Street house names
As with so many roads in the Rosehill area, Cavendish Street has
housing from several eras. The Victorian houses display
a range of styles and etymologies in their name plaques.
The name block sits tightly between the upstairs windows.
Devonshire Road can be seen running up the side of the property in the
above photograph. Clifton is a suburb of Bristol, perhaps a pleasing
name was simply chosen.
8.2.2023: 'Hi Borin, I might have solved the little mystery of the
naming of the Clifton Villas on Cavendish St. It seems the reasoning
behind the name was hiding in plain sight.
On the 1867 map included on the Cavendish St page, a building that sits
on the east bank of the Wet Dock, south of Myrtle St (now Patteson Rd),
has the name of Clifton in capitals. There also seems to be a road
named Clifton Rd (now Cliff Rd) to the east. I have done a small of
amount of research online about this building but have drawn a blank.
Maybe you will have more luck! Kind regards, Ben Squirrell.' Thanks to Ben for spotting this. See the
The name Clifton was brought to England in the wave of
migration that followed the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Clifton family
lived in Lancashire despite the fact that there are numerous places so
named throughout Britain. The reason for the popularity of the place
name is drawn from the fact that Clifton means "farmstead on or near a
cliff or bank," from the Old English words 'clif' and 'tun'. The large
capitals spelling out 'CLIFTON' on the 1867 map (shown further down
this page) suggest that this was a name applied to an area or piece of
land, rather than the (three?) small houses which Ben has identified
and which are are shown adjacent to the tree-lined 'Marine Promenade'.
We know that in 1746 Thomas Cobbold established his brewery on Cliff
Quay, just south of this, so perhaps the derivation ties it all
Let's hope that the street here isn't quite as wet as those in
Venice. Perhaps the title was chosen, as so often in these cases,
simply because it was a recognisable place name.
'EDDY STONE VILLA'
The Eddystone Rocks are an extensive reef approximately 12 miles
sou'-sou'-west of Plymouth Sound and feature a famous lighthouse which,
happily features on this house name plaque with the name on a curving
scroll above it. It looks magnificently like a studio ident in the
opening of a feature film. One can only ponder on the separation of
'Eddy' and 'Stone' – dare one venture that the builder was Mr Edward
Stone? Smeaton's lighthouse was the third incarnation of
Eddystone Lighthouse (1759) and the relief modelling on the plaque is a
reasonably accurate depiction. It was replaced in 1882
by Douglass's lighthouse, which is still in operation today, albeit
with a modern helipad on top. Nice paint-job, to boot.
... does what it says on the plaque (in quite florid
letterforms). Glimpsed to the left of
number 140 in the above left photograph, the 'vale' in question is the
geographical feature through which Cavendish Road was built. You can
see the land (including certain of the gardens) rising steeply on
either side. At the top of the slope behind Vale Villas
is the rear of the western end of Rosehill Road. The Freehold Land Society which developed much of the
land around here referred to this area as 'The Vale Estate'.
This name tablet is notable for the four indentations at the
corners, as if the plaque had been screwed to the wall. We're not aware
of a similar design. Minton is a surname of British origin: a
locational surname, named after the village of Minton, near Church
Stretton in Shropshire, which in Old English means 'the settlement on
the hill'. Perhaps the most famous use of the name is Mintons Ltd, a
major ceramics manufacturing company, originated
with Thomas Minton (1765–1836), who established his pottery factory in
Stoke-upon-Trent, Staffordshire, England, in 1793. They produced
domestic, earthenware tableware including the famous Willow pattern.
By 1895 the company had also moved into high quality, art
nouveau ceramics for the larger pocket.
Simon Knott suggests that the colonial name for present day Sri
Lanka, Ceylon, which became a British possession in 1796, was an event
commemorated by a terrace name a hundred years later.
One wonders whether these cottages take their name from Holy Trinity Church, not too far away
between Back Hamlet and Fore Hamlet. Trinity Vicarage at the end of
Rosehill Road features on our Rosehill
case study page.
