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The Beeches & Viewsley - Western Road - Wolverton
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Norfolk12
N 52° 03.540 W 000° 48.750
30U E 649966 N 5769858
Quick Description: A Pair of Victorian Villas built in 1894, the majority of houses were built by the railway Co for their workers. these villas have a fine example of mouldings and brickwork. now a facility for homeless children to live in a family atmosphere.
Location: United Kingdom
Date Posted: 1/21/2009 4:15:27 AM
Waymark Code: WM5MB7
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member sfwife
Views: 1

Long Description:
The Railway Works had its own hierarchy - of management, office staff, foreman, skilled and semi-skilled craftsmen and labourers and that is reflected in the town’s housing. Some of the best early houses were built along the Stratford Road facing the Works. Senior managerial staff lived there. There is at present no evidence as to whether these plots were allotted by the Railway Company on the basis of occupation or were just sold to the highest bidder. Senior railway station and Works staff also lived in rented accommodation in the villas alongside the Grand Union Canal near the second station entrance (now the site of the Secret Garden). Then, as the town developed on the rising ground to the south, the ‘better’ houses in each new phase, occupied by those with higher status within the works (foremen and clerical staff for example) were those at the edges and on the highest level of the contour. There were building features that helped to individualise and distinguish privately built houses - terracotta architectural mouldings, encaustic tiled doorways and, more noticeably, bay windows.
In the first phase of private dwellings there are bay windows on the south side of Aylesbury Street, setting a trend that was developed in the post 1893 development of the Cambridge Street and Windsor Street where the houses had not only bay windows but also small front gardens that were fenced with elaborate railings.

Some of the most distinctive residences have been lost notably the canal side villas that housed the Stationmaster and senior Railway Works staff : the Gables, home to the Works Superintendent was demolished in the 1960’s and replaced with a multi-storey block of flats. There are however a number of fine properties remaining: St George’s Rectory, the large houses in Stratford Road in the same block as the Working Men’s Club; the larger houses in Moon Street including the Congregational Manse; the Methodist Manse in Church Street and diagonally opposite its ‘twin’, the ‘Library’ house on the corner of Church Street and Cambridge Street, built and occupied by Mr Robinson the local builder and decorated almost as a ‘show house’ with a range of terracotta moulded features

Within the town there is a rich but limited palate of materials that are used in Victorian and Edwardian workers’ housing:

Welsh slate, both conventional rectangular and fish-scale;
Red brick;
Bath stone for dressings;
Terracotta tile ridges and chimney pots;
Sash windows with a wide variety of glazing patterns;
Foot scrapers;
Panelled and part-glazed front doors, some with stained glass;
Terracotta architectural mouldings used for cornices and storey and sill bands and as isolated panels;
Coloured and encaustic tiles and some mosaics for doorsteps;
Engineering brick and tiled paths;
Cast iron guttering and downpipes, some with decorative fixings
Cast iron front railings and gates (although only one original domestic example survived the World War II scrap metal appeals)

Public/Private: private

Year Built: 1894

Tours Available?: Not listed

Web Address: Not listed

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