Sunday, 29 January 2012

Silver End, Essex

Silver End doesn't get a mention by Arthur (but he does mention Crittall in his Braintree entry (qv)) but according to Wikipedia:

It was conceived as a model village by the industrialist Francis Henry Crittall who established a Crittall Windows Ltd factory there to manufacture components for metal windows.

The original village is all 20's box cube white houses and is magnificent - if you like that style, which I do - and St Francis is a converted thatched barn in the heart of the village. It's locked but with keyholders listed; unfortunately I'd run out of time but suspect that an internal would have been unrewarding.

I really liked the church, the village and the Crittall ethic behind both; the only other barn conversion I've come across in Essex is at Duddenhoe End (qv)and both share the same rustic charm.

Pevsner - The village was started by Lord Braintree (then Mr Crittall) in 1926 in conjunction with a subsidiary factory for disabled men. The interest of the housing is in the flat-roofed houses by Sir Thomas Tait which are amongst the earliest in England in the International Modern Style. They were designed under immediate continental influence and especially that of New Ways, built by Peter Behrens in 1925 for Mr Bassett Lowke at Northampton. Some details look very dated now, especially the little triangular oriels, but on the whole the estate has aged well. The main development starts from a kind of circus (with a large house called Le Chateau) and goes along Silver Street and further on. Other houses at Silver End, e.g. Lord Braintree's by C. H. B. Quennell.

The church of ST FRANCIS, weatherboarded with a thatched roof was designed by Mr G. C. Holme, the editor of The Studio, in 1929.

St Francis (2)

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