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Oliver Cromwell Road, New Estate
Rock Estate

One of the terraces in Cromwell Road in 1988

1st March 1890 - Northampton Mercury

A Runaway—On Thursday evening, Feb. 20, a pony belonging to Mr. Burton, attached to a cart loaded with bread, bolted up the Newton-road. When it came to the Rock Estate it left the road and went across the building land, and was not, stopped till it ….

Wellingborough & Kettering News 02/03/1889, transcribed by Peter Brown

situate in Oliver Cromwell road, New Estate, Rushden.


AT the Rose and Crown Hotel, in Rushden, on Thursday, March 28th, 1889, at Six for Seven o'clock in the evening, subject to such conditions of sale as will be then produced, in the following or such lots as may be determined upon, (by order of the owner):

Lot 1.—All those Five well-built newly-erected Freehold Messuages or Tenements, with good Workshops and other Outbuildings, situate on the east side of Oliver Cromwell-road, in the occupation of Messrs. Gross, Oliver, and others, bringing in a rental of 6s. per week each.

Lot 2.—All those Five Messuages or Tenements, similar to and adjoining Lot one, in the occupation of Messrs. James, Twelvetree, and others, (at the same rental).

Lot 3.—All those Five Messuages or Tenements, similar to and adjoining Lot two.

Lot 4.—All those Five Messuages or Tenements, similar to and adjoining Lot three.

The whole are well-built and very pleasantly situated, the drainage is complete, and are sold subject to the Vendor finishing the houses and erecting fences in from according to plan.

A contract is entered into to complete the roads forthwith.

A reasonable proportion of the purchase money can remain on mortgage.

Further particulars of the Auctioneer, Wellingborough; or of
F. Newman Esq.,
Solicitor, Rushden

Northampton Mercury, June 27th 1890, transcribed by Susan Manton

Rushden Northamptonshire

Freehold dwelling houses and a plot of building land

W.J. Clarke is instructed to Sell by Auction

On Thursday July 10th 1890 at the Coffee Tavern, High Street, Rushden and subject to the conditions of Sale to be then and there produced.

Thirty five brick built and dated Freehold Dwelling Houses, situate and being in Oliver Cromwell Road, Rushden, Northamptonshire each containing two sitting rooms, scullery and two bedrooms, with long gardens, workshops and other appurtenances at the rear, let to good tenants all ground rentals amounting to £313. 10s per annum.

The whole will first be offered in one lot and if not then sold will be sub-divided into two or more, as may be decided upon at the time of the Sale.

To view, apply to the tenants, and for further particulars to the Auctioneer, 12, Guildhall Road or to Richard R.W. Hall Esq. Solicitor 16, Abington street both in the Town of Northampton.

cricket ground
1951 County Cricket Match played at Rushden
Allotments and the backs of the Cromwell Road houses and
Newton Road School bell tower on the horizon.

Notes taken from plans passed by the Council now deposited at NRO.
At the corner of Cromwell Road and Pratt Road a house and shop was built in 1890 for Mr. W. Chettle. The plot adjoining was to be a yard and storage. [plots 77 & 78]
A proposed bakehouse for Mr John Barringer was designed by George Hall, surveyor, of Higham Ferrers, to be built in Oliver Cromwell Road in September 1897.

Also at this time Frank Henson applied to build 9 houses and a shop at the corner of Cromwell Road and Robinson Road.

The Rushden Echo, 15th January 1965, transcribed by Jim Hollis

‘Unfit’ House Cost Life Savings

  Old age pensioners, Mr. and Mrs. Albert Porter, spent their life savings of £500 on a house in Cromwell Road, Rushden, three years ago. Now it has been declared unfit.

  The couple have received £75 “good maintenance”, compensation for the house and will probably receive a further £75 site value from Rushden Urban Council.

  The house No. 96, has been valued at £75 for the site by the District Valuer, and the couple would have received this if a recommendation of Rushden Council’s Housing Committee had not been referred back at last month’s council meeting.

  All the committee can now do is reconsider the matter to see whether a mistake has been made. Mr. A. G. Crowdy, clerk to the council, told the “Echo” that it was very unlikely a mistake had occurred.

  Mr. and Mrs. Porter’s unfortunate circumstances began after they sold a small cottage in Wootton, Bedfordshire, for a good profit. They were told to come and live in Rushden, “where houses are cheaper.”

 After hearing that it was possible that many houses in this area of Cromwell Road might be inspected with a view to redevelopment, Mrs. Porter said her solicitors approached the council.

