Sign 8 - Anglefield Bay

Anglefield Bay

In 1872, the year after Clacton on Sea was established, the land immediately surrounding Anglefield was laid out in 33 building plots known as the Cliff Estate, and on 5 June that year these were auctioned off by Sexton and Grimwade at the Three Cups Hotel, Colchester, as there were yet no suitable rooms in the new town.  At this first local sale 17 plots were bought for a modest total of £1,585, those facing the sea going for only £2 a foot!  Whilst there was no immediate rush for these, gradually picturesque and genteel mid-Victorian villas made their appearance.  By 1876 the town of Clacton only stretched as far east as Anglefield, although there was a pathway on to St. Paul’s church and Crossley House.

In 1877 when the Royal National Lifeboat Institution decided to station a Lifeboat at Clacton it chose Anglefield as the place to build the Lifeboat House; the cost of the building was £510 and it was necessary to erect a fence to prevent the cattle from damaging the brickwork.  In 1878 Clacton’s first official Lifeboat, the “Albert Edward” arrived and was launched from the boathouse by horses and carriage down Eagle Gap, opposite Beach Road, until this was filled in as part of the sea defence works.  The same horses were also used to transport the town’s fire engine and it was said that these animals soon got to know the difference between the maroons that summoned the Lifeboat and the fire bell, and would start to make their way to the appropriate building on hearing either one.

Thomas Lilley co-founder of Lilley and Skinner shoe shops acquired Angle View in Anglefield in 1881 as a seaside home for his growing family, both business partners residing in Ealing at the time.  Lilley became active in local affairs, being a sea defence commissioner 1895-1906, a magistrate from 1906, and a councillor from 1910 to 1916, serving as chairman of the council for three years.  He was also largely responsible for establishing the hospital.

In November 1886 an illustration was published of a prospect tower, 181 feet high, that was planned to be situated in Anglefield.  It was designed by the town’s consulting engineer, Henry Ough, and was to include public rooms, but nothing was to come of this idea.

As a memorial to Lord Nelson, two large cannons were placed in Anglefield and formally unveiled in August 1906.  The canons had previously been part of the Martello Tower Napoleonic defences but having been declared redundant were subsequently put on display.  However, with the arrival of the First World war they were removed for fear of being attacked as a fortified town.

 On the west side of Anglefield was built the Grosvenor Court Hotel, under the resident proprietors Percy and Elsie Clements.  The hotel, standing in its own grounds of 1½ acres boasted 75 bedrooms with running hot and cold water and hot water radiators, two hard tennis courts, croquet lawn, and bowling-green.  It could seat 150 people in its dining room and provided a London orchestra during the season when you could dance the night away on the polished oak dance floor.  In January 1963, when it was about to be converted into flats, the former hotel was half gutted by a serious fire, being totally demolished two years later.

Last updated on: 03/09/2021 - 11:05