A double 'Cavendish'... It is quite endearing to
see a row of Victorian houses called 'Buildings' on the name plaque.
There are at least three in Cavendish Street.
This one is one of the few tablets in Cavendish Street carrying
'F.L.S.' for 'Ipswich & Suffolk Freehold Land
Society' (perhaps 'I.&S.F.L.S.' was a bit much for the plaque.
Simon Knott points out that Joseph Paxton, designer of the
Crystal Palace, died in 1865; although this is sometime before the
terrace was built, throughout his life he was the head gardener of
William Cavendish, Duke of Devonshire, after whom Cavendish Street is
"Paxton Buildings, at the upper end of Cavendish Street were not
so large [as those FLS houses in Upland Road] and were to be sold for
£107 10 shillings. They faced south, with large gardens at the rear
extending to Foxhall Road. Drainage was into a sewer in Cavendish
Street made up and taken over by the town. There were front and back
'keeping rooms', a kitchen, three bedrooms, w.c. and usual offices.
Each house had a separate backway." (Clegg, M: The way we went, see Reading list).
is carved into a, now degraded, block on a level with the upper
window and on the corner of the terrace.
269/271 No. 294?
Once a word is enshrined in
carved lettering, one imagines that the builder or developer will
insist that it is used, even if it mis-spelt. So, not 'Devonian', as in
pertaining to Devon; more relating to the allium family of bulbs coming
from that county, as in 'onion'.
We Hertfordshirians (sadly, now
we might be referred to as Greater Londonians), when we see the word
'Kentish', immediately think of the north London suburb of Kentish
Town. Simon Knott (of Simon's Suffolk churches, see Links) reminds us that Kentish Town is a place,
where the Dukes of Devonshire, for whom Cavendish Street is named,
owned a great deal of land. The explanation of the name of Kentish Town
may be a derivation from 'Ken-ditch' meaning the 'bed of a waterway'.
It was was originally a settlement along the River Fleet which flowed
through the area, and today runs underground. Kentish Town is first
recorded during the reign of King John (1207) as 'kentisston'. By 1456
Kentish Town was recognised as a thriving hamlet, and in this period a
chapel of ease is recorded as being built for the inhabitants. These
days, Kentish Town is know to most people as a stop on the Northern
(or a traffic queue on the road to central London) and a typical
overbuilt, over-traffic'd, over-populated inner London suburb.
The additional layer of meaning comes from the difference
between the appellations: 'A Man/Maid of Kent' and 'A Kentish
Man/Maid'. The former would be born (broadly-speaking) east of the
River Medway and the latter west of the Medway; needless to say, it's
bit more complex than that and the distinction might go back to
Anglo-Saxon times. However, the word 'Kentish' has resonance, perhaps
suggesting the Garden of England and therefore appropriate for the many
orchards and kitchen gardens which grew up around the FLS developments
in east Ipswich.
The Klondike (alternative spelling 'Klondyke') is a region of
Yukon in northwest Canada, east of the Alaska border – no to be
confused with other Klondykes in the USA. It lies around the Klondike
River, a small river that enters Yukon from the east at Dawson. The
Klondike is famed because of the Klondike Gold Rush, which started in
1897 and lasted until 1899. Gold has been mined continuously in that
area except for a hiatus in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The name
"Klondike" evolved from the Hšn word Tr'ondŽk, which means "hammerstone
water". Early gold seekers found it difficult to pronounce the First
Nations word, so "Klondike" was the result of this poor pronunciation.
Ironically, Klondyke Terrace is in a locale of Ipswich known as
California or the St. John's area as it's
now more often known; the
development of housing here started in the early days of the Ipswich
and Suffolk Freehold Land Society, formed in 1849, the year of the
Californa gold rush - hence the nickname of the area. One wonders if
the house-namer was aware of the association at this later date. For
more on Ipswich's California (there's one in Woodbridge, too), see our Rosehill case study.
