The other day, while talking with a co-worker he mentioned a monument in the bushes at Northway. When I originally moved to Tewkesbury I lived in Northway, and the one major artefact of interest there is the former house that has been turned into a pub called “The Northway”. A small shopping centre has a branch of co-op and a pharmacy as well as a pet products supplier. (there used to be an atm, but they stole that recently).
The house is not an ugly one, and is not all that large, but is does stand out amongst the plan built houses all around it.
Unfortunately I have not been able to find a decent history of the house and how it fitted into the local community, or even when it became a pub, but the fate of many of these old buildings is to either become a pub or care home or yuppie pads. From what I can see, Northway House belonged to William Woodward and may have been built by him and it become a hotel by 1955. (http://www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/glos/vol8/pp172-188)
It is a Grade II listed building and has been described as follows:
“Former private house now public house. Dated and initialled. ‘W.W. 1851’ (William Woodward) on limestone shield on right gable end.
Blue lias with ashlar quoins. Fishscale ceramic tile roof. Blue lias stacks with ashlar quoins. Wall blue lias with brick piers. Rectangular plan to house with extensions to right of entryway front. 2½ storeys. Symmetrical, 3-windowed facade to primary body with gabled projecting central bay with central round- headed entryway with keystone. Part-glazed double door within porch. Canted oriel window above. Two-light round-headed sash windows to flanking bays within limestone surrounds. Hoodmoulded with console supports over ground floor Windows. Return, left, two bay windows to ground floor with pierced parapet. Two-bay extension to right of entryway front lit by 3-light stone-mullioned casements with glazing bars. Axial and gable end stacks. Wall adjoining right gable end of extension falls away gradually from c4.5 meters to c2m in height to right in a series of concave sweeps. Moulded cappings and ball finials to wall piers. ” (http://www.sevenspots.co.uk/building/the-northway-and-attached-wall-northway/)
The artefact I was after must have been associated with the house and it’s gardens, and is situated on a small patch of land with numerous large trees on it. If you did not know it was there you would never have thought to have a look.
There was no visible inscription on it, and it was not a temporary structure because it does appear on an 1880 map as a “monument”. A query on facebook suggested that it was part of the formal gardens associated with Northway House. But, it was mentioned that it may mark the burial spot of those consumed by scarlet fever; in which case it would explain the “monument”tag on the map.
It is a mystery, and I doubt if we will ever know. The one possible solution is that way back when it was erected somebody said “Let’s erect a random plinth with no context, it will drive them batty 100 years from now.”
And they were right.
While photographing in the churchyard of St Nicholas in Ashchurch I found yet another clue to Northway, albeit a link in name only.
© DRW 2016-2018. Created 22/11/2016, updated 07/01/2018