A terrace of four fishermen's cottages dating to the early or mid C19.
Reason for Listing
Nos. 40-43 Eastern Esplanade, Southend-on-Sea, Essex, are designated at Grade II for the following principal reasons.
* Architectural interest: The arrangement of the facade of these fishermen's cottages reflects their specialist function and is an unusual feature
* Intactness: The exterior remains substantially intact and reflects the regional vernacular building tradition
* Group Value: This terrace has group value with Nos. 44-45 Eastern Esplanade.
Southend-on-Sea grew out of Prittlewell, the largest of the six medieval parishes of which it is comprised. By the late C19 Southend had overtaken its mother parish in importance and in 1892 it became officially recognised as a town, when it was incorporated; ‘on-Sea’ being added the following year. The other parishes were absorbed and amalgamated from the end of the C19 through to the 1930s, to form the town as it is known today.
The name ‘Sowthende’ first appears in a will of 1481, although what is now known as Southend did not begin to become urbanised until around 1700 when oyster cultivation began in the area. Within 20 years the whole of the foreshore from Southchurch westwards to Leigh was leased as oyster feeding grounds and oysterman’s huts began to be built, followed by humble terraces of cottages. Visitors started to come in small numbers to Southend to bathe in the sea, and in 1791 a syndicate was set up to develop a resort at ‘New Southend’. Following this The Terrace was built, renamed The Royal Terrace in 1804 after Princess Caroline, wife of the Prince Regent, stayed there. The royal association helped to boost the popularity of the resort, and in 1829 the first pier was built. The coming of the railways in the mid C19 stimulated growth and interest in the town, firstly in 1856 with the London Tilbury and Southend Railway which led to the development of Clifftown, followed by the Great Eastern in 1889. Southend flourished as a seaside resort from the end of the C19 through to the first half of the C20, but its popularity declined towards the end of the C20. In recent years however, major development such as the Southend campus of the University of Essex, and improvements to the pier and Esplanade have helped rekindle interest in the town.
The terrace of former fisherman's cottages on the north side of Eastern Esplanade date from the early to mid C19. The fishing industry in the area has since declined and is virtually non-existent today. The cottages are on the whole unaltered apart from some minor cosmetic changes to the exterior, but it has not been possible to inspect the interiors.
MATERIALS: the terrace is timber-framed, with weatherboard cladding. No. 43 is now faced in plaster. The roof covering is slate.
PLAN: the terrace has an E-shaped plan, formed by wings to the rear at each end and the centre of the terrace.
EXTERIOR: the terrace is two storeys in height and six window bays in width. Nos. 40 and 41 are set back in the centre to the doorways and have hipped roofs and one window range above. The windows are double-hung sashes with glazing bars, those to no. 42 have louvred shutters. The doorway to no. 42 is recessed on the ground storey under an open porch.
INTERIOR: not inspected.
Source: English Heritage
Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.