Monday, 1 September 2014

Great Eastern Railway to Shenfield. Brentwood

Great Eastern Railway
The Great Eastern Railway from Liverpool Street to Shenfield runs north eastwards from Harold Wood Station.
TQ 59140 93658

The Western approach on the old main London Road to the Essex town of Brentwood.  Here were hospitals, a brick works and the gas works, all now replaced.

Post to the south Warley Hospital
Post to the east Brentwood
Post to the west South Weald

A12 Brentwood Bypass
This bypass was built in 1966 and numbered A12 to replace the London Road to the south.

Honeypot Lane
In the middle ages this was called “White Post Lane”

Hubert Road
The road leaves Kavanagh Road at what would have been the entrance to the Brentwood Brickworks and then continues to London Road along the line of what would have been the brick works boundary.
Brentford Brick Works. This was owned by James Brown Ltd., Kavanagh's Road from the early 20th until the mid-1930s.  It seems likely that this was the works of J.Brown of Essex Wharf, Whitechapel and established there from the mid-19th.  In addition to Brentwood Brown’s had brickworks at Braintree, Boreham, and Upminster.  They specialised in ornamental and moulded bricks and in the early 20th were promoting Brown’s Patent Brick Kiln, developed by James’s son, Arthur, and probably pioneered at Brentwood.
Regent House. This was the head office of major pharmaceutical company, May and Baker.  There are now other firms there.
Hubert Road Industrial Estate
La Plata Wood
Secondary woodland with a stream and a pond

London Road
This is part of the Roman road from London to Colchester. It was turnpiked in 1726 with this stretch under the London and Middlesex Trust. It is now bypassed by the new A12.
British Telecom building. This replaced St.Faith’s Hospital. Arup Associates were commissioned to design this in 1997. It was to be a ‘Workstyle’ building which would provide social hubs for people to meet and exchange ideas, with facilities for the knowledge-based workers of the future. Over the previous years, the BT offices in Brentwood were occupied by ‘fixed desk’ employees. And the building cost more per employee because desks were underutilised.   The object was to reduce the office space required, and make a discrete part of the building available for sub- letting. The office is partly used by BT Retail and Office Division.
St.Faith's Hospital. This began as an Agricultural and Industrial School owned by St.Leonard's, Shoreditch.  It was taken over by Brentwood School District in 1877 and expanded.  In 1885 this was changed to the Hackney Union, who further expanded it and it was known as the Hackney Branch Institution. In 1916 it was taken over by the Metropolitan Asylums Board as the Brentwood Epileptic Colony for women and in 1935 by then under Essex County Council it was renamed St Faith's Hospital.   St Faith is apparently a corruption of St Vedast also known in England as St Foster, as in the City Church St. Vedast, alias Foster. The hospital closed in 1985.  The buildings were demolished in 1998.  The site is now British Telecom offices
St Faith's Country Park. This opened in 1999 from land making up the grounds of St Faith's Hospital. It is made up of grassland surrounded by mature hedgerows, with a wood, streams and a pond. The grassland supports many wild plants, and there are kestrels hunting for small mammals in the rough grass. There are also slow worms and grass snakes
Cemetery. Opened by Brentwood Burial Board in 1893 it is now owned by Brentwood Council, who supports a volunteer horticulture project there. There are 32 war graves

Rollason Way
New housing on the site of Brentwood Gas Works

Weald Road
73 Weald House. 18th house with service wing at the back
Convalescent Home for Children. Opened 1879.

Wharf Road
Brentwood Gas Works. This lay off the London and had connections to the Great Eastern Railway.  The Brentwood Gas Light and Coke Co had been set up in 1834 in Crown Street and this works in Wharf Road was built in 1858. The Company became statutory only in 1898. The works was modernised in 1924-26 and the final plant consisted of an 800,000 c/ft. per day horizontal retort house with Drake’s combined stoking machinery and a single CWG plant.  It was taken over by the Gas Light & Coke Co. (aka ‘The Chartered and based in Westminster) in 1932 when its annual output was 125 million cubic feet. They closed the works the following year but the site remained in use as a gasholder station. In 1949 the largest holder of 1 million cubic feet was used for investigations to determine the value and distribution of wind pressures.  The site is now modern housing and a park.

Sources
Archives of the Chemical Industry
Brentwood Council. Web site
British History Online. Web site
British Listed Buildings. Web site.
BT. Web site
Commonwealth War Graves. Web site
Lost Hospitals of London. Web site
SABRE. A12 Web site
Stewart. Gas Works in the North Thames Area.

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