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No.170-176 High Street

formerly Crisswell's Garage

Shop History

this location is presently part private

part Black Bear Harley-Davidson®

part Horse Requisites Newmarket Ltd.

part the Newmarket Real Tennis Club

1986 - 1988

Misson's Motors

1974 - 1985

Wallis & Son (Nkt) Ltd.

4th Feb 1944
- 1973

Crisswell's Garage (1944) Ltd.

12th June 1953

No.170:- Suffolk House
No.172:- Crisswell's Garage
No.174:- Beaufort House
No.176:- Chantrey House
- Newmarket UDC re-numbering map


Brooke, Sir Richard C., Suffolk House - Nkt.111
Rayner, Mrs Eliza (caretaker), Suffolk House
Crick, Alfred
Dunham, Ernest A.
- Newmarket Directory


Brooke, Sir Richard, Bart., Suffolk House - Nkt.111
Crisswell's Garage - Nkt.76
Hitchen, Mrs. J., Beaufort Cottage
- Newmarket Street Directory


Brooke, Sir Richard Christopher, bart., Suffolk House - Nkt.111
Crisswell's Garage (E.C. Crisswell, proprietor), motor engineers,
motor car agents & dealers in accessories, High Street - Nkt.76
Hitchin, Mrs., Beaufort Cottage, High Street
- Kelly's Directory


Crisswell, Ernest Clifford, Motor Engineer, High Street, Nkt.76 - Kelly's Directory

2nd April 1911

Mary Mc Clumpha, housekeeper, Suffolk House
E. C. Crisswell, The Garage - Reginald Leslie Gough Lathbury, Foreman, Motor Repairs
John Hitchin, official at race meetings, Beaufort Cottage
- Census

1909 / 1910

Crisswell, E.C., Cycle, Motor Agent Nkt.76 - Phone Book

1907 -

Crisswell's Garage - Ernest Clifford Crisswell


  • A short life history of Ernest Clifford Crisswell can be seen on the page for Willoughby House - No.103 High Street, where he lived from the early 1910s up until he died on 23rd July 1934, the location of this house is now the Post Office.

  • Ernest started his cycle business in 1898 at No.61 High Street - Holland House, where he can be seen in the Eastern Counties of England Directory in 1901 and on the Newmarket Street Market Map in 1904. Based upon details shown in the Building Changes section below, Crisswell's Garage opened here in 1907.

    On both the 1902 and 1903 maps of Newmarket the area along here was just five individual houses. The garage replaced two of these, it was custom built and designed by architect John Flatman, the jockey Nat Flatman's son. The building originally occupied No.172-174 High Street - Saffron Cottage /  Cross Keys Cottage & Beaufort House, but this was soon expanded and later maps show that it had also taken over next door at No.176 - Chantrey House (note these street numbers are those in use today and were instigated on 12th June 1953).

  • On 5th August 1920 Lady Daphne Rose sold Suffolk House - No.170 High Street, the Real Tennis court behind it, and the old Coach House behind that (facing onto Fitzroy Street) to Ernest Crisswell. The tennis court became a new workshop for the garage and the Coach House was used as a paintshop, along with living accommodation for employees. The paintshop later extended into all of the ground floor of the Coach House, removing the flats and with the upper floor becoming an untidy storage area.

    As can be seen in the history details above Suffolk House was still in use as a house between 1925 and 1936 with Sir Richard Christopher Brooke, 9th Baronet (1888-1981) living there.

    Following this Joe Moore (who worked at the garage and donated the photos below) lived for some time in an upper storey flat in the house, but during WWII he had to move out; as the house was seconded by the army to be used for billeting troops. Following the war two remaining Nissen huts can be seen in the 1947 photo further down below. The house was later used as the spares department for the garage.

    Following demolition of the Kosy Kinema / swimming baths, the garage extended even further and used the remains of the swimming pool as a scrap yard, gradually filling it up with rubbish over the years.

    Crisswell's Garage Front Showroom - 1st July 1958
    Many thanks to Joe Moore for the above photo

  • As can be seen in the photo above, originally the section in No.176 was just the front office, but by 1961 they'd put in RSJ's at the partition into Beaufort House and this had now become part of the main showroom.

  • In 1964 the Congregational Church Manse House on Fitzroy Street was demolished, to be later re-built in 1968 as a new workshop and petrol pumps at the rear of the original garage. At the same time the front showroom was extended backwards into the old workshop.

    Demolition of the Manse 1964
    - the filled-in swimming pool of the Kosy Kinema can be seen in the foreground, the 'Real Tennis' workshop on the right,
    and the Coach House that was used as the paintshop can be seen in the background (with the 'CRISSWELL'S WORKSHOPS' sign on the wall)
    - in the gap between the Real Tennis court and the paintshop was a 'tuck shop' that used to sell snack bars, chocolate etc.
    Many thanks to Joe Moore for the above photo

  • Wallis & Son

  • Crisswell's Garage (1944) Ltd. was incorporated on 4th February 1944 as a partnership between Ernest's widow Mrs. Ethel Crisswell and Percy Valentine Wallis, uncle to the famous aviator and Gyrocopter designer, Wing Commander Kenneth Horatio Wallis.

    Percy's son Geoff took over the business in 1947, after graduating from Chelsea Automobile & Aeronautical Engineering College and completing his military service. In the 1960s he oversaw the company’s move to Mitchams Corner in Cambridge, later leaving his oldest son Robert to look after the Newmarket business.

    Robert Wallis died at the very young age of 22 in 1973 and as Geoff was concentrating on the business in Cambridge Crisswell's Garage in Newmarket was closed, to be later re-opened on the same site here in around 1974 as Wallis.

