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Line drawing of Witham Town Hall.

137 Newland Street

The Essex County Council Newland Street Conservation Area Appraisal and Management Plan describes the building as ‘Nos 137-139 are a timber-framed, rendered and tiled building, now two shops, perhaps from the early 1700s but altered in the 19th and 20th centuries. Between no. 137  and  Fern House is an opening to a rear yard with a brick building that appears to be early 18th century in date and is now in a dilapidated condition. Restored this would make a valuable contribution to the historic backland character of the conservation area. Both are curently in a poor state, but are prominent as the street reaches its narrowest point here. The shop fronts are of an appropriate scale and design, but spoilt by signage and poor maintenance. There is some interesting timber work on the north east gable.

From about 1850 to 1930, No.137 was a bakers shop, first run by William Ardley (the first), then Frank Shedd, and them William Ardley (the second). During the latter 1930s it was George Ringe's boot repairs. After the Second World War it has been a Ladies Wear shop called “Doreens”, and a Chemist shop called “Pharmaran”.  About 1985 it became Chase bookmakers, then part of the Ladbrookes chain and Betfred from June 2017.

No,139 was another bakers shop from 1913 to 1962 run by Frederick Richard Parker. After Frederick died his widow continued to live here until 1975.  Dorothy Bradford then opened a Clothes and wool shop here.  From 1985 to 1995 it was the Four Vintners Wine Shop after which it remained empty for a few years before becoming a Kebab and Burger shop and then the UK Fish Bar Fish and Chip shop.


Sources: Cyril Taylor; Essex County Council;

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