Architect: J. T. Shelton

Frinton-On-Sea
Essex

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This is a meticulously refurbished and remodelled example of the Modern Movement houses built for the renowned seaside development, Frinton Park Estate. The house is situated on a private road, and is a short walk from the sandy beaches of Frinton-on-Sea.

Built in 1934-5, and designed by the architect J.T. Shelton, it is one of the best of the 35 houses built for a development that intended to showcase the best in British modern design. The country’s most innovative young architects (including Wells Coates, Frederick Gibberd and Connell, Ward & Lucas) were invited to participate in what was to be Britain’s most ambitious Modernist settlement.

The current owners have thoroughly refurbished the house since they have owned it with new electrics, new roof, new boiler, new windows and more. New insulation has also been added to considerably improve the energy efficiency of the building. Many of the finest original features have been retained and restored, including a beautiful parquet floor.

A rear extension has been added to enlarge the kitchen, which now has glazed doors opening up onto the garden.

The entrance hall is entered via a porch. This leads into the living room, which provides an open plan space with a study area. Also on the ground floor is the kitchen / breakfast area.

On the first floor can be found three double bedrooms and a bathroom. The main bedroom has access to a small terrace to the front.

There is an integral garage at the front of the house as well as an area of off street parking. To the rear is a private lawned garden.

Frinton-on-Sea is a picturesque town with a growing community interested in preserving its architectural heritage. The town offers an impressive range of amenities including a grocery, chemist, newsagent and bakery. On Connaught Avenue, the town’s main street there are also a good number of bars and restaurants. A little further afield is the larger town of Colchester. Frinton offers a train service to London Liverpool Street in one hour and twenty minutes (the station is a ten minute walk from the house).

Please note that all areas, measurements and distances given in these particulars are approximate and rounded. The text, photographs and floor plans are for general guidance only. The Modern House has not tested any services, appliances or specific fittings — prospective purchasers are advised to inspect the property themselves. All fixtures, fittings and furniture not specifically itemised within these particulars are deemed removable by the vendor.


History

In 1934 the South Coast Investment Company Ltd bought 200 acres of land straddling the railway line to the north-east of Frinton. They proposed an ambitious development, the Frinton Park Estate, which was to include 1,100 houses, a town hall, college, churches, a shopping complex, and a sweeping cliff-face hotel. The 40 acres east of the railway line and closest to the sea was designated as a showcase for modern houses, and Oliver Hill was chosen by the company as the principal architect for the estate, responsible for supervising its overall design and layout. Hill was insistent on the employment of a number of young, progressive architects, including Wells Coates, Maxwell Fry, Erich Mendelsohn and Serge Chermayeff, Tecton, FRS Yorke, Frederick Gibberd and others.

By the end of 1935 the project had foundered. Many of the architects had already withdrawn, and Hill resigned in August of that year. Ultimately, the scheme failed because of the conflict between the idealism of the architects and the need for profit, and because of the difficulty of selling experimental design and new materials (such as concrete) to a suspicious and conservative public. Only about 35 modernist houses and part of the shopping centre had been built. Oliver Hill had designed 12 houses, of which ten survive.


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