Whyteways, Swan Lane

This distinctive house built in 1902 along Swan Lane has had quite a few owners. It was built in the Arts and Craft style.

Over the years the previous owners have changed much of the interior of the house but luckily some of the original features have remained. There are two brick fireplaces, one of which can be restored but the other is in very poor condition, and it still has some original doors. Mr and Mrs Barkham now own the house and are renovating it and wish to return it to its original style.

They have been told that at one time the house belonged to a farm.

If you could help with any information about who designed or built the house, any previous owners or if you have any photos this would be very helpful.

An early painting of Whyteways
A previous owner of Whyteways
Whyteways 1930s
Tennis in the garden
The garden 1934

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  • I assume the Wyteways is now 140 Swan Lane, but also that numbering came later after a lot of building had occurred. My grandparents were living in Craigelea until their death in 1959. I am very interested to know if the rather modern house between Wyteways and Craigelea (144) actually existed in 1960. If not, then Wyteways was owned by the Jeffries in 1960, but they sold the land to the builder who developed the estate behind. One of my last memories of Craigelea was seeing the wooden stakes showing where houses were to be built in the back garden.

    By Martin Connor (17/01/2018)
  • The lady sitting in the armchair in the second photo is my Grandmother, Elsie Berry.  She died in September 1939, shortly after the start of the war. After her death my Grandfather went to live with his daughter in Bedfordshire and didn’t sell the property until 3 years later.  I have a memory of there being a chicken farm in the garden which was looked after by my Grandfather’s eldest son. 

    By Jean Stride (12/03/2017)
  • The Index of Wills and Administrations shows that Betsy and Sarah Annie (known as Cissie) Bowtell were living at Whyteways, “Chelmsford Road” in 1926. They are buried at the Congregational Church cemetery in Runwell Road.

    By Julie Warren (16/04/2016)
  • In the 1934 electoral Roll it shows the Levie family living at Whyteways – Elsie Berry Levie, George Elder Levie, Ian Douglas Levie and Irene Fanny Levie.

    By Jo Cullen (05/11/2013)
  • Whyteways, Wickford, was the home of the Fresson family who was a Stockbroker in London in the early 1900s. Indeed he may have built the house which was next to a large field. His eldest son, Captain E.E.Fresson, lived here as a teenager and also got married from here in 1920. The marriage took place in the village church of Runwell and the reception was at the house. Captain Fresson, who was a pilot in the first World War, went on to become a pioneer in civil aviation in the North of Scotland, founding Highland Airways in 1933, and starting in May of that year what is the longest continuous scheduled air route in the world, with the possible exception of the USA, insofar as it ran all through WW2, albeit flying mainly military personnel. He also flew the world’s first air mail at the standard ground letter rate from Inverness to Kirkwall in June 1934. He also was the pioneer of runways and the first ever muti- tarmac runway complex was built at his instigation at Hatston by Kirkwall for the Fleet Air Arm, and became the norm for all airfields during WW2. Further information can be had from the internet under Fresson Trust.Org

    By R.A.Fresson (30/04/2012)
  • In the late 1940/50s Whiteways was owned by a Mr English who had a daughter called Mary who went to school in Wickford. This house was at the bottom of Guilders Hill. Guilders was the local coalmerchant who lived at the top of the hill, opposite Davids Way, in large white house, thus Guilders Hill.

    By bob croot (07/02/2012)

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