History of the development of the ‘Top End’ of Scrub Lane – John Rice

1777 Chapman & André Map
Tim Fransen
1935 Scrub House from Hadleigh (by Hancock and Harvey)
Mrs R Schooling
Emptying of Grants Pond
D Barber
The Famous Scrub Lane

The following information is based primarily upon research by local resident John Rice supplemented by research by AGES Archaeological & Historical Association during their Lottery funded project on local wells (in italics).

The name is thought to derive from the ‘scrub’ land of the surrounding area

17th Century – Scrub House was a gamekeeper’s lodge owned by the Dean and Chapter of St. Pauls, the area around being part of the Manor of Barns Juxta Hadleigh (being next to Barns Wood. (For a full description of Scrub House and other local properties, see the new enhanced special edition of Hadleigh an Essex Village by Harvey and Hancock due to be republished by this archive in 2023 – Ed)

1695                Oldest map I found ‘on line’ showing Hadleigh but not Daws Heath

1777                Oldest map found showing Scrub Lane and Scrub House

1847                In the 1847 Tithe Apportionment, Scrub House was owned by George Welch and occupied by a woodman, Joseph Murrell, who also occupied 2 adjacent fields (total 6 acres) which he used for grazing.

1867                Map showing location of Scrub House

1871                Census gives one dwelling on Scrub Lane, presumed to be Scrub House.

1881                Census names Scrub House as the only dwelling on Scrub Lane.

1891                Census gives 3 dwellings on Scrub Lane, none named, but one is presumed to be Scrub House

1895                Map showing location of Scrub House and 2 other dwellings and 2 on The Woods. Also showing 1 Well and 2 Pumps. Bilton and Seymour roads shown but no dwellings. (The site of the Scrub House well appears to have been lost over the years, but was rediscovered following building works in 2021).

1901                Census gives 4 dwellings one of which is Scrub House. Also listed is Scrub Field

1911                Census only gives 2 dwellings in Scrub Lane, Scrub House and Ash Cottage and 1 in The Woods

1919                Map showing 13 dwellings on Scrub Lane and 2 on The Woods

1920                Electoral Register. There were 11 households listed for Scrub Lane and 4 in The Woods. 27 people were registered in total. Scrub Lane dwellings ‘named’, The Woods ‘numbered’

1938                Map. Scrub Lane and The Woods the same as in 1919 but development of Woodfield Road, Mornington Cres and Chandos Parade shown

1939                Register. 11 Households registered in Scrub Lane and 5 in The Woods. There was a total of 44 people living in Scrub Lane and The Woods

1951                Application approved for Land (now Greenacres area) for use for keeping Pigs and Poultry

1954                Nos 6 – 14 Scrub Lane Planning approved for 5 Bungalows and Garages

1955 -1961      Most of the houses between Bilton Road and Woodfield Road were built

1959                ‘Corner’ Shop at 84 Scrub Lane, corner of Bilton Road and Scrub Lane,     established

1962                Approval given to build 109 houses on the ‘Greenacres Estate’ comprising of the new roads of Greenacres and Shepherds Close and also parts of Scrub Lane and Shepherds Walk.

1964                First dwellings of Greenacres Estate on Scrub Lane and in the lower end of Greenacres built and occupied. Scrub Lane, from the top end of the school playing fields to Bilton Road, was not made up and was overgrown with shrubs and undergrowth. It was just possible to push a pram along the ‘path’ to access Hadleigh shops. Road between Woodfield and the Boulevard was not tarmacked with lots of potholes, passable by car at slow speed.

1973                ‘Conifers’ development.

1998                Corner shop closed

2005                Planning permission granted to convert Corner Shop back to residential accommodation.

2007                Planning granted for 13 Dwellings on site of 100 Scrub Lane (formerly Ash Cottage) now Scrub Mews

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  • Re. the shop on the corner of Bilton Road & Scrub Lane – it was a life-saver on Sunday. In those days (I lived in Meadow Road in the 80s) it was one of only a few shops where you could buy milk etc. on Sunday. There was also the shop on the A13 near the Waggon & Horses. I wouldn’t park in that spot now – even on Sunday.

    By Terry Palmer (29/03/2023)
  • Re the shop in corner of Bilton and Scrub Lane it was certainly open for groceries sweets etc. My children, along with others, used to frequent it on the way back and forth to Hadleigh Infants for sweets!! Also useful for ‘last minute’ grocery requirements. I am fairly certain that the last person to run it was a semi-retired butcher as he used to sell his ‘home cooked’ hams at Christmas.
    Further to the Scrub Lane history; having now had access to the 1921 census I could only find one dwelling recorded, that was the Schooling family at Ash Cottage. That was not actually recorded as being in Scrub Lane; its address was given as Ash Cottage, Hadleigh. Scrub Lane did not appear in the Hadleigh address search at all, nor did The Woods which is a bit of a mystery.

    By John Rice (28/03/2023)
  • I lived in Seymore Rd from 1947 until 1978.
    Greenacres WAS a pig farm owned by Barry Evans and it was also the local fresh water fishing site. During the summer months one had to use the school field to get as far as Bilton Rd from Rectory Rd due to the undergrowth. The land between Bilton Rd and Seymore Rd was owned by the Schooling family. The shop mentioned on the corner was a shop but I never saw it open to sell anything. After that, the land was perhaps no more than derelict cornfields as far as Woodfield Rd. On the north side of Scrub Lane, I can remember a Hadleigh family called Ross; Mr Ross had a butchers opposite Iceland. Just before reaching Greenacres was another family by the name of Lowes and Mr Lowes was, I believe, into Pigeon Racing. In front of Greenacres there was always a large area of water, summer and winter. As you passed the cul-de-sac (The Woods) the land had more trees and I would guess that about midway between there and Woodfield Rd there was quite a large pond that we called the Newt Pond for obvious reasons; this pond was very hidden from the track and to get it there were the remains of a property which I assumed was Scrub Farm. For some reason at the end of the track there was a siren that even in my lifetime was set off. Something to do with WW11 perhaps. It might interest some members that the field previously mentioned was where Seymore Rd residents celebrated part of the 1953 coronation .
    Please free to contact me if curiosity gets the better of you. At the time of writing, I know other people still with us who might know more than me. Regards Rob Keen

    By Rob Keen (22/02/2023)

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