Development of the southern slopes - 'The Avenues'

On 1st Feb 1927, part of the southern slopes of the Charmandean estate was sold off by the executors of Thomas Dyer Edwards of Charmandean, to Frank Sandell & Sons, a well known local building firm, for £15,650, who started building and planning First, Second, Third, Fourth and Fifth Avenues.

The first section of this article shows articles from the Worthing Gazette and Worthing Herald, advertising the estate and also the houses built. They are in chronological order, and we can see how more different styles were added over time. 

One of the earliest advertisments we have found for development of the estate, in the Worthing Herald from January 1st 1930.
Note the spelling of Charman Dean, in the original name when it was Charman (derived from the family name of the owners centuries before) and Dean (olde english for valley), also known as 'charming valley'.

At this point, we believe the first few houses had been built, at the southern end of First Avenue, and Sandell & Sons were advertising in the local press.

From the location of houses at the time, it is believed not just houses could be built to client's own requirements, but also selection of plot.
This advert for one of the show homes on the estate in First Avenue ran from at least c.Nov 1930 to c.July 1931.

Some of the houses were built to be show homes, and believed to include luxury features such as an en-suite.

Despite attempting to obtain copies of the plans, drawings and designs we have only ever found one example. 

Might any readers have the original plans of their houses?

One of the original newspaper adverts from c.1932 advertising the Estate, this one being in First Avenue for the 'Osborne' type house.

From the date of the advert, we believe this might have been an advert depicting No. 10 First Avenue.

At this point, more choice of designs for building were available and this is shown in later adverts.  

Arts and Crafts

The design and planning of houses which were built on the Estate were designed to reflect and incorporate features of the 'Arts and Crafts' movement, which embraced styles such as 'mock tudor', trying to influence medieval and romantic styles of design.
Many of the houses on the estate reflect this and still have features present such as tudor style beams, egg and dart cornicing, panelled ceilings, and stained glass windows, influenced by ideas from architects such as Augustus Pugin, and William Morris.
This house on First Avenue is one of the only ones we have found an original blueprint for, and an excellent example of this style of architecture. We are also aware some residents have found architect's drawings for their houses in archives in Chichester.

An extract from the original blueprints for one individually designed house, found in the National Archives in Brighton (yes its inverted from the original blueprints with white drawing!) 
This advert from 1933 shows more the variety of house styles and design which was being offered to the house-buyer at the time.

A number of styles seem to be available, with some of the styles re-used between Upper Brighton Road and Second Avenue, for example. There was a difference in price though!


The progression of development

An old map from 1932, showing building starting in the South-Western corner of the Estate.

This is interesting as, around this time (c.1933), the house featured on our page 'Building in Charmandean' shows photographs looking out over the Open Space, and with Fourth Avenue plotted out, but no houses built yet.

We can see from this map the continuation of the tree line West-East by the now-entrance to Longlands, before First Avenue was extended Northwards.

Citation:, showing Worthing  


In c.1932, this was the view from the corner of First Avenue and Fourth, looking East across the Open Space, but Fourth Avenue has only been mapped as a road and no houses had been developed yet!

On the left side the drive to Charmandean House is just visible, and the trees on the right being in the Open Space - still there today.

In c.1936 the building firm who, amongst other firms, were developing the Estate, Frank Sandell & Sons, offered 5 acres of land on the north side of Second Avenue to Worthing Borough Council, 'for use as a public open space so long as football and cricket were banned'. See 'Charmandean Open Space' page for more information.

Citation: Worthing Sentinal / Worthing Herald.

Development progressed over the years, and the 1954 OS map below shows a number of important features at the time:

* First Avenue had been continued North, with Fifth Avenue created through to Hill Barn Lane (before this, Hill Barn Lane just turned North to Tenant's Hill Barn as there was no vehicular entrance to Charmandean Estate)

* The Charmandean Girls School was still present in it's 30 acres of remaining land

* The Charmandean Open Space was marked as 'allotment gardens'

* Beeches Avenue had only been developed half-way

Citation: Map source: National Library Of Scotland Maps,

This site originally included the below maps from c.1953, which displayed some house names, so they have been kept on here for reader's interest. (click to enlarge)

Citation:, showing Worthing  


The house adverts we have seen in the local press were correct, 'Architect Designed residences' - on initial glance it appears some houses are the same, however we believe each one is subtly different, however all the early designs from 1929 follow the same 'Arts and Crafts' style of building design as previously mentioned.

Not all came with garages, in 1929 a garage was an extra £90!


Left is an advert for one of the houses in Charmandean, which has been kept with the house over the years.

(It is the same house as in the blueprints above). 

Thank you to the owner for contributing this to the site.

