This is Cunningham Avenue which, before the 1920s was not even a farm track, unlike its immediate neighbour Cunningham Hill Road which had enabled an access to early agricultural shows. The lower slopes of Cunningham Hill Farm were still being farmed, and there is an echo of former use in the allotments as a large swathe of sloping ground was in use during the First World War as emergency allotment gardens.
Building companies, the 1920s versions of which were minnows compared with today's combines, are constantly searching for new opportunities to continue their operations, and a connection seemed to have been made between the land owner, Earl Verulam, and a well-known builder and brick maker at the time, William Bennett. The result was the acquisition of a parcel of land which became Cunningham Avenue and its attractive homes, all built in the 1920s and with no evidence of later infilling or unsympathetic adaptations or re-building.
The fact that the road is a cut-de-sac may lead us to suggest fewer local people will have explored the road than would be the case if there were onward connections for vehicles. But it does make a fruitful circular stroll from the farm, walking along the avenue, the short stretch of London Road and up Cunningham Hill Road returning to the former farm at Cell Barnes Lane.
Whether Bennett constructed each house for a specific owner is uncertain, but it is clear that, although there are features or designs common to many of the homes, each has its distinctive face to the road. Red brick, tile-covered porches, gable timber facings and other embellishments were incorporated into almost all of the dwellings. The garages, many of which were probably added later, have been designed to complement the design of the main structure. The front gardens remain planted and few have been opened to the street by boundary wall removal and covered in tarmac or blocks.
It therefore seems likely a number of covenants remain in place and the road does benefit from being within a Conservation Area. Cunningham Avenue is one of this city's delights.