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Text by Paul Roberts – 1993/4
Queen Street

This survey was probably conducted in 1993/4 by Paul Roberts
The newly formed History Society had started a group to record streets
and had already completed a survey on Harborough Road,
but no others have been discovered, so far.....

Street Survey of Queen Street


My earliest recollection of these streets dates back to the late 1920s when with my Mother we visited Grandparents in Cromwell Road. Then we would take a bus from Raunds and alight at the Wesleyan Chapel walk through Orchard Place and up Portland Road or up Queen Street if the adults wanted to stretch their legs. Why adults wanted to do such a thing was beyond me. Queen Street rose sharply up from the High Street, crossed Rectory Road where the old Salvation Army building almost blocked the road to a bend where an alley went through to Portland Road. Queen Street then stretched straight on past the imposing William Green factory to the sky. There on the skyline stood a white ho use. In those days Queen Street seemed to stretch on forever. Then at the junction with Cromwell Road was a Public House that wasn't. Why it wasn't I never knew and since children were seen and not heard in those days and were told not to ask questions I let the mystery pass by.

Later I learnt from my Mother that was where, in the big room, she and others joined the first Girl Guides under the Leadership of Elsie Fountain, and they would Parade in the Paddock of the Rectory under Mr.Jolley. All this was before 1914; that was a date by which all adults seemed to measure time by in those days.

Origin of Queen Street & Portland Road

The 1881 Census has no mention of these two streets which would have been between Orchard Place and Marriott’s Farms. I have to date been unable to consult the 1891 Census. I looked at the 1895 Electoral List for the Eastern Parliamentary Division.

This lists 46 Electors registered in Queen Street but no mention of Portland Road. 11 Ownership Voters, 35 Occupation Voters (note that Ownership Voters did not have to live on the premises).

From this list Queen Street appears to have been started between 1881 and 1887.

Why do these streets appear at this date. To answer this question we have to look at this part of the County. Raunds was the largest village in the area with Rushden second. Yet changes were taking place.

In 1864 Raunds still with the greater population had 90 Ownership Voters; in 1867 it has 86. Rushden for the same years has 65 and 69. Raunds has reached its Victorian Peak, and declining comparatively, whilst Rushden is expanding and 'taking off'.

The 1889 Electoral Register shows Raunds with 79 Ownership; 544 Occupation and 37 Ownership C.C. only (women). Rushden has 185 Ownership; 971 Occupation and 61 Ownership C.C. voters.

Rushden has now grown and overtaken all others in this part of the County. Raunds cannot expand because the land is the hands of the Langham Estate and William Nicholls the farmer. Rushden can expand the land is available.

Yet there is another factor. Raunds is wedded to the Hand-sewn heavy Army Boot, whilst Rushden grasps the new machine made boot.

Over all this is the influence of Total Abstinence - only at this date can you buy or rent a house that is out of the old squalid village and that place is Rushden.

It is with this background that one has to understand the origins of Queen Street, Portland Road and all such streets in this part of the County. The seemingly straight rows of Victorian redbrick, hides an individuality of styles and decorations. Several times I was asked what I was doing. When people learnt my quest I was told of further factors about their houses and a pleasure to know the background to their street. I feel at the end of my first survey how little I know and how much more there is to learn. This survey excludes the chimneys themselves a subject for study.

1889 Ownership Voters
Bartram Job freehold Willington, Beds.
Crick Charles George freehold house
Crick Nathan ditto
Hobbs, Henry ditto
Mackness, John Thomas ditto
Manns, William  ditto
Rogers, Charles  ditto
Shelford, William ditto
Skinner, William ditto
Tomblin, Daniel  ditto
White, Charles ditto

1889 0ccupation Voters
Thomas Bailey George Fensom Fredk. Noble George Spaven
William Bird Henry Hobbs William Pell Alfred Sugars
Albert Brooks Fredk. Hodgkins Jerimiah Pendered Daniel Tomlin
Charles Brown William Hooton Charles Rogers Thomas Ward
John Brown Charles Horne George Sawford Ralph Warren
Nathan Crick Jonathon Lack Joseph Sean Charles White
William Dickens Samuel Linnet William Shelford Esau Whiteman
and Bedford End John Thomas Mackness John King Skinner Arthur Willmott.
Walter Drage Jeffrey Miller William Skinner

Kelly's Directory 1898.

Thomas B. Seneshal, tailor, Queen Street.

Kelly's Directory 1898. Boot & Shoe Manufacturers.

Queen Street: William Green; H. Hobbs

Queen Street

The street commences at High Street north and runs north easterly, and from its junction with Cromwell Road it becomes Upper Queen Street and terminates on the Rushden boundary.

The houses are a social mix from elegant detached substantial red Brick to workman’s brick cottage. All houses have decoration of a mixed Style. Even pairs of houses have different embellishments. The chimneys are elaborate and tall.

From talks with some residents, one gets the idea that they were lived in by a mix of trades. Each house was so different in some detail that only a superficial survey could be undertaken at this stage, the rear of the houses originally held workshops for these various tradesmen.

