Pictorial archive
Maps - Old and New
Properties in detail
  Houses on the west side
  Houses on the east side
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No. 43
This shows an early attempt at conservation, as the house was built by Land Courtauld in the 20th century and was designed to copy and blend with the style of other houses in the street.
Builders Yard
Picture available soon
This was a Brewhouse Yard in 1850 and was one of several Brewhouses which made ale for the residents in the street. Beer at that time cost ½d. a pint.
Friars Lane
Friars Lane
Earlier historians refer to this as Harrison's Lane, and it at one time boasted a makings which is now most probably the building occupied by the Council as a warehouse. The brook at the end fed both the mailings and the King's Head Inn. At one time this brook ran along Friars Lane into Bradford Street and further down ran into Phillips Chase and away.
Nos. 67, 69 & 71
Nos. 67, 69, 71
This is possibly one of the most interesting and historically valuable blocks in the street. Dating from approximately 1220 its rarity is in that, of the very few 13th century buildings which exist most are barns and halls, whereas this is a domestic dwelling. Much of its original construction is unaltered even today. The size and quality of the timbers indicate that great expense was incurred when the house was built and there are strong indications that the upper floors could have been a Wool Hall. There are believed to have been six such halls in Bradford Street in those days, several of which were Wool Halls.
No. 67
This house was occupied by Lester Smith a Quaker Courtauld employee who worked in the 'secret' room at the factory where the famous 'crapes' were produced.
Nos. 71 and 73
Numbers 71 and 73 were originally built as a single house. Some years later on 69 abutted as a flying freehold. It was also split into two properties, creating 71 and 73.

Click on the thumbnails below for further details about No. 71 and 73
No. 75
No. 75
Built early in the 13th century. The quality of the construction work here is very high and there is an integral first floor which indicates that it must have been a meeting hall and was in that case, quite probably connected with its uphill neighbours. The roof has an extremely fine moulded crown post.
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Woolpack Lane
Woolpack Lane
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No. 77, 79 and 81 "The Woolpack"
No. 11 Old House
Formerly The Woolpack Inn, one of several hostelries in the street. The two end wings were built circa 1590 and the central section circa 1660. The bay window on the left side is an original Elizabethan one and the fixing holes for the first storey window of the same period can also be seen. The carvings on the bressumers are particularly fine and inside are some good early 18th century cupboards and two late 16th century doors. Facing Woolpack Lane the rear extension is the remains of an earlier building circa 1450. It consists of two bays and most of the original frame, but the roof was rebuilt in the late 16th century.

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No. 83 Bay House
No. 83 Bay House
This house takes its name from the coarse woollen fabric known as Bocking Bay, which was produced by Jeremiah Brock who had a bay factory at the back. One of the subsequent occupiers the wife of a carpenter named Robson, sold "stiff slices of rice pudding" to day school pupils at the school across the road.
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No. 85 "The Mattings"
No. 85 "The Mattings".
85 and 85A were connected with the matting trade. At one time the property was occupied by John and Joseph Hubbard (1850) eccentrics, who tried perpetual motion. Note the original bressumer on the front early 16th century.

85A (Jute House) together with 85 formed the Ashley Atkins mat factory around 1900. Raw Jute was loaded through the warehouse door which can still be seen at the side of 85A. Inside it was processed into Hessian and made into mats some of which were used in Chelmsford prison for the prisoners. Both have a number of original Tudor features but there is a lot of evidence of Victorian influence. In the hall of 85A is the wooden outline of the original back door indicating the original building was smaller than that existing today. One item of interest in the loft is the fact that the building has Queen posts. It is understood that these are rare in Essex but common in Suffolk which possibly means the original builder was not a local.
No. 87 "Wentworth House"
No. 87 Wentworth House
The heavy mullioned windows in the south wall suggest a date of the second half of the 14th century. The two principal bays are typical of a mid 16th century town house, and the fine central fireplace may date from 1550, and seems to have been built for a single storey hall. The present two storey structure was built some years later. The shell hood door, canopy dates from the late 17th Century. During the later 19th century it was sub-divided into three tenements, renovation commenced in 1967, and after changing hands several times is now restored to its former state. Behind the house is an ancient iron gateway which once stood at the entrance to Queen's Meadow, and now leads on to an 18th century walled garden with a two storey summer house.

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No. 89 "Maysent House"
No. 89 Maysent House
The earliest parts of this building are 15th century but mostly concealed behind an 18th century facade. There are indications that one of the rear wings was a wool hall. For many years this was the 'Queens Head' public house, which catered for the "slow traffic" (the local trade). Note the 19th century cast iron balcony on the north wall.

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Queens Meadow
Queens Meadow
Queens Meadow is believed to have been built in 1930 by H.H. Jewell for W.J. Courtauld.
A brick in the doorway arch shows the following inscription: "WJC (William J. Courtauld) 1930.
Lord and Lady Braintree lived in the house for a time.

Queens Meadow is mentioned in Bettley and Pevsner's "Houses of England: Essex" as "Queens Meadow by HH Jewell for WJ Courtauld, 1929. Exposed brick plinth and dressings, otherwise rendered, modest but good quality."!

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No. 93 "The Six Bells"
No. 93 The six bells
Many stories are recorded about the dangerous road junction at this point, and most revolve around upturned carriages or drunks on horseback. An earlier building which was demolished in 1932 was situated much more on the roadside than the present building. Note particularly the carved wooden figure "Old Harkilees" a half male, half female form, reputed to have been floating in the river at the Mill and dating from the 16th century.
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No. 173 "Dial House"
No. 173 Dial House
The date on the carved beams on the front is 1603, however, the construction seems to be of an earlier style, this date, therefore, probably records one period of modernization. The front door and hinges are of a very early date. Note particularly the carved dragons and grapes on the bressumers at both front and side and the tiny upper windows in the side wall. Until quite recently this was a public house, and one front room is still fitted with beautiful panelling. Many successive owners of this house have reported the presence of a ghost who seems to smoke tobacco.

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Bocking Mill
Bocking Mill
This was built in 1580 and was used as a cloth mill. Later on it was put to use as a fulling mill, and in the 19th century it became a flour mill. Around the turn of the century animal foodstuffs were produced here.
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