    Wallis in Black Bear Lane - 1970s
    Many thanks to Joe Moore for the above photo

    Horse Requisistes Newmarket Ltd. & Black Bear Harley-Davidson® 2014

    In trading terms the name Crisswell's Garage (1944) Ltd. was dissolved on 31st December 1977 to be replaced by Wallis & Son (Nkt) Ltd. The garage finally closed in around 1985 and the company ceased trading on 15th December 1992.

    Geoff's son Nigel and grandson Elliot still run the company business as Wallis & Son Ltd. at Barton near Cambridge.

  • The demise of Suffolk House

  • In April 1969 the spares department had moved from Suffolk House into the new workshop, in the section facing onto Black Bear Lane, this area was later refurbished in 1976 to become a new car showroom - this building is one of the few parts of Criswell's Garage that still stands and is now Horse Requisites Newmarket Ltd.

    Having had their usage replaced by the new workshop both Suffolk House and the Coach House on Fitzroy street were demolished around this time. The old workshop in-between remained and over later years went through various owners and differant usages ... it has now been returned to its original purpose as the home of the Newmarket Real Tennis Club - a detailed history of this building can be seen on their website:-

    Newmarket Real Tennis Club 2014

  • Note from webmaster - I can confirm some of these timelines as my Dad worked at the garage, starting there as an apprentice mechanic in 1945. At that time Mr. Dunham (who lived in the Avenue) was the General Manager of the garage (Mrs. Crisswell was looking after the drapery shop in No. 80 High Street).

    He remembers it being very cold in the workshop and they had make-shift coal braziers alight (made out of old oil drums) to keep them warm.

    In 1946 when working at the garage he used to be visited by the famous racehorse and Derby winner; Airborne, being walked-out along Fitzroy Street - details of this story can be found in the following link:-

    Crisswell's Garage Workshop Staff - 1947

    Back:- C.Watson - C.Double - Tom (Curly) Gibson (foreman) - S.Wharf - Frank Human - Leslie Rippington - P.Burrell
    Middle:- Joe H.Moore - H.Hensby - M.Holmes - C.Fern - P.Brophy - W.Harris - J.Goodchild - J.Hogg
    Front:- B.Carpenter - J.Barnet - T.Price - M.Davies

    The car, a Wolseley 25, was owned by Lady Violet Egerton, Countess of Ellesmere of Stetchworth House
    The photo was taken in front of Suffolk House
    - you can see the rear of Cynthia House - No.168 High Street (Jackson Stops & Staff estate agents) behind the trees
    Many thanks to Joe Moore for the above photo

    From 1947 until 1949 my Dad did his National Service in the Royal Signals as a Driver Instructor, returning after this to see Mr. Dunham who re-instated him in his original role as a motor mechanic. He stayed working for Crisswell's Garage until 1962, returning in around 1974 to work for the same garage, then known as Wallis.

    Black Bear Court 2014 - the former location of Crisswell's Garage

  • Building Changes

  • Suffolk Record Office, Bury St Edmunds Branch
    Newmarket Urban District Council Records
    Reference EF 506
  • Alterations of premises, High St, to a garage, for E.C. Crisswell (John Flatman) EF 506/6/1/12/317 Aug 1907
  • Garage, High St, for E.C. Crisswell (amended proposals) (John Flatman) EF 506/6/1/12/320 Nov 1907
  • Sign, motor garage, High St, for E.C. Crisswell (John Flatman) EF 506/6/1/12/329 Feb 1908
  • Extension of roof covering, motor garage, High St, for E.C. Crisswell EF 506/6/1/14/419 Jan 1912
  • Extensions to garage, High St, for Edward C. Crisswell (L.E. Cole) EF 506/6/1/19/662 Jan 1924

  • Real tennis court and alterations to Suffolk House, Fitzroy St, for Charles Day Rose (William M. Weir, 19 Brewer Street, Regent Street, London W) EF 506/6/1/5/236 (1900)
  • Alterations and additions to real tennis court, Suffolk House, Fitzroy St, for Charles D. Rose (William May Weir, 19 Brewer Street, Regent St, London W) EF 506/6/1/5/260 Apr 1900

  • Planning Application - F/76/583
    Crisswell's Garage Black Bear Lane Newmarket Suffolk
    Application Registered 17-09-1976
    Proposal Construction of car showroom

  • Planning Application - F/77/013
    Crisswell's Garage Black Bear Lane Newmarket Suffolk
    Application Registered 23-12-1976
    Proposal Construction of new showroom for cars, as amended by letter dated 27/01/77 and drawings Nos. 742-D and 742-5A received on 28/01/77

  • Planning Application - F/83/489
    Wallis & Sons Ltd Black Bear Lane Newmarket Suffolk
    Application Registered 19-07-1983

  • Planning Application - F/84/315
    Horse Requisites Ltd Black Bear Lane Newmarket Suffolk 
    Application Registered 27-04-1984

  • Planning Application - F/85/489
    Wallis Garage Black Bear Lane Newmarket Suffolk
    Change of Use
    Application Registered 23-07-1985

  • Many thanks to 'Old Newmarket' for the photos 'Crisswells Poster', 'Crisswells Poster 2', 'Crisswells Advertisment 1970',
    'Criswells Garage Advertisement 1959' & 'Crisswells c. 1920s'.

  • Many thanks to the Newmarket Journal and the Cambridgeshire Collection for the 'Crisswells Garage advert 27th March 1969'.


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Crisswells Garage advert 27th March 1969

Crisswells Garage advert 27th March 1969

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