Note that there were 4 main styles of house at this time noted on the advert; 

Square type, 3 or 4 bedrooms, and Angle Type with 3 or 4 bedrooms.

The prices were between £1,450 and £1750!


A selection of adverts from the Worthing Gazette during 1934 (click to enlarge). 

An early aerial photo of Charmandean Estate taking shape, post-war, c.1945, with still much of the upper part of First Avenue yet to be developed.

The wooded section on the Eastern side of First Avenue, opposite the entrance to Longlands, was not developed at all until the late 1980`s.


The war years

The below photo is from the West Sussex Past Project and c.1944, it is looking North up First Avenue with Fourth Avenue on the right; the house with the scaffolding was owned for many years by Mr Dunhill of special tobacco pipes and luxury goods fame. See famous residents section.

We can see where the tree line in the centre of the photo was broken through to continue First Avenue northwards (one can tell from the shape of the trees).

Although we originally thought the house with the scaffolding was being built, the timeline doesn`t match. It may be that the house was in fact being repaired after a flying bomb decimated a house on the right (out of photo, but you can see the Oak gates symbolic of many Charmandean residences at the time)

Flying bomb

Our research has uncovered a number of individual stories, which we believe could all be related to an incident during the war when a flying bomb landed in the Charmandean Estate (we believe this was the only flying bomb to land on Worthing).

Miss R. M. Watts, living in Fourth Avenue  in 1942, was the Honorary Secretary of the Worthing Branch of the 'Bible Flower Mission'. It was set up for reasons such as delivering lavender to patients in London hospitals during the war period.

Mrs Florence Gates was living in Fourth Avenue, and Mrs K Buss was living in First (?) Avenue (we believe)

Then, their lives changed. At some time in 1944, a German flying bomb landed we believe in the Open Space.

The below extract from the Worthing Herald, 11th October 1944, clearly shows the flying bomb landing site as the North West corner of the Open Space:

The houses in First Avenue were badly damaged, as this photo taken from the Open Space side shows: 
Miss Watts in Fourth Avenue was killed in the blast, and many other houses required repairs. 

6 houses away on the North side of Fourth Avenue, Mrs Gates had to move out of her bomb-damaged house into temporary accommodation in Railway Approach.

Mrs Buss was asked by the Mission to take over the secretaryship of the Bible Flower Mission, and they continued to send up 'thousands of 'lavender bags' with holder on which is written a text from 'Gods word' to the patients in the London hospitals, who love them; there is a quantity of lavender in Worthing and I should be glad of gifts of same, shredded if possible''

Bomb Disposal Unit Called

The Worthing Gazette reported Weds 1st September 1948, 

'two 12-inch circular holes believed to be made by unexploded bombs were found on Monday by workmen in a field near the drive leading to Charmandean School, Worthing.

Police were informed and arrangements made for a bomb disposal squad to visit the site.

A flying bomb exploded near the spot during the war and other bombs fell in the neighbourhood.'

'Charmandean Drive'

The original West driveway for Charmandean House ran from the Upper Brighton Road, & at the entrance was a lodge mentioned in the 1900 Convenyance map on the right.

When the houses in First Avenue were built, they were built on the East side of the original driveway, and residents have said in dry summer months sometimes the remains of the original driveway can be seen in their back gardens. More information on this in News

Charmandean Lodge

Thanks to the family of Alfred King, who's great-great niece contacted us and allowed us to share her family's photo album of Charmandean, we now know what the lodge looked like.

The lodge was described in the 1914 Sales Particulars as 'Picturesque Lodge, which contains parlour, kitchen, three bedrooms, store house, W.C, etc, and gives entrance to a broad well-kept drive, nearly half a mile in length screened be  forest trees and a shrubbery border'

The lodge was demolished during the widening of the A27, and was located in the South-West corner of the estate. The entrance drive (the West Charmandean entrance) was next to the lodge, and today, would have run South-North in the gardens behind houses in First Avenue. For more information on the Charmandean Gateposts, see Charmandean House page.

Widening the Upper Brighton Road (yes, even in 1927!)

As this article from the Worthing Gazette, Weds 3rd August 1927 shows, the council wished to widen the A27, and as such, required demolishing of the lodge (and the West Entrance gateposts).

In November 1927, 'an offer of the owners of the Charmandean Estate to sell a strip of land having a frontage of 1,270 feet and an average depth of 27 feet has been referred to the District Valuer for his report.'

In March 1935, it was reported 'under road traffic act 1934,the effect of which will be that the following roads which at present are not roads in a build up area for the purposes of the Act shall be subject to a speed limit of 30 mph: Charmandean Lane, Hill Barn Lane, Second Avenue, Third Avenue, Fourth Avenue.'

