables). Front was damaged by bomb blast during WWII.
1870 William Cross, corn merchant, lived there for 56 years
1962 converted into flats
2004 reconverted to single dwelling
Entry by Fabio Casale.

No 3 (was No 8 West Terrace) ("Plaisance")
Rear garden has separate modern cottage (No 3c)
1866 Elizabeth Fisher, clergyman's widow lived there for 20 years
1663 Dental Surgery on ground floor (originally Williams & Shersby)
Separate entrance to upper residential floors.
Entry by Fabio Casale.

Nos 5 to 17: The West Terrace
This is the central building of the road (possibly modelled on St Mary's Terrace East, on the Lexden Road. Built by Henry Winnock Hayward's father, Henry Hammond.) Set back on a circular drive off a pillared balustrade. The impressive central unit (No 11) has a triangular heading in cement. All the five central houses have steps up to the door and a single sashed four-panel glass window. The narrow rear gardens are serviced by a lane running between nos 3 and 5 along the back. The two larger end houses (Nos 5, 17) have a large separate pillared entrances with large garden.
1868 John Robinson & Bright Wool
1875 William Rogers buys whole West Terrace remaining in the family for 40 years
1919 Albert J Clamp buys Nos 7, 9, 11
1919 Emily Hillyard Lovell widow of Col Lovell buys Nos 13, 15

No 5 (was No 7 West Terrace)
1868 Auction. Lawn and garden with detached conservatory (now gone). Basement: kitchen, scullery, store room, pantry wine and coal cellars, wc. Ground floor: vestibule, entrance hall, dining room (22x15 ft) with black marble chimney piece, bay window facing north; drawing room (23x15 ft) with white marble chimney piece, bay window facing east. First floor: two principal bedrooms with marble chimney pieces, dressing room. Second floor: four secondary bedrooms, wc. At the rear is the yard and gentleman's wc.

Nos 7, 9, 13, 15 (were Nos 6, 5, 3, 2 West Terrace)
1868 sale. Basement: kitchen, scullery, pantry, wine cellar, wc. Ground floor: entrance hall, dining, drawing rooms with marble chimney pieces. First floor: two best bedrooms, dressing room and closet. Second floor: three secondary bedrooms, wc. Backyard with brick-built coal house, knife house.

No 11 (was No 4 West Terrace)
1868 Auction as the above but drawing room has bay window facing east.

No 17 (was No 1 West Terrace)
1868 Auction: as No 5 but bay window faces south
1972 garden sold and bungalow built not in keeping with the architecture of the road