History of Manor Close

John Roadley

Council housing Manor Close 1971 OS map
Circa 1934. First (Original) build Manor Close
Eileen Molly Payne 5 Manor Close 1948
(P Froom)
William Charles Payne 5 Manor close 1951
(P Froom)
Elizabeth May Payne shelling peas back door 5 Manor Close 1951
(P Froom)
Manor Close looking towards the High St Oct 2015

Early spacious council housing

Manor Close was built in 1931 in response to the 1924 Housing Act which required local authorities to provide rented council housing. The land it was built on was adjacent to Manor House Farm which fronted the High Street in the area of No 104-6 High Street, and whose land is shown on the 1901& 1971  O.S. maps – hence the name for Manor Close. The Old Manor House to the south was owned by Mrs Bliss in 1937.

The first (original) homes built here were 6 substantial semi-detached houses, widely separated from each other to provide vegetable plots for each house (shown in blue on 1971 map).These houses can be identified by the large chimney stacks with multiple chimneys which arise from the middle of the ridge of each building.

Each house had three bedrooms upstairs whereas downstairs was provided with a bath in the scullery with hot water provided by lighting fuel under a copper, and a toilet and separate coal house reached by an outside door. Some had a small extension at the back which allowed for a separate parlour and kitchen, whereas others with a slightly smaller rectangular plan just had a larger living room and scullery, but no separate kitchen.

They were numbered consecutively 1 – 12 although the first address we have found is in the parish records – the baptism in 1932 of Wilfred Collins of ‘Manor Drive Council House’ – omits a number.

1939 occupants

In the 1939 Census the adult occupants of Manor Close were:

First Name          Surname              DoB        House Number

Gertrude V          Fitt                         1895                       1

Ivy                        Northrop               1907                       2

Leslie                  Northrop              1904

Annie E               Samuel                 1887                       3

Hubert G             Samuel                 1891

Emily M               Gray                      1872                       4

May W                 Payne                   1906                       5

William C             Payne                   1909

Isabel M              Northrop              1898                       6

Frederick J          Collins                   1899                       7

Nellie                    Collins                   1904

Irene                     Long                      1908                       8

William E              Long                      1907

Dorothy H           Cox                         1868                       9

Robert D              Cox                        1865

Susannah            Cox                        1880

Nancy                   Lant                       1914                       10

William                 Lant                       1909

James E               Bye                        1904                       11

Ruby E                  Bye                        1909

Arthur J                Carter                   1896                       12

Edith A                  Carter                   1902

Many locals remember Nurse Fitt who lived in No 1 from around 1934 and worked as the District Nurse for the whole are

Phil Froom has provided the 1940s/1950s photos of his grandparents and mother at No 5 where he was born in 1960. He remembers as a child that the Longs at No 8 had the only local telephone and people paid to use it.

Dangerous entrance to Manor Close

The houses originally obtained water from a pump at the High Street end of the Close which regularly overflowed into the roadside ditch.

There was a bridge over the village ditch which connected the close to the High Street. The vicar in 1939 wrote ‘the unprotected bridge out of Manor Close into the High Road is a danger at the best of times and since there have been accidents there before, I hope my experiences will lead the local authority to provide some protection to the public who use the bridge, before further misfortunes occur.. The slightest handrail would have prevented me going over the edge. But as it was I dropped about five feet down and got a badly sprained left ankle.’ – from the Vicar’s Letter 20 November 1939

Later Infill in Manor Close

In 1987 planning permission was given for 4 pairs of semi-detached houses to be built between the existing houses, These became 1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 10a, 10b, 12a & 12b. A ninth house, 9a, was built in 1991.




This page was added on 01/01/2021.

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