  This was in December, 1961, after the sale of the house had been confirmed subject to the contract being signed. She said the council replied that the house was in a terrace and that it was possible ultimate proposals would depend more on the general state of the terrace than on the condition of one particular house.

  Mrs. Porter said it was suggested that the house should be inspected by a private surveyor to obtain advice about whether it was fit for living in under the 1957 Housing Act.

  The house was duly inspected by an independent surveyor who, she claimed, said he did not think it would be condemned.

  In August, 1963, the couple received notice from the council that it thought 96 Cromwell Road was “unfit for human habitation,” after it had been inspected by Mr. H. W. Ellis, the public health inspector, and the late Dr. P. X. Bermingham, Rushden’s medical officer of health.


  Following this, Mrs. Porter went to the Ministry of Housing and Local Government through her solicitors and a public inquiry was fixed for September 5, 1963.

  Rushden council made application for a compulsory purchase order for 34 houses, garages and storage rooms in Cromwell Road. Four objectors were represented at the inquiry.

  Mr. Crowdy said at the inquiry the 75-year-old houses were divided into five lots. Twenty-nine on the list were considered unfit for human habitation.

  He assured tenants that compensation would be paid in accordance with statutory provisions, and about ten would qualify for full compensation.

  Mr. and Mrs. Porter attended and were represented by their solicitors.


  After the meeting the Ministry Inspector, Mr. L. S. J. Buck, inspected the houses concerned and in due course Mrs. Porter received £75 “good maintenance compensation.” It was made clear that the Ministry inspector upheld the recommendation to the council that her house should be declared unfit.

  Still Mrs. Porter did not give up hope that she would get back her life savings which she had paid for the house.

  Mr. S. W. Monham, the District Valuer from Northampton, visited the house to value it for the council.

  Mrs. Porter’s hopes were raised, only to be dashed when she heard that the valuer had agreed terms for acquiring the house at site value of £75 plus the cost of Mrs. Porter’s legal and surveyor’s fees.

  A letter from Mrs. Porter to Mr. Harold Wilson, the Prime Minister, produced no result.

  After it had been passed to the Ministry of Housing and Local Government she received a reply stating they could not intervene further. She was told the amount of compensation payable was a matter for settlement between her and the council.  

  Mrs. Porter is now living in a council house on King’s Road, Rushden, paying rent of £1 4s 6d a week.

  She told a reporter: “That’s all our money gone, all our life savings, and we cannot get any National Assistance. We have even broken into the £75 we have received, and that will soon be gone.”

  Mr. and Mrs. Porter have two daughters and a son. One daughter is married and the other is a widow living at Bedford.

The Rushden Echo, 29th January 1965, transcribed by Jim Hollis

House to be bought for £75

Rushden Urban Council’s Housing Committee has reviewed the terms recommended by the District Valuer for acquiring 96 Cromwell Road, Rushden, the house bought by Mr. and Mrs. Albert Porter for £500, and which has now been declared unfit. (See “Echo” story January 15).

At Wednesday’s meeting the committee reported that the District Valuer had recommended that it should be acquired for £75 plus the legal charges.

It was also noted that the vendor had received £76 as compensation for good maintenance.


After receiving a full report from the clerk, Mr. A. G. Crowdy, the committee was satisfied that the terms recommended after negotiations with the agents acting on behalf of the owner, represented a proper settlement of the compensation in accordance with the statutory provisions.

The report added: “The owner’s solicitors were adequately advised in 1961, when the purchase of the property was under consideration, that the property was in an area likely to receive early attention under the Housing Act, 1957.

It was decided that arrangements should be made for the completion of buying numbers 32, 34, 46 and 96 Cromwell Road.

Charlie Watts' Family at 96 Cromwell Road

Courtesy of the late Colin Bryant's Collection
The part of Cromwell Road demolished in 1965

Rushden Echo, 1st October 1965

"The Rock"
Demolition work on houses in 'The Rock,' officially known as Cromwell Road, Rushden, started this week. The houses which are being pulled down were built in the late nineteenth century by a London firm, the Rock Freehold Land Society, at a time when Rushden was fast expanding. The name of the firm was somewhat misleading, however, as the society was actually being liquidated when it put up the houses. At present plans for rebuilding on the site are rather vaqgue.

Demolition of some of 'The Rock' houses

 Cromwell Court - replaced the houses demolished in 1965

 2 Cromwell Road
2 Cromwell Road
Arthur Sanders lived here and his builders' yard stretched out beyond. The demolition c1990s in preparation for Oliver Close.

2017  housing
The former H W Chapman box factory was refurbished
into living accommodation in 2017.

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