In 1870-72, John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales described Westcliff like this:
CLIFF-TOWN, a new small town, a marine watering-place, on the south coast of Essex; on the estuary of the Thames, in the western vicinity of Southend, adjacent to the Southend railway, 3½ miles WNW of Shoeburyness. The following notice of it is given in the Building News of 14 Feb. 1862:-' 'The houses are built of white brick, with freestone dressings. They are constructed in terraces laid out on the summit of the cliff, connected diagonally at intervals in such a way that those lying back get sea views in one direction. ...
The front basement and parlours have bay windows; the first floor is fitted with French casements, opening on to a slate balcony, formed on the top of the bay window. The houses are of various classes, differing in size, in position, and in rental. The row facing the sea consists of twelve fourteen-roomed houses, surrounded by gardens; forty-five are ten-roomed houses, laid out in six terraces, having gardens; twenty-seven laid out in three terraces, contain seven rooms; and thirty-two six rooms, also forming six distinct terraces. In addition to the above there is a row of eight houses, built as shops, containing ten rooms and two store-rooms. The spaces between the rows of houses are turfed and planted out with trees and shrubs. Very few of the houses are unoccupied; and the experiment is said to be so successful, that it is in contemplation to increase the number, and to add a church, a hotel, and a library and reading room . "
A Vision of Britain through Time includes a large library of local statistics for administrative units. For the best overall sense of how the area containing Westcliff has changed, please see our redistricted information for the modern district of Southend on Sea. More detailed statistical data are available under Units and statistics, which includes both administrative units covering Westcliff and units named after it.
GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Westcliff, in Southend on Sea and Essex | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.
Date accessed: 05th December 2013
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