The Gatehouse at 1 The Avenue
Now part of the Garage site
High Street Research Team
This is the house that stands at the south-west corner of the grounds of what used to be Cedrics Garage (opened 1928).
The house bears a plaque that dates it to 1864. The plaque bears the initials NCC (Nicholas Caesar Corsellis).
The Wivenhoe Local Heritage List, describes the house as:
“Red-brick Victorian Gothic style with decorative brick stepped gables, missing at road-side end. Hood mouldings over the windows. Plaque above door ‘NCC 1864’.”, once the gate-house to Wivenhoe Hall on the High Street which was demolished in 1927.”
The house stands next to De Vere Lane and has only one window overlooking that road. However, De Vere Lane is a modern road, constructed after the break-up of the original estate. Old maps make it clear that the house originally faced an entrance to Wivenhoe Hall that ran past the north of the house, through what later became the Cedrics garage forecourt.
Given that the house was built in 1864 it should appear in the records of censuses from 1871 to 1911, 1911 being the latest census to be published under the 100-year rule. Unfortunately things turn out to be not so simple. None of the censuses has any mention of a gatehouse as such but they do mention buildings associated with the Hall such as (in different years) Coachman’s House, Lodge House, Farm House, Hall Gardens, Game Keeper’s House, Gamekeeper’s Lodge and Lodge. All of those buildings are listed as inhabited where they appear. It seems that they are described in each census according to their current use. The descriptions are likely to relate to about three or four buildings, but we have no evidence yet to identify which is which.
In 1927 at the auction of Wivenhoe Hall Estate the house was described as Lot 16: The Lodge.
After Cedrics moved in, the house was used as a cafe and subsequently became increasingly neglected. By about 1970 it was in poor condition and was let out to students, of whom John Foster was one. He still remembers dodging the waterfall between the living quarters and the kitchen if it was raining outside.
Read more about:
- the later history of The Gate House building
- about Cedric Peck and the history of the garage
- some early pictures of the garage
- Wivenhoe Local Heritage List
- Census records