Wickford, Runwell and Shotgate street names. (Part 2)

Searching for facts and theories about the origins of street names in our town. YOUR HELP IS NEEDED. If you able to throw some light onto the origins please add comments to this page.

Please note that none of the information here can be guaranteed to be correct or complete.  It is a work in progress and it would be very helpful if anyone can correct mistakes or add to the facts given. Some names could fit in more than one category.  These have generally been put in both categories in italics.  As regards some local information about Wickford in the past, particular thanks go to Maurice Wakeham and his book ‘Aspects of Wickford History’.  David De’Ath has supplied information about quite a few streets as well. Some comments which are just suggestions have been indicated with a question mark (?)

Roads which are/ appear to be named after geographical locations/features or buildings

Barnfield – presumably where there was a barn in a field?

Beauchamps Drive – There was a Beauchamps Farm in the area as far back as the Iron Age.  The name comes from the family of John de Beauchamp.  The word ‘Beauchamp’ in French means good or beautiful field.

Bridge House Close – named for Bridge House Farm, on London Road, which was sold for housing early in the 20th century. Several local roads, the Catholic Church and Nevendon Road recreation ground were apparently all built on land which originally belonged to this farm.

Bridge Road        Brook Drive        Church End Lane/Avenue – at the end of this ‘lane’ is St Mary’s Church, Runwell.

Cranfield Park Road – Cranfield Park was one of the earliest sales of land for estate development in Wickford, which started in 1895.      Cross Avenue – crosses between Elder and Grange Avenue

Cross Park Road, Lower Park Road, Upper Park Road were part of the Great Wasketts estate development sale in 1901.     Crouch Drive/Crouchview Close – presumably named for the river Crouch.

Doublegate Lane       Fanton Hall Farm Road

Glebe Road – a ‘glebe’ is an area of land where, in the past, the income was used to support the parish priest.

Grange Avenue (off Nevendon Road)

Grange Road (off Brock Hill) – apparently a footpath led from here to Downham Grange?

High Street         Hill Avenue        Hillwood Grove

Ladygate/Ladygate centre – this was apparently named for ‘Ladybrow’ – the home in the High Street of Dr Robert Frew, who founded the medical practice which is now based on The Wick and is named the Robert Frew Medical Centre.

Longfield Road/ Close       Longmeadow Drive

Market Avenue/ Road/Upper Market Road – near the site where the market was held in Wickford for many years.

Meadow Court/Lane      Meadowland Road          Middlemead     Newhouse Avenue         Newlands Road/Avenue

North Crescent                 Park Close/Drive

Pullman Court – this is near the railway station – ‘pullman’ is or was a type of railway carriage

Ramsden View Road

Rectory Grove – close to the old rectory of St Catherine’s church, which was/is actually in St Charles Drive (now converted into flats)

Rettendon View – from which there is a view of Rettendon Church in the distance.

Riverside Walk

Sappers Farm – Sappers Lodge was one of the 3 farms included in the Cranfield Park estate development sale in 1895.

Seven Acres       Spinney Close                   Station Approach/ Avenue

Station Road (in a different part of town) – but apparently did originally join Station Avenue, perhaps in the 1930s.

Swan Lane – presumably named for The Swan public house on the corner with The Broadway.

The Broadway (there are 2 of these, one at the end of the High Street and one on the Wick – were they joined at one time?)

The Avenue – this name has been given to new houses between Radwinter Avenue and Golden Jubilee Way.  Not known if this is the permanent name or just one being used while they are for sale.

The Dell               The Greenway – may have been the name of a house

The Orchard – there was apparently an orchard on this site

The Tithe – the word tithe refers to the old custom of farms having to give a tithe (tenth) of their profits to the owner of the land, often the church.

Vista Road          Waterworks Road            Westfield Close                Westview           Wick Drive

Wick Lane           Woodfield          Woodlands Road

Roads with Saints’ names

St Catherine’s Close – named for St Catherine’s Church.  The present building dates from around 1875 but the history of the church goes back to the 13th or 14th century.  St Catherine was crucified for her faith on a wheel and this is where the name of the firework ‘catherine wheel’ comes from.

St Charles Drive – St Charles is a name which can refer to a number of different people, including King Charles 1 – 1600-49, sometimes known as King Charles the Martyr.

St David’s Way – St David is the patron saint of Wales.  He lived from around 500 to 589.

St Luke’s Park – this is an estate on the site of the former Runwell Hospital.  St Luke was a doctor who wrote the 3rd Gospel in the New Testament. There was/is a chapel on the hospital site dedicated to St Luke. This estate already has quite a few named roads such as: – Bruton Link    Burne Link    Burr Close    Corsellis Close    Gate Field    GorseWood View    Kemble Way    Lodge Approach    Picklefield Close    Pitfield Shaw    Pot Inn Close    Running Well   Rushbrook Avenue    St Luke’s Way     Stablefield    Strom Olsen Close.   The only derivations known are ‘Kemble Way’ and ‘Running Well’. Thomas Kemble was a local ‘squire’ and landowner in the area and the Toby carvery in Runwell Road used to be called The Thomas Kemble. The ‘running well’ is a holy well or sacred spring in the area. There is a lot of new building still to come and more road names are being added all the time.

