Brecon House

A house that stands out

Many of the building plans for Benfleet in the early twentieth century were large in scale, for example the 1907 Sea View Estate, which shows proposals for housing stretching from the Endway (Essex Way) over the ridge now St Mary’s Road (was to be Downs Road) down to the railway line/creek. It was not only the plans that were grandiose but also the sales pitch:    Benfleet with its undulating scenery and bracing air has been called the Switzerland of Essex.  However individual houses were still being built and one such was Brecon House. In May 1924 F.S. Barns, the owner of Suttons put in a planning application,  which was approved the following month. This all took place while St Mary’s Road, in which it sits, was only a proposal! It was and still is an imposing house, with a high roof on the crest of the ridge. The walls are made of reinforced concrete and the Dutch-style gable ends are a distinctive feature.

Sadly Mr Barns did not live long to enjoy the views and the house and other properties were put on sale in 1927 following his death. Described in the sales catalogue thus: “Occupying an exceptional plot on the crest of the hill”. It has recently been extended and remains an imposing building and a familiar landmark.    There is a full set of plans  and accompanying correpondence available to view at the Essex Record Office.

Little left
Sea View sales advert
Brecon House particulars
Elevation fronting St Mary's Road
In the pink !
Refurbishment in white 2013
Still stands out despite all the more recent housing
Personal memories ofl iving in Brecon House
Courtesy of Country Life

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  • I lived in Brecon House with my parents and two brothers 1975 – 77. I’m 45 now so was just a child then. I remember being told that the house had been a school at some point in the past and the two rooms on the top floor had been classrooms. My bedroom was on the top floor, turn right at top of stairs. That floor was definitely haunted. There was a little room up there that had spooky cold spots. And in my room there was a ghost of a girl. She used to stand by my bed. I think it had been a boy’s school, so, she doesn’t fit in with that. I was so scared. I don’t know if this is useful. I remember the apple trees in the garden and scrabbling down to The Downs through the back of the garden.

    By David Dale (17/07/2014)

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