Named after the Battle of the Alma (20 September 1854), usually considered as the first battle of the Crimean War (1853–1856), which took place just south of the River Alma in the Crimea. An Anglo-French force under General St. Arnaud and Lord Raglan defeated General Menshikov's Russian army, which lost around 6,000 troops.
Built for William Wilmot Couche, merchant and businessman. He was the founder of Couche Calder & Co and directed several insurance companies. Although it still stands at the same Alma Road address (under the name "Wavenhoe"), the street Wavenhoe Avenue has since been constructed through the property’s gardens and most of its land sold off.