Odd numbers left hand side up.

The building on the corner had no name or date but was similar to biuldings on the opposite corner. Bricks were of the late Victorian red with stone lintels and sills. On this side the buildings were the side of High Street shops.

Then came a wide access to the High Street premises.

No 1 to 3. A row of continuous houses. No 1 is now Gerrard Phillips, an old Rushden business formerly in the High Street. The line of bricks under the eaves were picked out at an angle. Stone sills with wooden frame bay windows. The upper floor windows were double frame.

Entry was between 3 & 5. The top of the arch was stone. No dates.

No 11 & 13. Entry between these houses. Same bays and windows, but the arch was stone with a key stone. Stone ribbing at first floor level.

No 15 to 19. Square entry with stone top and window over. Stone tops, large windows in stone. Blue stone base with top chamfered. This blue stone line was common to all the houses in both streets. At the end was the remains of a shop with tiling on the outside. This used to be a Co-op Butchers Shop. Then came another shop with a modern low extension.

Rectory Road crossed Queen Street here and looking back to the above houses down the bottom of the gardens on the boundary wall were the lean-to shops of the old hand-sewn makers, the roofs were pan tiles. These are the traditional shapes and after these no others are in any houses. It seems that the change to machine made shoes occurs at this spot.

No 29. Dean Cottage 1891. An extension had been added on the Rectory Road side. Side on with gable end, stone sills and tops to windows. Double windows top and bottom. R/h window down a big bay in stone. Cornices of brick, brick ribbing below eaves. Stone band below top and bottom windows. Gable End and Cornices triangle arch, sides picked out.

No 31. Slightly higher than the previous house but not jointed.

No 33. Single house, the reverse of the previous house.

Nos 35 to 41. A block with differing details. A.D. 1887. Brick cornices. Central entry; doors and entry stone cap with key stone, single bay window.

Nos 39 & 41. Wooden cornices on diamond brick. Wooden cut window frame on stone sills. Central Entry.

All 35 to 41. had brick banding on the chimneys.

No 43. Same, but with rounded entry arch and brick cornices.

No 45. Square door cap.

No 47,49,51. Handel House 1887. Round entry arch, square door top. Bay windows, window over doors. Entry between 47 & 49. The date stone was a double dog kennel with an oak leak in the centre. The base was blue brick.


No 53. Morley House. 1890. The outside had been rendered. Curved arch stone.

No 55. Wide doorway set inside. Cornices. Bay window in fancy wood cut. Window above the door.

No 57.  Modern front.

No 59. A.D. 1887. Rendered on the outside. Cornices in brick. Square Bay.

No 61 to 69. Moulded brick top band. Central doors, wooden bays. No 71 & 73. Plain brick top band. Central entry, wooden bays, doors at end. Separately built.

No 75. Entry a curved arch, some fading rendering. The owner told me that when he decorated the doors internally had been adapted from an earlier house. In the rear was a workshop for the original owners who had been carpenters, now in the premises further up the street.  An old photograph revealed that all the street had originally had iron front railings.

Large Gap.

No 93 to 39.  Modern inserts.

No 101.  Double bay fronted bungalow, green tiled roof.

No 103 & 105. Modern inserts.

No 127. Ashill Cottage over the door. Plain bay, blue base.

No 127. Modern front.

No 131. A.D. 1898, Bays, large doorway, moulded ribbing central. Arched bedroom windows. Barge boards.

No 133. A.D.1900 central stone band, straight lintels.

No 135. Stone bays, wooden eaves.

No 137. Rose Cottage 1898 arch over door, key stone with date.

No 139. 1896 above entry, wooden bays, stone band. single bedroom windows, and window over entry. Called Boscombe House.

No 139 & 141. Steps to front door, wooden bays single bedroom windows. Owner said he was a drainage worker and his drainage went under the house to a soak in the front garden and that further up the soak was in the entry.

No 145. Yellow brick band first floor, level. Straight lintels. Yellow brick at roof level, straight lintels, wooden framed bays,

No 147. Ivy Cottage, over entry, stone lintels.

No 149 & 151. 1891 centre, stone lintels, plain tops, serrated top stone.

All these had different roof levels.

No 153. Phoenix Cottage central over entry. Round brick Arch.

No 155. Wooden bays straight stone door and window lintels.

No 157. The same but eaves had fancy banding with 155. 153 fancy banding was only to this house.

No 159. Wooden bays window over doorway.

No 161. same.

No 163. Mabel Cottage, bedroom level stone band. Plain ribbing curved doorway arch. Entry between 161 & 163.

No 165. Modern repointed.Entry perhaps stone lintel.

No 171. Bay windows. Yellow band first floor level. Yellow brick curved door lintel.

No 183. End of the row from 171.

Upper Queen Street

No 1, 1A, 3. Perhaps late 1930s.

Three pairs of 1930s houses, and further houses of 1950s or 1960s housing estate.

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