St George’s De Freville Avenue

Frederick moved into his new house on the De Freville estate on 25th March 1898 – he wrote in his pocketbook ‘removed into new house – St George  De Freville Avenue’. In July that year he recorded ‘To this date, cost of St Geo De Freville, £995.12.9. This is without valuing the oak panelling, old doors, etc – but including cost of land 160/-/-  and extra expenses Building Soc etc.’

The De Freville Estate Building Company was formed in 1890. Its architect was C.H. Payne. The estate was designed to a grid plan of villas on generous plots to allow for gardens front and back. The plots were sold at 34 shillings per foot of frontage and by the end of the first year 27 plots had been sold. St George’s occupies a large corner plot and has many Arts & Crafts features. It is currently owned by Sidney Sussex College.

Towards the end of his life, Frederick had most of his family either still living at home or close by – his eldest son, Barnett was in Humberstone Road, next door to William Pye who started the Cambridge Scientific Instruments Company in his back garden and his eldest daughter, Ada, was living with her family at  St Olaf’s, De Freville Avenue. Later, Frederick’s son Frederick MacLean Leach moved over from City Road to Pretoria Road and Walter Perry built 126 Chesterton Road, another large corner plot at the top of De Freville Avenue, naming it St Aidan’s as that was the day he married and moved out of St George’s.

Frederick’s later diaries and pocketbooks reveal an active family, social and working life with some concerns about the business. At Christmas 1901 he summed up his year: ‘This year has been fairly busy for all branches of our Trade but I fear profitless from a financial side but Our Father has granted all the family health and happiness’.

 

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