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5 St Botolph's Street (west side)


(Jaggers' list) Three-storey brick building of grey brick consisting of a shop on the ground floor with accommodation above. It was one of several new buildings erected after a major fire on the site of nos 4-9 St Botolph's Street in 1882. The building was designed in 1882 by G. Dobson (architect and builder) for G. Wooldridge (owner) (ERO D/B 6 Pb2/338). Very good level of survival (all upper windows original) even at ground-floor level where the shop front survives to a remarkable extent. One of two opposing elaborate chimney stacks survives on the north side. Stead & Simpson appear in the street directories as trading here from 1884. Presumably, then, the firm was the building's first tenant. (Owner G Wooldridge is not listed and apparently never traded although perhaps he lived over the shop.) The firm could be the earliest of the multi-national stores to be set up in Colchester. A mosaic bearing the words 'Stead & Simpson' in the entrance doorway must be an original feature of the building. Its survival is consistent with the survival of the original shopfront. Restoration of the outside appearance of the building to its original state would be an easy matter. Nos 4-9 form a group. 2 photo.s by jA summer 2009 [On the 1909 insurance map, no 5 is labelled 'BOOTS'.] [In 1909, no 5 was the premises of a branch of Stead & Simpson, Boot and Shoe makers.]

ERO holds: D/DJ 2/5/42 - 'Sale catalogue of 5 and 32 St. Botolph Street, stable and motor garage in Arthur Street and 44-46 East Stockwell Street, Colchester' (1920)

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