White Buildings That Have Seen Better Days : Rockingham Road, Kettering

The good Herr Doktor Pevsner gave fairly short shrift to Kettering –

There is remarkably little of architectural note at Kettering, and no perambulation can be made of it.” 

Quite how he knew there was little of architectural note if he couldn’t be bothered to walk round it I don’t know.  I doubt that he would have found this building notable even if he’d seen it but it’s always interested me. 

It is (or was) one of a number of what I take to be nineteenth century houses (villas?) in various styles that are spread out along the Rockingham Road.  I used to pass it on my way into town from my parents’  house, and now pass it on my way to the football.  It was brilliantly white, to my eye vaguely Italianate, set back further from the road than most of the other houses and was shielded by what must once have been a quite elaborate garden, largely of evergreens.  

As time went by the evergreens grew wilder and the house more obscured.  I suppose I picture some elderly lady – perhaps the daughter (grand-daughter?) of the original owners – becoming  immobile and reclusive.  Some time ago the windows were boarded up and the gate padlocked.  Little piles of white cider cans sprouted  in the garden, a rash of graffiti on the walls (one imagines local children daring each other to spend a night in the haunted house).

Now a sign has appeared ….

“Construction site” sounds euphemistic.  Demolition?  Renovation?  I shall keep an eye on its progress, if any, and report back.

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5 thoughts on “White Buildings That Have Seen Better Days : Rockingham Road, Kettering

  1. My family the Wiggins lived in this house,the last known wiggins was Clara Berridge she died in 1924.I wonder who owned this house surely not a wiggins relative?

  2. How fascinating, TJ. I’m afraid I don’t know who lived there after that. It was in reasonably good condition until – I’d say – the ’80s/’90s. After that the garden started to get overgrown until it was virtually hidden from view. A great pity because I always thought what an attractive house it was. It has now been completely demolished, though.

  3. Don’t think so, but I’ll have a look. No, I never did try to look inside. Towards the end people did seem to have broken in and used the garden for drinking etc. I don’t know when it was actually last lived in.

  4. this house always intrigued me 4 some reason, i often wonder why it was demolished, and how it got in the state it did, was it haunted or did it just look it

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