Cherwell Street was built by Frederick Haynes in the mid-Victoria era.
In 1862, a speculator called Frederick Haines moved to build on a plot of land called "9/10 Cross Road Shot". Five parties were involved: Joseph Clarke, Riverhill near Sevenoaks; Arthur Pott of Tunbridge Wells; William Williams of Lincolns Inn Fields; Henry Stevenson, Shepherds Bush; and Francis Woodgate, captain in the Life Guards, of Sevenoaks.
There was no expense in laying out roads, although drainage would of course have been required. Houses were then built on plots by builders.
1-6 Culvert Road were leased to George Bateman, a Brixton builder, in Nov. 1862 to March 1863. An extra house - la - was inserted and leased to Robert Rice on 23 December 1867.
1-5 Carlton Cottages in the main road were leased to Henry Hunt, builder on 20 January 1866.
Haines acquired two parcels of enclosed land, occupied by Henry Shailer and Graham on 16 April 1862, involving the same parties as at Culvert Road.
The estate plan, by Glasier & Son, was approved in May 1862. No time was lost, the earliest lease being for 1-3 Haines Street
(named after himself) in August 1862.
The first ten houses involved five builders. 11-13 were not let to James Brooker until 17 May 1869. Brooker, of New Kent Road, was one of two major builders here, with 24 houses: 11-13 and 43-57 Haines St.; 26-31 Tweed St., and 26-38 Ceylon St. 43-50 Haines St. were sold to Robert Hawkins, a wholesale grocer of Borough, who paid £1,420 (£177.50 each) in June 1866. By 1892 he was farming at Slinfold (Sussex) and handsomely rewarded, selling them to the Gas, Light & Coke Co. for £2,450.
The other major builders were William and Frederick Croaker of Great Dover Street, Southwark, who erected at least 22 houses in Moat St. and Battersea Park Road
. 15-21 Moat St. were leased to William Henry Croaker by direction of William Croaker of Brixton, on 5 May 1864.
4-7 were built by William Young of Brixton, leased by Haines at the Croakers’ direction in September 1865. The Croakers assigned 11 houses in Moat St. to Brooker in November 1869 and mortgaged 14 to William Haines of Chichester. Henry Nixon of Clapham Road leased 58-61 Haines St. on 11 November 1862.
Trades prohibited included dogskinning and boiling horseflesh, an interesting commentary on the activities undertaken in some development. Prohibited trades here also included catgut spinning and bagnio-keeping.
On 10 March 1870, W.R. and W.H.B. Glasier acquired 83 houses on the estate for £3,880, an average of only £47 each, equivalent to 18 years’ purchase.
Perhaps Haines was tired of the lengthy process of building, taking advantage of an offer from his surveyor in an attempt to cut his losses. The following day, W.R. Glasier mortgaged them, along with 25 houses in Culvert Rd. and Sheepcote Lane (in the latter case, Haines had bought plots on an estate developed by Glasier), for £5,000 to John Fitzherbert and Francis Wright of Derbyshire; Gerard Meynell of Rutland Gate; and Hampden Clement of Belgrave Square.
The experiences of Frederick Haines clearly demonstrate that however alluring the prospect of acquiring cheap land at the outset of a building boom and reaping short- and long-term gains therefrom, the reality could be very different.