Enclosure Map with known occupants in 1803 and modern names
Great Addington Manor House
First thing to emphasise is that Great Addington Manor House, was never actually the manor house of the Manor of Great Addington, that building having been in a completely different area of the village and long since gone. The house we know as Great Addington Manor, was never part of the original de Vere manorial estate. The core of the building that we see today was built around 1609 as a superior farm house on land. It is also clear that the current name for the house is relatively recent. The earliest references in the 17th century are to The Mansion, in the 18th century it is named Addington Hall. Only in the early and to-mid 20th century was the word "manor" attached to the building when it started to be referred to as Addington Manor.
The land that the house stands on was not part of the original de Vere manorial estate. Great Addington, from Anglo-Saxon times until the dissolution of the monasteries in the 16th century, was split between two manorial estates; one owned by the de Vere family and the other owned by the Abbey of Croyland (also known as Crowland). The house was built on land that had once formed part of the Abbey of Croyland's holdings in this area.
Following the dissolution of the monasteries under Henry VIII, in 1539, the Abbey of Croyland and its holdings became the property of the crown. As with much of the land from the monasteries, the dissolution resulted in the lands being sold to those connected to the royal court, either to enlarge their own estates, acquire palatial homes, or as an opportunity for property speculation.
On 25 March, 1544, the Abbey lands in Great Addington - including where Great Addington Manor now stands - were granted as part of a portfolio of lands to Sir William Parr (Lord Horton) and uncle to Catherine Parr (6th wife of Henry VIII). After the death of Lord Parr without a male heir in 1547, a fresh grant was made in 1558 by Queen Mary (Tudor) and King Philip of Spain, to Sir Robert (or Ralf) Lane of Horton who had married William Parr's daughter Maud (lady-in-waiting to Catherine Parr); and Anthony Throckmorton (connected to the Lane family via William Lane's wife Elizabeth Fitzhugh) of Charleston, Oxfordshire, together with grants of other monastic property. Throckmorton (who was close to Queen Mary) and Sir Robert Lane paid £1,000 pounds (about £250,000 today). The order from King Philip and Queen Mary, 4th February 1558: reads
Christopher & Dorothy Curtis & Margery Curtis - the Jacobean House
Thomas Bletsoe (Bletso)
Thomas Bletsoe did not have the funds for the purchase, instead the money was advanced on his behalf by his father William Bletsoe of Wymington and Robert Sanderson of Rushden.
In 1644 Thomas Bletsoe gives the land to his son (also called Thomas) and his future wife, Anne, as part of a marriage settlement. This deed also mentions "reputedly the site of the manor house", which may be a reference to the old Medieval de Vere manor house.
In deeds written between 1663-71 we get the first reference that brings together both the manorial estate and the Mansion House, when Thomas Bletsoe sells his land holdings to Samuel Whitby a merchant in London.
"the manor of Great Addington, the mansion house, 4¼ yardlands; Long Lane Close, Cooks Leyes Close, Widow Batson Close and Abbot's Tongue in Great Addington, Little Addington and Woodford; a messuage in Great Addington, 2 tenements, and a ¼ of a yardland in the same; conveyed by Thomas Bletso the younger of Coton alias Cotes, to Samuel Whitby of London, merchant."
Over the next few years Samuel Whitby acquired further properties and land in the area. They are then sold as a single large estate in 1700 by Samuel, who was living in Great Addington, to a David King of London, mercer (luxury fabric merchant); who in turn sells it to Robert Lambe of Newton Bromswold (Brumshold in the documents) - this may actually be some form of mortgage or money lending with David King advancing the monies for the purchase to Robert Lambe. Again, the manorial estate (manor) and the Mansion House are detailed as referenced in the deeds; along with other lands in quite some detail, including the names of the previous owners of the other properties that Samuel Whitby had acquired in the village:
"sold by Samuel Whitby of Great Addington gentleman, to David King, citizen and mercer of London, to the use of Robert Lambe the younger of Newton Brumshold; 6th May 1700:
the manor of Great Addington, the mansion-house, with close adjoining, Long Lane Close, Cook's Leyes Close,Widow Batson's Close, a piece of meadow called Abbot's Tongue, all in Great Addington, with 6 acres of ley ground and 4½ yardlands in Great Addington, Little Addington and Woodford, 3 cottages in Great Addington, with all tithes, rentals, etc., all formerly the estate of Thomas Bletsoe;
a farmhouse in Great Addington with close adjoining, and 4 yardlands in Great Addington, Little Addington and Woodford, with 10 acres of meadow and 12 acres of furze (called the Old), purchased of John Maydwell of Kettering, clerk;
a cottage in Great Addington purchased from Robert Smyth of the same;
a farmhouse in Great Addington, with close adjoining, Woodruff's Close and 2¼ yardlands, all formerly held by Thomas Woodruff;
a messuage in the High Street of Great Addington, with close adjoining, and 1 yardland purchased of John and Susanna Beeby;
another messuage in the same purchased of John Cox;
the Smith's shop purchased of John Cox;
the Smith's shop purchased of John and Jane Bolney and Martha Neale.
