Blackmore Area Local History

Ingatestone in October 1985

A walk around Ingatestone (Essex) and its High Street
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Our tour starts at the crossroads of Station Lane, outside Ardtully, and Avenue Road looking at a fine house at the south end of the High Street, once occupied by Mr Exley, a local solicitor.
The Gate House, in Station Lane, was built by George Sherrin and used as his residence. In the 1930s it became a School but by the late 1970s was empty. The building was saved, extended and converted into individual homes. Here we see the new blending with the old.
Ingatestone Railway Station in 1985. By then the platforms had been extended to accommodate 12-car trains but the car park was still the remnants of the former goods yard. There were very few cars parked there on that Sunday.
Tom Green's builders yard stood adjacent to the Fairfield Recreation Ground where Summerfields flats now stand. The yard had recently closed and the sawmill removed - where the hole was in the side of the building. It used to hum away during weekdays.
Fairfield Recreation Ground. Cricket was over by October.
Walking now from the top of the High Street southwards, this is 14-16 High Street, a pair of cottages with steps up to the front doors. A few years before the photograph was taken these was altered from wooden steps. The cottages date from the 18th century.
28-30 High Street, opposite the Community Centre Car Park, is a semi detached town house originally dating from the 18th century.
34, 36, 38 High Street are weatherboard ground floor houses originally dating from the 17th century.

On the opposite side of the High Street we just see, to the left of the photograph, the corner of 3-5 High Street, until recently Roses newsagents; the Community Centre, which began life as the Ingatestone & Fryerning Working Men's Club in 1888; 13 High Street, with its carriage way entrance on the north side; Berkeley House (No 13a), an early 19th century three storey house with portico; and, the corner of Gordon Powling furniture, now the Coop, in Spread Eagle Place on the site of a former coaching inn demolished in the 1960s.
62-64 High Street stands on the corner of Fryerning Lane. No. 64, then a Florist, and No. 62, a Chinese Takeaway form the ground floor of this early 18th Century terrace.  Two sarsen stones guard the corners of the narrow Fryerning Lane.  These were at one time painted white. These stones and a third, by the south door of the Parish Church, are thought to give the name to the parish: Ing-atte-stone.

The Anchor public house, as it was named in 1985, subsequently became Newells Bar and now Stocks Bar. Finchams, the butchers, stood next door. It remains a butchers shop under a different name. The old chopping block counter has gone.
After the Anchor, is Peerage House, occupied then and until recently by Illiffes Booth and Bennett solicitors. The building dates from around 1574.  The property with the curved windows was probably King's Bicycle Shop in 1985. It is now a ladies clothing shop but was earlier the town Post Office. Next door is another town house dating from the 18th Century.

The question we should ask is where is all the traffic? These photographs show very clearly how Sundays have changed over a generation. It was once a day of rest!

72-74 High Street formed an Indian Restaurant (then Monsoon) and Barclays Bank (still in business). It is an early 19th century timber framed building. Next to it is a milestone declaring Ingatestone as being 23 miles from London, 6 miles from Chelmsford and 5 miles from Brentwood. The High Street was once on the very busy London to Ipswich road. The narrow street was bypassed in 1960.
A run of buildings on the west side of the High Street down to Sansoms, a ladies (left door) and gentleman's outfitters (right door). In the early 1990s it ceased trading and became the site of Kennady's the hairdressers (now in the Market Place) and is now, to my knowledge, vacant having been a gift type shop. Ingletons, the long established and long gone Estate Agent, was next door.

The Star Inn, belonging to the former Gray and Sons brewery of Chelmsford, has been radically altered inside in very recent years. It perhaps dates back to 1641.
Ingatestone Market Place is one of the least successful buildings in the High Street, built in the late 1960s. The mural depicts Ingatestone and the Great Essex Road. Ideal Fruiterers, formally Escotts, had just ceased trading in 1985. Next door was Hepburns, the high class butchers, still in business in their native Mountnessing today. Mr Kendal ran the VG supermarket. The latter shops are now Kennadys, the hairdressers.

Now a Shepherd Neame public house, then held by Charringtons, the Bell is an ancient coaching inn dating back to the 15th Century. Old Forge Engineering occupied the building next door and 'Makrons' (C15th), as it was anciently known, is now an Italian restaurant but was in 1985 probably still Warders the bakers.
100 High Street, opposite The Bell, is a late 18th Century timber framed house.
Ingatestone Motors, run by the Meadows family, was once a chain of garages. In the 1980s IML, as it was known, were dealers of Datsun cars.  This building, which was demolished c2003, is a typical 1930s style garage with pumps onto the High Street. It stood opposite the United Reformed Church and on the corner of Post Office Road. Four Star Petrol in October 1985 was 42.6p per litre (1.937 per gallon)!
124-126 High Street, southwards from the United Reformed Church, are two 19th century houses. The building on the right was described as 'Ingatestone School House' on an old postcard.
Our tour has now gone full circle with a photograph of Ardtully on the corner of Station Lane.

If you have any memories of Ingatestone High Street, please e mail me.

Personal memories
A Walk Down Ingatestone High Street (c1998), produced by the Ingatestone & Fryerning Parish Council and the Historical & Archaelogical Society.
A Postcard From Ingatestone (1989) by R A Coe.
Last updated: 5 July 2011