History of Rochford Union Children's Lodging (HT)
This was built by Thomas Quy (pronounced Kee), an ironmonger, in 1882, as both his dwelling and his shop. The adjacent Quy’s Lane is named after him. The 1882 date is on a brick at the side of the house but, according to the historian L.R.Cryer, the building incorporates a piece of an older house at the back, with dates of 1837 cut into several bricks.
In 1904 it became the Receiving House for children from the local workhouse. Mr Quy continued to rent the shop until 1908. By the 1930’s it had become a night nurses’ home and from the 1980s to 2012 it was the Rochford District Council Planning Office. It now comprises flats for a Croydon Housing Association and is no longer called Acacia House.
Acacia House is a fine example of a late Victorian brick town house. It is built of yellow stock bricks with Flemish bond, which is where each row of bricks has alternate headers (the end of the brick) and stretchers (the side of the brick) along it. This style was popular in the late 18th and early 19th centuries.
Unusually for such a building it is not symmetrical either side of the front door, but L-shaped and asymmetrical. The left hand side which was built as the dwelling part of the building, has string courses between storeys, large sash windows with mock triangular pediment mouldings above, echoing the earlier Georgian style. The front door also is Georgian in style.
The right hand side was built as the ironmonger’s shop. The ground floor window of this part of the building was once the shop front. It has plainer 19th Century windows on the first and second storeys, no string courses between storeys and the roof extends down as the shop extends out from the building line of the front of the house side of the building.