1867 map of the planned 'Cavendish
Road' and 'St Helens Road' leading off Bishops Hill
Edward White's map of Ipswich 1867
shows the area between Bishops Hill/Felixstowe Road and Foxhall Road at
a time of transition in east Ipswich. Street and road names shown here
are the clue to this.
1. Today's Fore Hamlet is here labelled 'Wykes Bishop Hamlet'
but Bishops Hill remains the same (see
that page for an explanation of the 'Wykes' and 'Bishop' elements of
2. Cavendish Street in 1867
has a single terrace of houses built
on the north side (which don't exist today, as far as we can tell) and
has its eastern end sketched out as 'Proposed'.
This is in a straight line which would have met Alan Road (here
labelled 'Allan Road') and Foxhall Road on the site of Hope House. Today's Cavendish Street
actually rises up to cross Alan Road, changes to Upper Cavendish Street
coming out in Tomline Road, opposite Rosehill
3. 'Rose Hill Road' itself, instead of turning at its western end to
eventually meet the top of Bishops Hill is here shown (again,
'Proposed') as running over the steep slope of the vale of Cavendish
Street to meet an extended White Elm Road. Today's White
Elm Road is a curious, skewed trapezium shape coming off and returning
to the western end of Cavendish Street, while the middle section is no
more than a muddy, overgrown track. Also the 1867 map shows this middle
section extending to a junction with Fore Hamlet – a right of way which
exists today as a path through weeds and trees. The public house The
White Elm stood on Bishops Hill close to this spot. A photograph of it
is shown on our Bishops Hill page.
4. Perhaps more surprisingly are the original names given
in 1867 for Rosehill Crescent ('Windmill Street') and what was to
become the lower part of today's Rosehill Road as it meets Bishops
Hill/Felixstowe Road ('St Helens Road'). We know from our Rosehill case study page that the
whole area of Rosehill is named after a farmer called Owen Roe, whose
lands included some of Bishops Hill; thus "Roe's Hill": the house
('Rose Hill') and, ultimately, the area.
5. But why is St Helens Road here, some distance from the Church
of St Helen? The answer, shown on the 1867 map, is a proposed extension
to St Helens Road (today's Rosehill Road)
which, as dotted lines, runs north from the top of Bishops Hill, over
the proposed junction with Cavendish Street. It passes
northwards between the 'O' and the 'V' of the legend 'Grove Hill' and
curves slightly westwards, crossing Spring Road at about the site of
today's railway viaduct (the Felixstowe
Branch Line would eventually open ten years later). On the full
size 1867 map this St Helens Road
continues to meet Woodbridge Road ('Albion Hill') directly opposite
what would become Belvedere Road. It even continues past the site of
the Napoleonic barracks and Parade Road
to curve and meet the Victorian
cemetery. All this is 'proposed', of course, and never happened. Given
that the road would have leapt across two plunging vales at 'Cavendish
Road' and Spring Road (marked 'St Helens Vale') – or followed the
contours of the land all the way
down and all the way back up on the other side – this road linking the
vicinities of Holy Trinity and St Helen must have been wishful thinking.
See our Russell Villas page
for a close-up of this map and commentary; also the Warwick Road page.
name plaque examples: Alston Road;
Road; Cauldwell Hall Road; Marlborough
Road; Rosehill area;
Ipswich & Suffolk Freehold Land
Society (F.L.S.); CaliforniaAlston Road;
Road; Cauldwell Hall Road; Marlborough
Road; Rosehill area;Alston Road;
Road; Cauldwell Hall Road; Marlborough
Road; Rosehill area;
Street index; Origins of street names
in Ipswich; Streets named after slavery
Dated buildings list; Dated buildings examples;
Named (& sometimes dated) buildings
Street nameplate examples; Brickyards
in the Borough of Ipswich
Please email any comments
and contributions by clicking here.
throughout the Ipswich
Historic Lettering site: Borin Van Loon
No reproduction of text or images without express