18, Wymondham House, Brooklands Avenue
History of 18 Brooklands Avenue
Described by Pevsner (Cambridgeshire p.329) as the ‘best of the Victorian villas on the s.side
1883, the builder George Kett’s own house. White brick, with quite a display of carved C16-style stonework.’
Alice C Kett, 26, born Cambridge
Frederick W Kett, 24, corn merchant, born Cambridge
Ada Kitchen, 22, housemaid, born Lincs
Mary Ann Ison, cook, 23, born Thriplow
George Kett, builder and contractor
Catharine, 66, born Norfolk
Gertrude Spore, 23, housemaid, , born Suffolk
Hannah Legg, 53, cook, born Chesterton
George Kett, 74, widower, retired ecclesiastical builder, born Wymondham, Norfolk
Maud Mary, daughter, 42, born Cambridge
Mary Lizzie Parker, visitor, 31, born Derby
Ethel Thody, housemaid, 28, born Over
Florence Moore, cook, 24, born Sheffield
George Kett JP Alderman of the Borough
The book published in 1993 by the National Extension College, ‘Kett of Cambridge: an eminent Victorian and his family’, authored by Anna de Salvo, contains a detailed description of this property, not least because the National Extension College had bought the property in 1978.
In 1879 George Kett bought a plot for £880 a short distance from his current house, Morley Lodge. Three months later he bought an adjoining plot for £230 which also joined a strip of land he owned already. Wymondham House was built using some of the stone that was also being used for the Roman Catholic Church that the firm of Rattee and Kett was constructing at the time. The family had moved into the house by 1883.
Particular features of the house are the stained glass windows with the initial GK and the date 1883, a carved staircase with the initials GK and also those of all six children There are elaborate carvings on the fireplaces, doors and door surrounds. Descriptions survive of the furnishings of several of the rooms.