Royal Leamington Spa in 100 Buildings

CoverFront 47 website 05 Jul 2018CoverFront 47 website 05 Jul 2018
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Royal Leamington Spa, A History in 100 Buildings

This book will relate a selected history of the town by telling the story of 100 buildings
from their construction to the present day or their date of demolition.
The articles will usually include details of the buildings themselves, the architects
and builders of them and some of the people who lived in, or used, them.

There will be potted histories which give a wider picture of
major types of buildings such as churches and schools.

The book will be about 300 pages and will be well illustrated.

We will launch the book at the History Day on 22nd September 2018.
The cover price will be £20 but members of Leamington History Group and
people who pre-order will pay £15. If you wish to pre-order please contact our secretary,
Margaret Rushton, rushtonmm1860@gmail.com

The final list of 100 buildings can be seen by CLICKING HERE

Here are excerpts from four of the articles to whet your appetite -

… In 1923 the Council put forward proposals for the building of 260 houses on Rushmore Farm, the only problem was that it was not yet in their ownership. The Council made their first offer to the owner, Mrs Willes of Newbold Comyn, in October 1923, but were turned down. Negotiations continued and were finally successful with the whole 50 acres on either side of the Great Western Railway line being acquired for £5,500, including Rushmore Farmhouse and buildings and a small bungalow which stood in what is now Scott Road. After lots of discussions they opted to build a type of house known as a “Leicester” after a visit to Leicester to see their Council Houses.
In 1922 an architect named Arthur Wakerley of Leicester had designed semi-detached houses that could be built for £299 each. The design was different to previously built mass housing in that each pair of houses shared a pitched roof and that the entrance door was at the side of the house rather than at the front.
Internally there was a kitchen/scullery with room for a bath covered with a piece of wood, useful for ironing, a living room, a den/bedroom, a WC, coal-store, larder and a hallway with stairs leading to the first floor.  On this floor under the steep ridged roof were 2 bedrooms with an under-eaves storage space running the length of the house… (Rushmore Estate)

… Around 1836, the noted architect, William Thomas, began to develop parts of North East Leamington including Holly Walk, Willes Road and Lansdowne Circus. He designed a series of houses for different income groups. Semi-detached properties for the moderately wealthy, detached villas for the wealthy and immense and elaborate villas for the very wealthy.
Two of his very large detached villas, built in 1838, were situated side by side in Holly Walk (now Upper Holly Walk). They were named “Oak House” and “The Furze”.  Although The Furze was much larger than Oak House, both had identical frontages… (The Furze, Upper Holly Walk)

… Around 1830 the population of Leamington Priors was only about 6,000 but the Commissioners agreed to build a new Town Hall in High Street, or London Road or the Turnpike, as it was earlier named. This was on the south-west corner with Althorpe Street. The site, on land owned by the Earl of Aylesford and the Wise family was close to a pond on the Whitnash Brook as it ran along High Street where there had been three thatched cottages just to the south.
The building was agreed in 1830 and tenders were invited in May 1830. It is Classical Revival style and the architect was John Russell. The foundation stone was laid on 13th July 1830 and the building was opened on 2nd May 1831 at a cost of £1,900. The builder was John Toone: perhaps not the ideal builder, because in 1834 he was prosecuted for building party walls which were not thick enough; fortunately for him the case was dismissed… (Old Town Hall, High Street)

… In 1887, a tower was erected to celebrate the jubilee of Queen Victoria.  When Dr Nicholson died in 1902, St Albans ceased to be a proprietary church and passed into the care of the Leamington vicar at All Saints. In 1911, a church room was added and in 1913-4 the chancel was extended another three feet into the nave. A hut was erected in 1920 enlarging the Sunday School accommodation.
By the 1930s, St Alban’s was an Anglo-Catholic church, which drew its congregation from as far afield as Stratford on Avon. It had a glorious copper coated spire which glistened in the sun, but later went green as copper does in the air. Also, and most unusually, the church was never consecrated. Originally, the consecration had been delayed until the building debt was settled. However this was not achieved until 1920 by which time the church was so successful it was decided not to bother with the consecration… (Church of Saint Alban the Martyr, Warwick Street)

 

19th July 2018

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