Further along the South Brink, past the old Grammar School buildings, you will come to a double-doored archway just beyond which is the beginning of Edes' Terrace. It is built in yellow brick, and the name appears clearly in stone, complete with the apostrophe. There were originally eight houses, two of which have been combined into one. Two rather unusual semi-circular bays, extending to the full height of the houses, mark the beginning and end of the terrace and give it its character.
These late Georgian houses were built about the year 1820 by Mr John Edes, who was then Bailiff of Wisbech. Beyond them stood a fine seventeenth century house called 'Woodlands' which in 1940 was under threat of being pulled down to facilitate a very necessary road-widening scheme. The Wisbech Society fought, at first successfully, for Woodlands to be retained, but soon after the Second World War, the County Council ordered its demolition.
The belief was that John Edes built his terrace on a narrow strip of land that had been part of Woodlands' grounds, but this seems unlikely. Why would Woodlands have owned a kind of verge tucked away between the road and the garden wall of Mr George Duppa Collins's fine house (later to be the house of the Headmaster of the Grammar School)?
This wall was almost the whole length of Edes' Terrace. Against its other side, facing south, peaches and nectarines were grown, but for the terrace it served only to block the view. Great economy of land had to be used in building these fairly big houses. The quite large, and elegant, ground floor living room marks out the extent of the land (there are windows front and back). Below this is a basement, probably the kitchen. The only garden is below ground level, presumably reached from the kitchen, and certainly looked down upon from the back window of the living room. There are two more floors above. They make attractive and unusual homes for families who do not mind a lot of stairs or wish for much gardening and who want somewhere handy for town.
If the fronts look reserved and unfriendly, you will receive a different impression if you walk around the end house and glimpse the south-facing rear of the houses. Here there are hanging baskets and other pleasant signs of habitation.