Included are 3 earlier mortgages and the mortgage of all the aforesaid made by Robert Lambe to Gilbert Horsman in November 1703 for part payment of the consideration.
In 1701 a marriage settlement is drawn up between the son of Robert Lambe - also called Robert - and Ann Coates, again the manorial estate and the Mansion House are listed together on the one document. Also included are a number of other properties and lands, including a farmhouse:
"Settlement with counterpart, made on the marriage of Robert Lambe of Great Addington, gentleman, with Ann, daughter of Richard Coates of Earls Barton, Northants, of the manor of Great Addington, the mansion house, 6s. yearly rental of Paddock's dole in Little Addington, a farmhouse in Great Addington, with its home close, Long Lane Close, Cooks Leys Close, and Woodruff's Close, and 6 yardlands all in Great Addington; another farmhouse in Great Addington with 4 yardlands in Great Addington, Little Addington and Woodford, to the use of Robert and Ann their heirs. - 24th Mar. 1701"
Robert Lambe's (the elder) will shows that he held a considerable amount of land spread over Northamptonshire, Bedfordshire, and Huntingdonshire; which he divides between his three sons - John, Robert (who had married Anne Coates and lives in Great Addington), and Henry. John doesn't fair well getting just £25.00 a year, whereas Robert gets all the houses and land in Northamptonshire, Bedfordshire, and Huntingdonshire. Henry get houses and land in Newton Bromswold and Higham Ferrers.
"Will of Robert Lambe of Newton Brumshold, yeoman; bequeaths to John Lamb, his eldest son a £25 rent charge from his lands in Chelveston cum Caldecot, to be paid yearly; to his son Robert of all his messuages (houses) and lands in Bedfordshire and Great Addington, Irthlingborough, in Keystone, Hunts, and in Chelveston cum Caldecott provided he yields the aforesaid rent charge of John: to his son Henry all his premises and lands in Newton and Higham Ferrers. "
Through the period of time that the Lambe family lived in Great Addington the house is now often referred to as Addington Hall, clearly the Lambe family had aspirations above being just farmers.
Mary Lambe & William-Zouch Lucas Ward
Sons and daughters over the centuries tended to be given their parents forenames and Great Addington was no exception. There are three generations called Robert Lambe. The second generation Robert has three sons - Robert, Richard, and Woodford. Richard and his wife Anne had a daughter, Mary, born in 1762. She is the only child and heiress to the estate. She inherits from her uncle the Reverend Robert Lambe of Great Addington and also from a William Lambe of Stanwick. In 1783, Anne married William-Zouch Ward-Lucas (names were starting to become incredibly complex at this time to show inheritance and standing) of Guilsborough Hall (now demolished) in Northamptonshire. Through this marriage the estate at Great Addington moves into the posession of the Ward-Lucas family. William-Zouch and Mary never live in Great Addington, instead preferring to reside at the far grander Guilsborough Hall. Mary has another uncle, Woodford Lambe, who doesn't die until 1801, who also owns land in Great Addington. He is sadly referred to as a "lunatic" in a number of documents and Mary has control over his estate and combines it with her inheritance. Mary not only inherited the considerable Lambe estates in and around Great and Little Addington, but also in Woodford, and several estates at Upholland, Orrell and Billing in Lancashire and the rights to any mines found on the lands. The mines are worked for coal for many years before final closing.
