The Three Spires

More buildings that have been around for many years

The Spires buildings looking South

The spire buildings are at least 100 years old, there were originally three, there are now only two. Their current condition is an indication as to the quality of the original design and how well they were built.

They appeared in the promotional material ‘Lovely Laindon’ produced for Harry Foulger who was one of the Estate Agents and developers at the time.

The Spires looking North

It is interesting to note that the caption on this photograph says ‘Laindon Village’. Prior to 1900 there were four main areas of population. Laindon Common, St Nicholas Church, Great Gubbins near the junction of the High Road and St Nicholas Lane and Laindon Cross. They were however no more than small hamlets but if any area was going to be referred to as a village it would have been this spot leading to Laindon Cross.

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  • Mention needs to be made that it was in this stretch of Laindon High Road, on the east side, a bungalow named “Kinross” (in fact, the first on the left after passing the “Old Fortune” and barely visible in the photograph), was the boyhood home of Peter Lucas whose authorship of several published historical works on both Basildon and Laindon serve as a useful starting point for local studies. As will be seen there were more habitations constructed on the west side of this stretch. My guess is that the photographers standpoint to take the picture was pretty close to where the “new” Southend Arterial Road (alias A127) intersected the High Road with such consequent misfortune. Perhaps he was standing on the site of the new roadhouse that became known as the “Fortune of War” supplanting the original public house of that name. It will be noted that the white railing along the west side of the road seems to extend as far as the eye can see. This protected pedestrians falling into the ditch that paralleled the High Road on that side from a point just north of Laindon Station. Further south it had been concealed in pipes but here, at the north end practically every habitation had its own bridge across to the front gate behind the line of trees. Was this the “lost” River Lyge from which the parish name of Laindon is said to have been derived? The creation of the A127 meant that, in addition to the re-locating of the “Fortune of War”, the resultant crossroads became a magnet for setting up a number of commercial undertakings designed to capture passing trade. “Enifer’s Café” (now a rebuilt McDonald’s franchise) became one and the house on the extreme left in the photograph is probably that which became known as the “Fortune Tearooms”.

    By John Bathurst (17/08/2011)

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