This book relates 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 and what replaced them.
The articles 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 are also potted histories which give a wider picture of
some major types of buildings such as churches and schools.
The Editor is Michael Jeffs, assisted by the team of
Peter Coulls, Barry Franklin, Michael Pearson and Margaret Rushton.
The book has 288 pages, 210 illustrations (40 in colour) and six maps.
The book was launched at the Leamington History Fair on 22nd September 2018.
The cover price is £20.
The final list of 100 buildings can be seen by CLICKING HERE
The Group is very grateful to all those who have supported the production of the book during a long period of production; around 40 members and several other residents have made contributions in some way.
HOW TO PURCHASE YOUR COPY
The book is available at The Band Factory in Althorpe Street on
most Tuesday mornings, 9.30 am to 11.30 am or
At our Monthly Meetings in Dormer Hall or
By contacting Margaret Rushton at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Visitors Centre at the Pump Rooms,
Temperance café, Bath Street,
Waterstones Books, Warwick Street,
Kenilworth Books, Talisman Square, Kenilworth and
Warwick Books, Market Place, Warwick
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)
Revised 23rd September 2018
Feedback. We welcome comments and corrections and will publish some of them here.