In December 1784 William-Zouch and Mary decided to rent out the Great Addington as an advert appears in the Northampton Mercury:
"To be let and entered upon immediately, a handsome capital Mansion House at Great Addington, in this county; together with Stables, Coach-Houses, Brew-House, Dairy, Laundry, and other necessary Out-Houses; and a with good Garden walled in, and planted with the best Fruit trees, and seven acres and a half of rich Pasture-Ground or Orchard containing one acres and a half planted with Apple-Trees, with the Liberty of Sporting on the Manors of Great and Little Addington. Great Addington is within three miles of Thrapston, six miles of Wellingborough, and eight miles of Kettering, three remarkably good Market Towns for all kinds of provisions."
The house is advertised again in 1790,1791, and1792 the advert reading almost exactly the same.
At the time of the inclosure in Great Addington in 1803 the house is listed as Mansion House & Gardens and is shown as part of the estate of William-Zouch Ward Lucas.
The land and house remain in the possession of William-Zouch and Mary, as game-keeper certificates on their behalf were issued every year for their lands in Great Addington up to 1837 when William-Zouch dies, Mary had preceeded him in 1835.
William and Marys' son, John Lucas-Ward (b:1790 d:1868) inherited the estate. John married in 1811 to Theodosia de Malsburgh Leigh, daughter of Sir Egerton Leigh and Theodosia Anna Maria Boughton, at which point John then changes his name to John Ward-Boughton-Leigh (another long confusing name).
John Ward-Boughton-Leigh, lived in Brownsover Hall in Warwickshire, fashionably redesigned by Gilbert Scot, and sells a number of parcels of land, including as Lot 13 "Great Addington Manor House and Great Orchard and Manor House Close" to Edward Holdich. We know Edward Holdich is living in Great Addington in 1831 as he is listed in the Electoral Register for that year as yeoman, owning and managing a small estate.
Edward Holdich had other properties, but lived at Addington Hall. He dies in December 1840 and is buried on boxing day. The estate is put up for sale in September 1841, with the details appearing in the Leicester Herald - Saturday 04 September 1841:
"The Addington Hall Estate. Comprising the Manors of Great and Little Addington, Woodford, and Burton Latimer; with Mansion called Addington Hall and sundry farms of excellent meadow, pasture and convertible arable land, containing nearly Eleven Hundred Acres with Public Houses, and sundry Cottages, let to most respectable yearly tenants.
At Great Addington. The Mansion; called Addington Hall (late the residence of Edward Holdich, esq, deceased) is spacious and, and adapted for a moderate sized family, and at small expence (sic), may be made one of the most complete residences in the neighbourhood; the detached offices consist of capital Stables, Coach-houses, and corresponding Offices of every description, the whole situate on a rising ground, ornamented with stately Elms of the most magnificent description. The Gardens. Are large, surrounded by Walls, and well stocked. The whole fed by a never failing Spring of the purest Water."
R. P. Ganell
There is an entry in the village directory of 1864 that gives the name of a R. P. Ganell as Lord of the Manor. Despite searching for more information, it has not been possible to identify who this person was, nor how long they were at the Manor. The surname is unusual, possibly Irish in origin.
Julius Alington (Thomas Walters is tenant)
In June 1867 the house is again advertised for sale, again called Addington Hall - no owners name is given. Also as part of the lot is an associated farm house - probably Manor Farm; a Thomas Walters is given as tenant.
The house is up for sale again in 1871, this time it names the owner as Julius Allington, who owned land and properties across a number of counties and lived in Little Barford in Bedfordshire. In the Bedfordshire Archives there is some connections between the Alington family and a Robert Lambe (though which one is not clear) including a mortgage agreement with a lease term of 500 years! Thomas Walters is again named as the current tenant of Addington Hall.
"Addington Hall, with large kitchin (sic) and flower gardens and orchard adjoining; detached laundry, stabling, and carriage houses"
In 1874 there is a court case involving Thomas Walters who states that he resides as Great Addington Hall, presumably still as tenant.
Guilsborough Hall where Mary & William-Zouch Lucas Ward lived 1783-1835 rather than at Addington Hall
Julius Alington - Addington Hall owner in 1871 though he never lived there
Image © National Portrait Gallery, London
Sidney Leveson Lane & Mary Isabel Dawnay Dowager Vicountess Downe - The creation of the Victorian House
By 1878 the property is in the ownership of Sidney Leveson-Lane and his wife Mary Isabel Dawnay (nee Bagot), the Dowager Vicountess Downe. There is a possible connection - though probably coincedental - that Sidney was descended from the Robert Lane who purchased the estate from the crown in 1558.
