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No 87 Newland Street is an excellent example of a genuine late 18th-century Georgian town house now used as offices. It is brick-built, two storeys high with attics and a basement. A railed 'Area' in front has steps down to the basement; this was the entrance for servants and tradesmen. Gentry entered up the steps to the front door with its fanlight above. Many other properties had this floor lowered to street level for the convenience of customers. Higher up is a Venetian window. A parapet with decorated cornice hides the eaves. The house is listed Grade II. Some of the other buildings in Newland Street, originally private dwellings, had similar ‘Areas’ to the basement but have been filled in.

 

The frames of the sash windows are recessed and inset into the brickwork as was required by the building acts of the day.  In true Georgian manner its windows progressively decrease in height from the ground floor to attic, giving an enhanced appearance of height to the building.  All the window openings are spanned by finely tapered brick lintels. Until 1930, when Mr F H Bright the Solicitor moved here from his previous premises in Collingwood Road, the house had been a private residence.

 

Next door is a row of 18th-century cottages, now offices, but the last in the row was lost to a new bank in the 1960s. This building, listed Grade II, was a ‘Fancy Repository’ run by Isabella Pepper, a pork butcher and then served as a newspaper office from 1950, originally operating from the front room of the building then owned by Mr & Mrs Albert Good who owned a garage behind. The Braintree & Witham Times moved its staff to Braintree in 1994 and the building was taken over by the solicitors next door. The photograph below shows the three buildings which make up the current premises.

Text and Photographs: John Palombi and Cyril Taylor unless otherwise accredited. Illustrations: John Finch and Julie & John Denney. Translations: Google.com. Original Concept: Joy Vaughan, Witham Town Centre Strategy Group. Narration: John Rhodes
 

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