When the Society was asked if there is any information about Queensway, it seemed unlikely that a residential road developed partially before and partially after the Second World War would have any detailed history, but research has established some facts which are of interest not only to Queensway but to the surrounding areas.
For many years there was a route from Upton into Chester via Boughton; a plan of Proposed Parliamentary Boundary Changes in 1868 calls Newton Lane the “Upton and Newton Road”. This crossed Hoole Road into what became Hamilton Street, through the Narrow Lane (the Narrows), down Crawford’s Walk, across a bridge over Flookersbrook and then over the canal bridge (built in 1772) into Hoole Lane.
The area of Queensway was historically in the township of Newton and the Tithe Map c.1838 shows the area to be pastureland owned by the Earl of Kilmorey, rented out in fields with wonderful names such as 'Mainwaring Hayes', 'The Great Lammas Cote' and 'Boswell’s Strive on Traver’s End'. An aerial photograph taken in 1931 enables the field pattern to be seen and also shows houses built on the east side of Newton Lane, where the gap that was to be Queensway can be observed. It also shows properties that already been built at the start of Kingsway.
Pressure for homes in Chester City meant that possible building land outside its boundaries was investigated, Newton, Blacon and Lache coming into consideration. In 1936 Hoole Urban District Council, a housing authority, took over from Newton which was only a Parish Council, 288 acres of building land. A map of the District in the late 1940s illustrates how much land was transferred.
The first 12 houses of Queensway were built at right angles to Newton Lane by William Arthur Davies who lived at 'Shavington' which was 50 Newton Lane. He had already built properties on Brook Lane. He employed an Architect, C.H. Coppack of Hunter Street to design some of them just as War broke out and they were not completed until 1952. During the War, fields on the west side of Newton Lane were converted into allotments for the ‘Dig for Victory’ campaign.
Most of the houses in the remainder of Queensway (round the bend No.13 being omitted) were built and sold by E.H. Barley, a builder from Charlotte Street in Chester, between 1957 and 1960. E.H. Barley built a large number of properties on the Plas Newton Estate and many house deeds will contain his details.
It has been suggested that Queensway and Kingsway were so named because of the support for the Monarchy following the abdication of King Edward VIII in 1936. Unfortunately, part of Kingsway was already built and named by then.
- Article by Ralph Earlam, some parts of which were initially published in ‘Hoole Roundabout’ in January 2017 - http://www.hooleroundabout.com