Lexden History Group

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Tales from the Churchyard

The Hayward Family  

 

 

The first Henry Hayward was a carpenter/builder, an enterprising young man who in 1781 paid duty for the apprentice indenture of James Bollard and another in 1789 for John Sparrow who later became one of his tenants in St John’s Street (or Gutter Lane as part of it was called then owing to a large gutter running down the centre!).  He was a busy and increasingly wealthy man who, like many others, subscribed 10s 6d in 1798 for the Defence of the Country during the French Wars.  One of his many buildings was erected on the corner of Spring Lane and Lexden Road in the early 1800s (Forge House) and is now called Spring House.  He paid 10gns per annum for 14 years to Ann Rawstorn in November 1800 for the lease of a “messuage or tenement north of Lexden Street” where he was already the occupier.  The copyhold was renewed in August 1815 at £35 pa and agan in June 1824.  

Lexden Churchyard

Set back from the main path to the church door are three side-by-side table tombs (picture right), commemorating three generations of the Hayward family.   They were born in Colchester or Lexden, apart from the first Henry Hayward who is thought to have been born in Suffolk in 1754.  Successive generations followed the same trade or profession – building and architecture.  The first tomb records the death in 1817 of Maria Sophia Hayward aged 66 “the affectionate wife of Henry Hayward of this parish” and that of Henry Hayward on Dec 20th 1829 aged 75 years.  Henry later married Mary Carter who outlived him and benefitted from his considerable will.  He was originally a carpenter but had turned his hand to property developing, building, and generally enlarging his “portfolio” over the years.  

The second tomb remembers two of Henry and Maria’s four children:  Sophia Maria, who died in 1838 aged 61 years, the wife of Mr Robert Hale; and Henry Hammond Hayward who died on 11th January 1862 in the 78th year of his life. His wife Charlotte Elizabeth who died in 1853 aged 70 and  Eliza Hayward, youngest daughter of Henry Hammond Hayward and Charlotte died in 1865 aged 43 years and are also recorded here.  Robert Hale is buried at St Mary’s at the Walls.  The third tomb completes the picture recording the death in 1865 of Elizabeth S Hayward aged 57 years unmarried daughter of the first Henry Hayward, and Mary, his second wife, who died in 1841 aged 70 years.

Colchester Trams

In July 1802 he was paid the princely sum of £3 14s “for attending going the bounds, fixing posts, etc” and in April 1803 appeared to be auctioning a freehold estate in Stanway.  In 1804 the will of Samuel Winnock mentions his house in Lexden parish as being “held under Henry Hayward”.   It seems that at some time he also owned Love’s Land (now Rawstorn Road/Papillon Road area) which was next acquired by Henry Vint.  He was closely involved with a Mr Winnock, developer and publican of the Castle Inn in High Street and at about that time they were building in Crouch Street which was then purely residential.  Under the Enclosure Act of 1820 they developed the newly enclosed Lexden Heath west of Straight Road.  

Henry Hayward was church warden of St Leonard’s Lexden for 19 years during which time he loaned money for the rebuilding of the church in 1821 and was also the builder.  His death on 20 Dec 1829 “after a long affliction” was greatly mourned by many who were possibly comforted by the generous nature of his long will leaving many members of the family swathes of property throughout the area.  

His only son, Henry Hammond Hayward, was born in Lexden on 27th March 1784 and followed in his father’s footsteps.  He is recorded in successive censuses as a builder but also as an architect. He seemed to specialise in prestige buildings and in 1820 he built the original Corn Exchange (now colloquially called “the Fire Office”) to the design of David Laing.  David Laing also designed the Custom House in London and Lexden Park.  After a large fire on Christmas Day 1834 he rebuilt the north side of Crouch Street and in 1836/7 he built the workhouse to designs by John Brown of Norwich who was responsible for many workhouses in the country.  This later became St Mary’s Hospital and has now been rebuilt as St Mary’s Field.  Henry Hammond also built the “new” Corn Exchange in High Street in 1843, now the Co-op Bank, but when the old Moot Hall was rebuilt the same year he refused to build the replacement – a wise move as this was later demolished and replaced in 1901 by the present one.

Henry Hammond Hayward’s architectural business was very successful and he designed many of the now listed buildings in Colchester including St Mary’s Terrace in Lexden Road. The houses were very up-market and the occupants expected them to include “the new-fangled water closets” but this caused him a major problem as the effluent would have passed directly into the local water supply and he was forced to build, in Oaks Drive, the largest cess-pit ever constructed.   At one time the west end of the terrace housed St Mary’s School (picture right).

St Marys

He also rebuilt Colchester Royal Grammar School in Lexden Road which was opened in 1853.  At an elaborate ceremony he gave the key of the new buildings to the Headmaster, Dr William Wright, and the Chelmsford Chronicle of 5th August 1853 reported that “The handsome edifice, which is erected in the mediæval style of architecture, is built of red brick, with Bath stone dressings at the angles, windows, etc. Accommodation is provided for 80 boys, including 20 boarders; and the structure comprises a noble school room, 41 feet long, by 20 feet 6 inches wide, and 16 feet to the ceiling, which is very beautifully moulded and panelled in wood and lighted with six elegant windows, a class-room, dining and excellent bed rooms.”  It appears that the gardens were incomplete at the opening ceremony as “There is a large garden for the headmaster walled in from the playground, which is being tastefully laid out.” 

