Roundwood Park from the 1920s to 2018 - Part 2

A study of the houses on the Western side (odd numbers)

Roundwood Park – looking west, with nos. 33 to 51, and nos 34 to 54 on the east (lower) side. The northern edge of the Round Wood is on the left of the image.

The Roundwood – full of bluebells? – before development.

The eastern (evens) side of Roundwood Park is described in Part 1.

This project to study changes in Roundwood Park since it was first laid out in 1922 by Jesse Catton started in May 2018 when Penny Payne took a look on Google street-view to find No.38 where she grew up in the 1970s, and noted the changes. She kindly sent us copies of photos of her house and those opposite (nos. 35, 37 and 39), and commented that since then “no. 38 had a huge rear extension with a smaller side extension not long after my mother sold in 1991 or 1992 so it’s still recognisable, just!” She also sent views of the road, looking north and south from outside no.38, noting that its seemed to be wider then as “we used to play tennis and football in the road.”

Knowing that Local History Society member, John Wyborn, had grown up in Roundwood Park, we asked him for his memories, and then searched for the houses he had mentioned in connection with their occupants in the 1940s to 1960s.

Slopdash rendering on front wall of no. 54

The publication of this page prompted Haydn Dickenson at no.54 to help identify which houses have survived as originally built or with extensions – and to draw attention to characteristic features, such as slopdash rendering.

Nine of the thirty-four houses on the western side of Roundwood Park are little altered from when they were built in the late 1920s and 1930s, and a further seven have been considerably extended. However, particularly at the northern end towards Roundwood Lane, a number of houses have been demolished and replaced by two on the original plot, or a ‘new’ house has been tucked into garden or garage space. Without extensive searching of planning applications, the date of these houses is hard to determine, so we hope that residents will help with information.

13 Roundwood Park awaiting demolition

Slopdash rendering on front wall of no.13

The trend is continuing, with the expected demolition of 13 Roundwood Park in the spring of 2019, to be replaced by two houses on this site. No.13 has been little altered, and was one of several chalet-bungalows of the mid 1920s. (Three similar chalet bungalows are still to be found in Bowers Way in 2019). At that time at least eight were bungalows or chalet bungalows, probably with features similar to no.54, which was constructed of clay-pots Рhollow rectangular blocks, and slopdash rendering Рa form of stucco as illustrated by internet images. Slopdash is a mix of lime, cement, stone, sand and water.

 

 


The gallery below starts from no.1 at the southern end of the road, through to no.53. Where possible, estimated dates of building and the original name of the house are given, based on Kelly’s Directories which ceased to be published after 1974. We hope you can provide further information about when your house was built or altered, and anything else of interest. Please send further information through ¬†enquiries@harpenden-history.org.uk

To progress through the sequence click on an image and then follow Next or Previous – or hover over an image to find the house number and click on it to enlarge the picture.

Comments about this page

  • Number 3 was owned originally by a family called Neal. Mr Neal was a hat manufacturer. Mrs Neal kept a huge Alsatian which occasionally ran free and terrified the life out of me when I was a child.

    By John Wyborn (23/05/2019)
  • No 1 Roundwood Park (the original house) was not built until after WW2. Throughout the war it was a blank plot on which small boys would play. Containing a pile of unerected fence panels you could climb inside them. Each panel could be twanged so as to make a noise like a Bren gun firing to the accompaniment of much schoolboy shouting and enjoyment.

    Early occupants of No 1 were keen liberals when the party was in decline. In 1958 they displayed a huge yellow poster proclaiming TORRINGTON in block capitals. In the spring of 1962, when I was helping my parents move out to Common Lane, I recall seeing a banner ORPINGTON commemorating the latest liberal by-election victory – my last recollection of Roundwood as a resident.

    Note: the site was re-developed in c.2010.

    By John Wyborn (30/04/2019)
  • Owned originally by a family called Neal. He was a hat manufacture. Mrs Neal kept a huge Alsatian which occasionally ran free and terrified the life out of me.

    By John Wyborn (10/04/2019)
  • No 1 Roundwood Park, the original house, was not built until after WW2. Throughout the war it was a blank plot on which small boys would play. Containing a pile of unerected fence panels you could climb inside them. Each panel could be twanged so as to make a noise like a Bren gun firing to the accompaniment of much schoolboy shouting and enjoyment.

    Early occupants of No 1 were keen liberals when the party was in decline. In 1958 they displayed a huge yellow poster proclaiming TORRINGTON in block capitals. In the spring of 1962when I was helping my parents move out to Common Lane I recall seeing a banner ORPINGTON commenorating the latest liberal by-election victory – my last recollection of Roundwood as a resident.

    By John Wyborn (03/04/2019)

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