St Mary’s Road – this name normally refers to St Mary, the mother of Jesus.

St Peter’s Terrace – St Peter was one of Jesus’s apostles and one of the leaders of the early Christian Church.

Roads with Royal/Historical connections (also see: Roads named after ancient Kings)

Golden Jubilee Way – This bypass road is thought to have been re-named in 2002 in honour of the Queen’s Golden Jubilee.    Jubilee Drive      Monarch Close

Regency Close – The Regency in Great Britain was a period when King George III was considered unfit to rule and his son ruled in his place as Prince Regent – about 1811 – 1820

Royal Oak Drive

Saxon Close – the Saxon peoples from what is now Germany first came to Britain around the 5th century.  The word ‘seax’ for a type of sword, comes from the name Saxon, and there are 3 seaxes on the Essex ceremonial emblem.

Tudor Walk/Way -The Tudor family ruled England and Wales from 1485 to 1603 – Henry 7th to Elizabeth 1st.

Viking Way – the Vikings, from northern Europe, first invaded Britain in 793 AD.

Roads with people’s names – either first names or surnames, or names which can be either of these

Do you know who any of these people were – if indeed they were anyone in particular?

Adam Way          Alicia Avenue/Close/Walk/Way               Alma Close         Bishops Road

Boyd Court         Brodie Walk       Browns Avenue

Bruce Grove – The land on which it is built was part of the land sold by the Archer family in 1927 for the development of the Shotgate estate.

Buchanan Gardens         Cameron Place                 Campbell Close                Carlyle Gardens

Carroll Gardens                Carruthers Close/Drive                 Charlotte Avenue            Clare Avenue

Compton Terrace             Crawford Chase                Cummings Road               Cunningham Drive

David Avenue                   Davidson Gardens

Deirdre Close/Avenue – apparently built on land which originally belonged to Bridge House Farm.  See Bridge House Close.  Someone has said it may have been named after the daughter of the builder.

Douglas Drive    Drummond Place             Duncan Close    Eleanor Chase  

Elizabeth Drive ? there was an Elizabeth Goodspeed, wife of Edwin, who lived at Friern Farm in the late 1920’s/early 1930s.  This land is close to the road so could be the derivation of the name?                                                             Fletcher Drive     Grant Close      Hawkins Close                  Henderson Gardens/Grove        Hood Close        

Hunter Drive      Innes Close       Irvine Place        Jacks Close         Johnson Close   Karen Close       

Keith Avenue    Kingley Close/Drive        Lamont Close    Lennox Drive     Lindsey Court   Maitland Road     Margarite Way          Maclaren Way      McGregor Drive        McKenzie Close         Melville Drive             Munro Court     

Murray Way       Napier Crescent        Nicholson Grove      Niven Close      Ogilvie Court     

Robert Way        Robertson Drive   Rose Close      Russell Gardens      Scott Drive   Sinclair Walk   

Stewart Place    Sutherland Place    Thorpe Close                     Vera Road      

Victoria Avenue/Crescent           Wallace Drive    Warren Drive

Roads apparently named after ancient Kings

These roads are all close to each other in Runwell.

Alfred Gardens – Alfred the Great was King of Wessex from 871 to 899

Athelstan Gardens – Athelstan was King of the Anglo-Saxons from 924 to 927 and then King of the English until 939.

Edward Gardens – Edward the elder was King of the Anglo-Saxons from 899 until 924.

Egbert Gardens – Egbert was King of Wessex from 802 until 839.

Ethelred Gardens – Ethelred was King of Wessex from 865 to 871

Harold Gardens – Harold Godwinson or Harold 2nd, was the last Anglo-Saxon King of England who reigned from January 1066 until his death on 14th October 1066, fighting the Norman invaders at the Battle of Hastings.

Hengist Gardens –Hengist and Horsa were legendary brothers, said to have led the Angles, Saxons and Jutes in their invasion of Britain in the 5th century.

Hereward Gardens – Hereward the Wake was an Anglo-Saxon nobleman and a leader of local resistance to the Normans in their conquest of England.

Roads named after farms which were formerly close by

Bakers Farm Close?

Bromfords Close/Drive – Bromfords Farm, just off Nevendon road was damaged by a V2 rocket in the 2nd world war.

Friern Gardens/Place/Walk – apparently named after Friern Farm which was on land on the other side of the London Road, near to Kingley Drive.

Stilemans – Stilemans was one of the 2 main manors of Wickford, on the Runwell Rd,

Woolshots Road – built on land belonging to Woolshots Farm – the farm-house still stands on the corner of Church Road.

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  • Please note that Grange Avenue and Grange Road are at different ends of the town. I lived at Grange Avenue, off the Nevendon Road and we used to regularly get letters addressed to Grange Road. (Editor: The two Granges have now been separated).

    By Kevin Mears (05/05/2019)

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