Colchetser Royal Grammer School Lexden

He also rebuilt Colchester Royal Grammar School in Lexden Road which was opened in 1853.  At an elaborate ceremony he gave the key of the new buildings to the Headmaster, Dr William Wright, and the Chelmsford Chronicle of 5th August 1853 reported that “The handsome edifice, which is erected in the mediæval style of architecture, is built of red brick, with Bath stone dressings at the angles, windows, etc. Accommodation is provided for 80 boys, including 20 boarders; and the structure comprises a noble school room, 41 feet long, by 20 feet 6 inches wide, and 16 feet to the ceiling, which is very beautifully moulded and panelled in wood and lighted with six elegant windows, a class-room, dining and excellent bed rooms.”  It appears that the gardens were incomplete at the opening ceremony as “There is a large garden for the headmaster walled in from the playground, which is being tastefully laid out.

 

He spent most of his life in Heath Cottage, Lexden Heath, near Hunter’s Farm at the top of Cross Road (now Heath Road).   He was sufficiently wealthy to always employ at least two live-in servants to assist his wife, Charlotte Elizabeth, in household duties.  His son, Henry Winnock Hayward was living next door in 1861 and next to him in Rose Cottage was a builder, Joseph Barker, who probably had worked for the Haywards for many years.  (His poem glorying 50 years of marriage was included in LHG Newsletter No 32).  

Continuing the family tradition of building but calling himself an architect, Henry Winnock Hayward, born in 1825, was the only son of Henry Hammond Hayward.  He was a staunch Conservative serving on Colchester Borough Council from 1853-8 but fell out with the Party.   Father and son worked together for some years but between 1855 and 1857 Henry Winnock was instrumental in the major restoration of All Saints Church (now the Natural History Museum) including rebuilding the north arcade in13th-century style, inserting new windows in the south wall of the nave and refacing it.   In 1858 its old rectory was replaced by a relatively modest red brick building or Rev J T Round but in 1955 it became the Post Office at No 66 High Street and is now much altered.  He seemed to enjoy working for the local churches as he built the Church School in Straight Road in the early 1861/2 and in 1863 a new rectory was built on open land on Hythe Hill for St Leonard’s.  He designed houses along Lexden Road and the magnificent Wivenhoe House in his favoured Gothic style but also completed the more modest drinking fountains in Middleborough and at St Nicholas’ Church.

LHG

Henry Winnock Hayward moved further afield during the 1850s, rebuilding Harrow School in his familiar Gothic style and became involved in the still prestigious Phillimore Estate in North Kensington, London.  Most of the houses in the development were the standard Italianate variety but he built one contrasting group of four houses in Phillimore Place (formerly Durham Villas) in his Tudor Gothic style.   Two were detached houses (picture left) of red brick with blue brick in diaper patterns (Nos. 6 and 12) either side of two similar semi-detached houses (Nos. 8 and 10). Henry Winnock also leased the detached houses – one of which is on sale today for £12.5m!  In 1879-1880 on a 1½ acre plot on Campden Hill Road, Kensington he a completed a grand house, The Abbey, in his signature decorated gothic style, for a wealthy stockbroker, William Abbot, who had lived in No 8.  He had ordered a Broadwood grand piano for his new house which appeared to be ordered specifically to compliment the interior decorations of The Abbey (picture below).  Unfortunately The Abbey was badly damaged in a bombing raid in April 1941 and remained derelict before the site was cleared and replaced by the modern Kensington Central Library in 1959.

Red Brick House

Another project was reported in the Colchester local press in October 1856 – Henry Winnock “had bought building ground of The Avenue and will construct a terrace of middle class residences ... no less than £30 rateable value”.  At that time a £10 rateable value was the minimum qualification to vote and he thought that they would sell easily.  He designed Nos 2-4 and 6-8 The Avenue (picture left) and by this time George Gard Pye was articled to him, joining his office at 3 Bank Buildings in Colchester. By 1868 the houses were still unoccupied and Henry Winnock Hayward was responsible for the considerable unpaid rates.  At last, the Army bought them to accommodate senior officers after the Crimean War but it was too late for him and he was declared bankrupt.  This project did not have the success that his London ones did and, adding to his problems, there appears to have been an acrimonious parting with Pye when “the dissolution of the Partnership” was announced in the Essex County Standard of 25 January 1878.  Pye had himself become a successful architect designing many now listed buildings in Colchester.   They had worked together for several years during which time they built the Globe Inn in Military Road (now the Oliver Twist).

 

Many local buildings were designed and built by the three overlapping generations of Henry Hayward and it is often difficult to determine who built what but Colchester must be grateful to the Hayward family for serving the town and Lexden so well and designing so many notable buildings.

 

Acknowledgements:  J Bensusan Butt, Fabio Casale, Chris Graves, Andrew Phillips

The Abby Houses