Although the new road had been in use since 1843, there was no development on the road until 1860 when new lots were made available for private development. The Royal Engineer stood where it still stands since it was erected in 1841 but the Radcliffe Trust had resisted any requests for residential expansion until 1859, which is why New Bradwell streets had been built some six years earlier. The plan below shows how the first lots were drawn up. In this post I will concentrate on the first ten lots on the Stratford Road.
Of the 10 lots that were available for development in 1860, 5 were built and inhabited by the time of the census in 1861. According to the plan here, Number 9. sold to Joseph Lepper a grocer on Gas Street, was perhaps the first to be built. The others were Lot 1 (now Nos. 6,7,8); Lot 2 (No.9); Lots 4 and 5 (Nos. 13 and 14).
Once development started, Wolverton began to look like this.
|The first three buildings on the Stratford Road – the Royal Engineer (1841), Nos 6-7 and 9, built in 1860|
The house on Lot 1 was built by Charles Aveline who had set up business as a cabinet maker on Bury Street in 1840. He also got the Post Office franchise and for many years this was Wolverton’s Post Office. It would appear that Number 8 was built in the 1890s to fill up the terrace.
|6-7 Stratford road built in 1860 as a single house. 8 was added in the 1890s|
|9 Stratford Road, built in 1860.|
The rather odd-looking Number 10 was built in the 1890s (hence the bay window) and blocked off street access to the North Western yard.
|Two 3 storey houses built in 1860|
The three storey buildings were initially large private houses (one was called Belvedere House) but they quickly adapted to a commercial function.
|18-19 Stratford Road, built in 1860 as a grocery|
The buildings now numbered 18 and 19 was built as a single dwelling as you can see by the design of the upper windows. I believe that the upper storey is still a single flat, but long ago the lower part was divided into two shop units.
During this first decade most of the front was filled in. The North Western Hotel was opened in 1864 on Lot Number 3 with space on either side, presumably for access for horses. However, before 1871 one of these spaces was filled by an attached property, now Number 12.
|Built in 1864. Originally it had a central doorway with access to the yard on either side.|
Lots 6, 7 and 8 were also built in this first decade. These are now numbered 15, 16 and 17.
|15 and 16 Stratford Road, built in the 1860s|
|17 Stratford Road, built on Lot 8 in the 1860s|
The corner lot, number 10, was first occupied by George Applin, who had a painting business. This corner house has accommodated many businesses over a century and a half.
|20-21 Stratford Road. Although this operated separate businesses for well over a century, it was built in the 1860s as a single building.|
The last phase of infilling happened in the 1890s when the lock-up shops were built between the Royal Engineer and the Aveline house; the house now numbered 8 was built, and the access to the North Western yard was blocked off.
|Lock-up, flat-roofed shop units built in the 1890s|
The shops at one time sported a rather fine looking balustrade. Only the posts remain but you can see its original appearance in the mid-century photograph below.
|The Front looking west c. 1960s|