Work on the construction of Great Oaks began in the mid 1950s with a short length at
what would become the eastern end of the town centre. This short section was also notable as being the first, though then
incomplete, road constructed within the town centre area.
The road in its original length
ran from a junction with Southernhay through a short curve and continuing in a straight line to
a left hand junction with Pagel Mead, (then a short link road to Towngate built in a direct
line with unit 26-28 Town Square). In the 1960s, and after St. Martin's church had been
completed, Great Oaks was lengthened and a new Pagel Mead was built on the western side
of the church.
Marks and Spencer and Church Walk House buildings, opened in the 1970s, now
cover the original Pagel Mead road. Great Oaks was later lengthened with a new right curve to
a junction with Broadmayne and Pagel Mead was closed to through traffic and later mostly paved
when the Belltower was constructed in 1999. Two short links with Broadmayne (Little Oaks and Linkway) were also
constructed. Traffic flow of the entire length is one way.
All three emergency services and a clinic have been based at Great Oaks since the 1960s. There is
also the town's oldest car park, the former cinema building, a multi-storey car park, Acorn House,
magistrates court (opened in 1990) and a large retail unit built on the site of Great Oaks service station.
The Block S development of the early 1970s included a number of leisure amenities
accessible either by stairway or escalator from Town Square or from the top level of the Great Oaks
multi-storey car park. This area was named High Pavement.
Text researched and written by William Cox, 2012.
Copyright © 2012, B. Cox - Basildon History Online. All rights reserved.