Station Road

The arrival of the railway in Winslow led to the development of Station Road to the north of the existing town. Along with the turnpike and the building of the Workhouse, this completed Winslow's realignment on a north-south rather than east-west axis. The land for the railway itself was acquired by the Buckinghamshire Railway Company in 1847-8. In 1849 they bought nearly 8 acres more from the Selby-Lowndes estate to provide the site for the station and sidings, and the access road which became Station Road. Below is a plan of the land they bought in 1849 on the left (coloured pink) and the equivalent land on the 1880 map on the right (the top is roughly north-east). The railway and new road sliced through several fields and The Spinney (some of which survives).

Plans of the Station Road area in 1849 and 1880

New buildings included the Swan and Station inns at either end of the road and a brickyard on the other side of the railway. The Cappadocian maple tree which is still there was planted on the land in front of the Station. The three sale notices below show how the property market developed in the 19th century (click on the images for the whole documents).

Sale notice - Bellevue Terrace
Sale notice - High Street
Sale notice - building land
Sale poster for 1-4 Station Road Terrace
This sale poster from 1896 is on display in the Bell Hotel

Sale of numbers 5 & 7 Station RodA row of very substantial houses with carriage entrances was built on the north side of the road (now numbers 1-9. Numbers 1-7 (numbered as 1-4 Station Road Terrace) were built in 1851, and sold in 1896 by the executors of William Minter (see above). There are particulars of two of these houses in a sale catalogue of 1923 (click on the image on the right for the whole document; the houses appear to be the present-day nos. 5 & 7). Thanks to the donation of the deeds of 1 Station Road by Mr W. Barbour (they are now in the St Laurence Room archive), we have a full history of that house:

Plan of nos.1 and 3 Station Road, 1926

Plan of 1 and 3 Station Road

Plan of the children's home at 1 Station Road, 1926

Plan of 1 Station Road

1 Station Road in 2011

1 Station Road, view of front

The north side of the road was developed first, and the houses originally had views across the fields to Shipton (hence the name Bellevue Terrace; see above). The land on which numbers 9-19 now stand was sold in 1875 as 8 separate plots (Centre for Bucks Studies, D-WIG/2/7/1878/2). The gasworks were built in 1880 next to the station, replacing the gasworks in the High Street built in 1843; the Gas House, where the manager lived, and Gas Cottages are still there.

Gasometer
The gasholder and rear of Station Inn, seen from the railway embankment

Northampton Mercury, 14 Aug 1880
NEW GAS WORKS. These are now in course of erection on a piece of ground adjoining the London and North-Western Railway Station. Mr. George Bowyer of St. Neots, Huntingdonshire, is the contractor for the iron work; Mr. Frederick Roads, of Winslow, for the gas-house, and Mr. George Gibbs, of Winslow, for the manager's house and office.

Winslow police station
Magistrates' court with windows boarded up
Winslow Police Station, Station Road (built 1854 as the Lock-up, demolished 1984)
The Magistrates' Court behind the Police Station in 1984 shortly before demolition

The Lock-up was built on the north side of the new road in 1854. After the Buckingham Constabulary was formed in 1857, this became the Police Station, and the Magistrates' Court was added (the site is now Courthouse Close since demolition in 1984). The magistrates previously met at the Bell Hotel. The court closed in 1980. Dennis Biscoe, who stayed at the Police Station when his brother-in-law Ralph Beale was stationed there in the late 1940s and early 1950s, provided these reminiscences:

On the left [in the photo above] was a single police officer's quarters, one-up, one-down. Behind the main door was the station office where you went through to get to the single officer's quarters. Also from the office you went into the cells area and from there into the courtroom. Also from the hallway to the cells etc as you went through on the right was a door that was always locked and this was an interior entrance to the sergeant's quarters, which were the three upper windows and the one down to the right of the main door, although there was another entrance on the side. Behind the building itself was a building that was once stables but in the 40s housed the police car. Part of this also doubled up as a coal cellar for the station. There was a storey above that at this time was never used for anything. There was also a three bedroomed house opposite this building. At the back of all this property was a footpath and over the footpath were some allotments one of which was owned by Clarence Smith a market gardener who also had a shop in the Market Square [now the Indian restaurant]. In those days there were three police officers for the Winslow area.

NortholmeThe house next to the Police Station, now Northolme, 23 Station Road, has been altered and the outbuildings were demolished in 2016 due to a development of new houses (now Claremont Close). The photo on the right shows how it looked before the brickwork was covered with white paint, which has now been removed again in a careful restoration of the Victorian exterior. The house was originally called Claremont, built by Charles Clare the coal merchant in the 1870s. He is listed there in the 1881 census with his wife Edith, 3 children and 1 servant. In 1884 it was valued by Wigleys for sale or mortgage to a Mr Pinham or Pinhorn (Centre for Bucks Studies D/WIG/2/1/12; valued again in 1887 for return to Mr Clare). The Lambton family lived there briefly c.1885 before moving into Redfield. In 1891 it had been renamed Northolme, and was occupied by Rolph Creasy, surgeon (general practitioner), his wife Mary, 2 children and 3 servants. Mr Clare evidently retained ownership until he was declared bankrupt in 1900 (Centre for Bucks Studies D/WIG/2/1/35). In Side view of Northolme1901 the occupant was Major Fred Coates, "living on own means", his wife Alice and 2 housemaids. He was a J.P., and is still listed in the 1945 telephone directory (tel. Winslow 18). In the 1950s and 60s it was the home of R.R. Bugg the vet, whose practice was in Horn Street. The last owners were Joe and Margaret Lowrey; Mrs Lowrey's recollections of her rally-driving career are on the Oral History page. The side of the house became fully visible in January 2015 after tree clearing (photo on left).

The south side of the road was developed from the early 1900s after the sale of the "Station Building Estate" in 28 lots in 1900, and another sale of 11 remaining plots in 1904. The latter now form the row of houses starting from no.4. The conditions of sale prohibited building a blacksmith's forge or common lodging house. Click on the images below for the 1904 sale catalogue.

Station Road sale 1904 p1
Station Road sale 1904 p2
Station Road sale 1904 p3

Most of the houses were built in pairs, and the sale of two of them (numbers 14-16) in 1940 shows some of the details (the building plot referred to is now the site of no.4). The sale of three small houses on the north side in 1942, along with houses in Avenue Road and the High Street and some "garden ground" which is now part of Courthouse Close, is recorded in another catalogue. Click on the images below for the whole documents.

Plan from 1900 sale
Sale of 14 & 16 Station Road, 1940
Sale of 11-15 Station Road, 1942

This view shows the road c.1906 before the last pair of houses was built.

Station Road looking north-east c.1906

More land to the south of Station Road was sold as garden plots in 1906, and the sale particulars show the layout of the road at that time. This land became the Lowndes Way estate in the 1970s. Click on the images below for the whole sale catalogue ("Occupation Road" is roughly the line of Lowndes Way).

Front of sale catalogue, 1906
Plan from the 1906 sale

The Station Inn is said to have been the birthplace of the pianist Mrs Mills (nee Gladys Jordan, 1918-1978), although her birth was actually registered in West Ham.

Station Road, lower end before building on south side
The lower end of Station Road. The Station Inn is visible in the middle (to the left of the lamp post) and Gas Cottages on the far right

Bellevue Terrace
The former Station Inn
Gas Cottages
The former Bellevue Terrace
The former Station Inn
Gas Cottages; the Gas House is out of sight behind the cottages, and the gasholder was to the right

 

Copyright 12 October, 2017