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Coordinates: 51°50′49″N 0°37′34″E / 51.846967°N 0.626135°E / 51.846967; 0.626135

Silver End
Silver End is located in Essex
Silver End

 Silver End shown within Essex
OS grid reference TL8086719795
District Braintree
Shire county Essex
Region East
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town Witham
Postcode district CM8
Dialling code 01376
Police Essex
Fire Essex
Ambulance East of England
EU Parliament East of England
UK Parliament Braintree
List of places: UK • England • Essex

Silver End is a small village in Essex, between Braintree and Witham in England, UK. It was conceived as a model village by the industrialist Francis Henry Crittall who established a factory there to manufacture components for metal windows.



Crittall, or the "The Guv'nor" as he was known to his workforce, had a vision to provide his workforce with houses and amenities in close proximity to his window factory. Thus over six years from 1926 Silver End village was built. In 1928, a large department store was opened with 26 various departments under one roof, unfortunately it burnt down in 1951, and was re-built as the existing Co-op and adjacent shops. The village hall was opened boasting a 1st class dance floor, cinema, library, snooker room and health clinic. It is the largest village hall in the UK.

Houses of the Silver Street development of 1927.

The village includes some noteworthy early examples of Modernist architectural design; the distinctive white, flat-roofed houses on Frances Way and Silver Street are the work of influential Scottish architect Thomas S. Tait, a leading designer of Art Deco and Streamline Moderne buildings in the 20th Century who is also credited with designing the concrete pylons on Sydney Harbour Bridge. Of note are the steel window frames manufactured by Crittall's firm as a test for their use in the damp English climate.[1][2]

All major production ceased at the original Crittall site in 2006 when the factory was closed down and production of window frames was transferred to the Midlands.

The factory today

The majority of the buildings on the original factory site were demolished over the summer vacation period of 2008. Although these factory buildings were in the conservation area of the village, none of them was listed for conservation, although the developer agreed to retain the original 1926 factory and the Power House building, which originally generated electricity at the village. These factory buildings, which originally formed part of the intrinsic character of the village, and an integral part of its raison d'etre, as a village in which to live and also to work, in Crittall's original concept, have thus now been lost. Most of these factories had been unused for some while. There is now little employment within Silver End and it thus has become essentially a dormitory village. One of the difficulties now, with this site being within the conservation area of the village, is to what standard will 21st century houses be "conserved" and in what style will they be built? This development will make existing conservation standards extremely difficult in the future. It should be noted that any new dwelling houses constructed within the conservation area will be subject to the Article 4 Direction (Town and Country Planning Act 1990) which was served in 1983. This effectively removed 'Permitted Development' rights for replacement windows, doors,etc,on the dwelling houses in the Conservation Area to prevent further inappropriate alterations.

There is still production of window frames under the Crittall name at a factory facility in Witham.

Local facilities

Silver End has a small number of shops for the local residents but the nearest large supermarket is a Morrisons in Witham. Today, Silver End has a library, doctors surgery, chemist, Chinese takeaway, fish & chip shop, betting shop and small a Co-op supermarket. There are 3 churches and 2 playing fields and one pub called the Western Arms. There is one primary school and secondary schools are situated in and around Braintree and Witham. The Maltings Academy & Rickstones are rather poor local secondary schools although Alec Hunter is the closest and most popular secondary school nearest to Silver End.


Silver End is on a direct link by road to Braintree and Witham which are within a 10 minute drive. There is a bus service numbered 132 which runs from Braintree via Freeport and Silver End to Witham. There is also a bus service numbered 131 which runs from Braintree via Cressing and Silver End to Witham. Unfortunately, this service is somewhat less than comprehensive, the last bus being circa 1900, and no service on Sundays.The nearest and most accessible main line train station is at Witham, situated on the London Liverpool Street to Norwich main line via Hatfield Peveral, Chelmsford, Romford and Stratford, but there is also a branch line to Witham from White Notley (which is actually the nearest train station to Silver End).


  1. ^ "Twenty-four semi-detached houses and terrace of eight houses". Dictionary of Scottish Architects. Retrieved 2008-11-20. 
  2. ^ Glancey, Jonathan (1998). "Silver End Housing Estate". C20th Architecture: The Structures that Shaped the Century. Carlton Books. ISBN 0879519126. 

External links



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