(at this time, the Avenues were not made up as tarmac, and just rough tracks as not adopted by the council).

The below article also refers to more detail on the subject.

This is an interesting article, from 28th November 1928, as it refers to Sandell & Sons purchasing the southern frontage of the Rotary field, hence the houses bordering the Upper Brighton Road - note which 'is now widened and greatly improved' (!!)

A interesting map from c.1959, showing Upper Brighton Road, partial First, and Second, Third and Fourth Avenues.

Longlands had not been built yet (another 4 years) and the East and West Entrances and driveways of Charmandean House are just visible in the top left and right corners.

The Development of Longlands

The development of Longlands story can be read in the 'Longlands' pages.

In brief... the story reached national headlines, as the Yorkshire Today newspaper reported after Charmandean Residents bought the land to apply strict convenants on it, the land was then sold on to a developer (1963?) for £70,000, with the provisio that it should be developed with 71 3/4 bedroom luxury homes selling for up to £10,000 each.

The total cost of the scheme was estimated at just over £500,000!




Second Avenue

Thank you so much to the resident for allowing us to share this; a house in Second Avenue when built. Interesting as you can see the oak gate which many houses seemed to have when built, and the post and wire fences.

This is an example of one of the individually designed houses, different from the c.4 designs which were standard as offered by Sandell & Sons during development. Although 'standard' is not strictly true, as we believe each house has subtle differences - there is only one matching pair we are aware of, being the first ones built in First Avenue.

Planning of the Charmandean Estate

The development of the Charmandean Estate can be seen with interest when applying a 2018 overlay onto a 1927 conveyance map, as certain features start to make sense:

For example.... ever wondered why the houses on the Upper Brighton Road were close to the road on the West, then were set back in from the road in the middle of this map? This overlay shows the reason, being the protected tree line stepping into the Estate.

Other items of interest is there was a footpath (or track) marked on some maps from c.1910,  running North-South from the old mansion house to the Upper Brighton Road, possibly why the entrance to the Open Space was planned in that position?

A pair of houses in Fourth Avenue are slightly set back from the building line, possibly to retain the trees marked on this map and still present today? 

Articles on the location of houses round the swimming pool and fountain are in the 'Development of Longlands' pages.

Charmandean East Entrance Gateposts

Even after the House was demolished, and Longlands developed, some features remained until recently; in 2013 the original East Entrance gateposts remained until they were demolished.

For more information on the Charmandean Gateposts, see Charmandean House page.

The Eastern Entrance Gates on Charmandean Lane were a good example of 1800's stone scrollwork/mouldings:  

Further photos showing the recently demolished Eastern Entrance Gates in Charmandean Lane: 

 Some sections of the flint Eastern boundary wall are also still standing and run alongside Charmandean Lane:


Charmandean Open Space

During the development of the lower avenues of Charmandean, in 1937 the builders firm William Sandell & Sons gifted an area of land, known as Charmandean Open Space, to the council for 'relaxation and amenities'.

Over the years, there have been a lot of articles on the Open Space, and it hasn`t always been the green recreation area that it is today. We can see from the 1954 OS map, it was marked as 'Allotment space'.

We have documented the history we have found in a new page, 'Charmandean Open Space'


Before there were numbers..

If you're a Charmandean Avenues resident, have you ever wondered what the original name your house had? Many of the houses were designed in their facade architecture to have a place to put a house name, such as above the door. We have had enquiries from residents asking such questions. 

The below map is a work in progress, but we are starting to map house names between 1932-1962 against houses and locations as it might be of interest to residents. If any resident would like to know more information, then please let us know by Contacting Us

Some readers will remember the days when a road only had house names, and no numbers. It may have been common in those days past, when developers didn`t plan out a whole estate, but purchasers had the option to buy 'per square foot frontage (for example c.£6 per foot frontage as our research has shown). In this case, they couldn`t have planned numbers on a road, hence in the 1930's only house names exist in directories such as 'Kellys Directories' and on maps seen across this site.

We are hoping to provide more detail on this in future enhancements of the site, but information known now is as below and might be of interest to residents:

Kellys Directories extracts 1932-1962 
Charmandean House Names 1932-1962.docx Charmandean House Names 1932-1962.docx
Size : 19.829 Kb
Type : docx

Charmandean from the air

It is only right we round off this first phase of the development of Charmandean with a fantastic aerial photo, taken by a resident (many thanks to the resident for allowing us to share this).

We believe this is c.1989, as the additional 2 houses at the East end of the Spinney are being completed, and the field next to Grey Wicket (top of First) is still present. Interesting for the residents who still remember this!

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