116 -156 Woodfield Cottages,outhouses and pumps


Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Date of most recent amendment:
Statutory Address:
Maldin, CM9 4BQ


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Statutory Address:
Maldin, CM9 4BQ

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Maldon (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:


A small settlement of industrial housing, comprising three terraces of single storey cottages, developed by the industrialist E H Bentall in 1873 as dwellings for the workforce of the Bentall Agricultural Works, and notable for the early and pioneering use of mass concrete as the principal building material for the development.

Reasons for Designation

116-156 Woodfield Cottages at Heybridge, near Maldon in Essex, a small community of workers housing developed in1873 by the industrialist E H Bentall for the workforce of the Bentall Agricultural Works, are listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

Architectural interest :

* as an early, rare and substantially intact survival of a mass concrete housing development and a pioneering application of a material which has become the most widely-used constructional material of the present age.

Historic interest:

* as a complete late C19 example of a planned industrial housing community by a notable and innovative industrialist, in the traditions of the late C18 and early C19 developments at Cromford, Belper and New Lanark, in this instance providing experimental dwellings built of mass concrete together with generous gardens, outbuildings incorporating privies and a communal water supply, all within a greenfield site.


Woodfield Cottages Heybridge, near Maldon in Essex were completed in 1873, and were originally known as Bentall's Concrete Cottages, having been built for Edward Hammond Bentall (1814-1898), a local manufacturer of agricultural machinery,for his workers. The business originated in the late C18, and continous expansion and the development of a nation-wide market led to the company becoming the mainstay of Maldon's economy in the late C19 and early C20. As the original name suggested, the cottages were constructed of reinforced concrete, and arranged in three parallel terraces to the west of Colchester Road in Heybridge. They were originally single-storied, designed with flat roofs, and referred to as 'Flat Tops'. However, water penetration through the roof structure led to the addition of pitched roofs in 1918, and subsequently, attics have been developed in some cottages. Facing the terraces were low, paired outhouses, to the south of which were gardens. The terraces were listed in 1971, together with the outhouses, contemporary water pumps and a lamp standard (since removed). At the time of listing it was noted that a number of the cottages had already undergone alteration, with replacement windows and added porches, and this trend has continued to the present day, as observed during the site inspection (June 2019), with the addition of attics, roof windows and dormers of varied design.


A development of 41 workers cottages, arranged in three parallel terraces together with contemporary paired outhouses, pumps and lamp standards.The terraces were built by E H Bentall, manufacturer of agricultural machinery, for his workforce and completed in 1873. MATERIALS: built of mass concrete with a render coating, with slate roof coverings and red brick ridge chimneys. The small paired outbuildings are similarly detailed.

PLAN: arranged in three south-facing terraces, with their outbuildings located at the top of the gardens, facing the cottage frontages. The original interior layout of each cottage provided four rooms, two on each side of a wide central passage, with a smaller room between the two rear rooms at the end of the passage. In many of the cottages, this original plan form has now been modified.

EXTERIORS: each cottage is of two bays with an entrance doorway with single window openings to either side. The front door is the only access to the cottage interior, there being no door opening to the rear wall. The original window frames were six-over-six pane sashes to both front and rear walls, the rear wall with a small opening between the larger flanking windows. Most of the cottages now have replacement door and window components of varied design and materials. There are a number of added porches and a smaller number of roof dormer extensions, again of varied design, together with the insertion of numerous roof lights within the roof slopes. The outbuildings facing the cottages are paired single-bay units with a pitched roof, each with a single door opening with a flanking opening and a rear wall chimney. Some have undergone similarly- varied alteration as the cottages, but fewer have replacement door and window components. Some outbuildings have lost their chimneys.

INTERIORS: the interiors of the cottages appear to have undergone extensive and varied forms of alteration, and were not inspected at the time of listing in September 1971.   An inspection made of one of the cottages indicated that the dimensions and detailing of the original chimney stacks, including the render coating and chamfered corners survive within the attic created by the later addition of pitched roofs, and that original plan form details including room dimensions and hearth positions remained largely undisturbed, although now with C20 and C21 fixtures and fittings.

SUBSIDIARY FEATURES: contemporary iron water pumps and basins are retained to the front of numbers 146 and 154.


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:


Listing Casework Report: Woodfield Cottages, Heybridge, Essex, CM9 4BQ - Unpublished research report


This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

End of official listing

Images of England

Images of England was a photographic record of every listed building in England, created as a snap shot of listed buildings at the turn of the millennium. These photographs of the exterior of listed buildings were taken by volunteers between 1999 and 2008. The project was supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Date: 13 Jul 2004
Reference: IOE01/12647/30
Rights: Copyright IoE Mrs Judith Kodz. Source Historic England Archive
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