A blue plaque in honour of prolific Essex architect Charles Pertwee (1833-1905), has been unveiled at the Cemetery Lodge on Writtle Road by the Mayor of Chelmsford.

Charles Pertwee (1833-1905) Prolific Essex architect and surveyor to the Local Board of Health inscribed on a blue plaque

Charles Pertwee was born in Woodham Ferris (now known as Woodham Ferrers) in 1833. He trained to become an architect at a very young age. Prior to setting up his own firm, he worked with the well-known Chelmsford architect Frederick Chancellor.

Charles was responsible for the design of Cemetery Lodge and the laying out of the cemetery, built between 1885-1886.  In addition to this, he also designed many well-known buildings within the city, including several on New London Road; the Essex and Chelmsford Infirmary, Oaklands House, The White House and numbers 180-188, the Co-Operative building on Wells Street and part of the former National School on Moulsham Street. He was also well known for his non-conformist chapels across Essex, including Christ Church; Stock, and more.

Cemetery Lodge on Writtle Road
The Cemetery Lodge designed by Charles Pertwee in 1885

In 1865, Charles became the surveyor to the Local Board of Health, who helped regulate environmental health risks such as ensuring a proper supply of clean water and controlling the sewers and street cleaning. Charles remained as a surveyor in this capacity until 1890.

Charles died in 1905 and is buried in the Non-Conformist Cemetery on New London Road.

Councillor Jude Deakin, the Mayor of Chelmsford said, “Charles Pertwee was an influential Chelmsford figure, for his work with the Local Health Board and for the many fine buildings he designed around Essex, including this wonderful lodge. It is therefore befitting that he is honoured with this blue plaque.”

The Mayor of Chelmsford accompanied by members of Writtle Road Resident's Association
The Mayor of Chelmsford accompanied by members of Writtle Road Resident’s Association

For more information on blue plaques and how you can nominate one, please visit Blue plaques and public art – Chelmsford City Council

By Charlotte Maltby

Charlotte writes stories about recycling and waste, parks, economic development, local democracy and planning.

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