Mary had first married William Henry Dawnay in 1843, who became the 7th Viscount Downe in 1846 following his fathers death. They lived at Baldersby Park in Yorkshire. Mary and William had ten children, but he died aged just 44 in 1857.
Mary married Sidney Leveson Lane on 6 January 1863 at Easingwold. Born in 1831,he was the son of John Newton Lane and the Agnes Bagot and was related to Mary. He was the elder brother of the Reverend Ernald Lane, former tutor to Mary's second son, Lewis Dawnay. Sidney was educated at Christ Church ,Oxford where he gained a BA and in 1853 was called to the Bar though never actually worked as a lawyer. He was a Justice of the Peace and appointed Deputy Lieutenant for Yorkshire, North Riding. On 15 November 1863 Mary gave birth to her eleventh child, a son, Sidney Ernald Ralph Lane to be followed by a daughter Mary Beatrice Sidney Lane in 1866.
To give some idea of the size and wealth of the family, the census of 1871 for Baldersby Park list 29 members of staff who lived in the house, and there must have been more who lived nearby and worked in the house, gardens, and estate. Mary and Sidney also had a house in London at 8 Belgrave Square (now the Syrian Embassy) and possibly another home on the Isle of Wight, called Puckaster House; which may have been owned by one of Sidney's relatives.
It is worth remembering that up until this point the house was relatively modest and very little had been done to change the building since it was first built in 1609. Sidney and Mary were therefore clearly seeing an opportunity to convert a, by then 250 year old Jacobean hall, into a contemporary, luxury, Victorian property worthy of their wealth and status.
The scale of their undertaking should not be underestimated. Sidney and Mary commissioned a significant amount of alteration and extension works, at least doubling the size of the house, significantly altering the interiors, and introducing "modern" conveniences. Unusually for such works rather than employing local craftsmen an advert was placed in the Northamptonshire Mercury in 1878:
Mary Isabel Dawnay Dowager Vicountess Downe - date & source unknown
Sidney Leveson Lane - circa 1910
Image from Northampton Mercury July 1910
Lionel Offley Micklem
Lieutenant Colonel Malcolm Romer & Evelyn Romer
Lionel Offley Micklem in the uniform of the Queensland Imperial Bushmen during the Boer War - image circa 1900
Lieutenant Colonel Malcolm Romer OBE - 1917
Evelyn Romer - 1920
Evelyn and Malcolm would have been living in Great Addington at this time
Evelyn Romer with her sons Charles, Malcolm, and George; and Bill the dog
1920 in the Manor House garden
The house, by now generally referred to as Addington Manor, was purchased in 1931 by Winifrid Breitmeyer (b:1890 d:1986). She had been living since March 1913 with her father, Ludwig Breitmeyer, at Rushton Hall which he had leased from the Clark-Thornhill family. Her mother had died in 1917. Her father was one of the founding Directors of De Beers, the diamond business. On her fathers death in 1931 - leaving an estate with a value today of £43million - the Clark-Thornhills put Rushton Hall up for sale and Winifred moved to Great Addington where she remained for the rest of her life. She did not marry.
In the 1939 Register for England & Wales there are six members of staff listed as living in the house with Winifred, including Edith Gorham, Sadie Dukes, Enid Thomas, Kate Mason (later Templeman), and Lotty Crow.
Winifred gave land to the village for the creation of a tennis club soon after she arrived and it seemed to have been flourishing with 50 members reported in 1933.
Winifred was a keen sportswoman and reports of local fox hunts and social events through the 1930's often carried her name. It seems she got an early start in life, as an article in The Tatler in 1905 mentions:
"Nobody...could fail to have admired the way in which Mr. Breitmeyer's little daughter, Winifred, used to follow the hunt before she was eleven years old. Of course she was capitally mounted and coached, for Mr. Breitmeyer has done well in diamonds and keeps good cattle at Cuckfield Park" (which is where they were living before moving to Rushton Hall)
Winifred Breitmeyer (left of picture) & her two brothers.
"The children of L. Breitmeyer, Esq" by Thomas Cooper Gotch, 1898
Winifred Breitmeyer & the Manor House as featured in Northamptonshire & Bedfordshire Life July 1973
Winifrid Breitmeyer. c1980
Image source unknown
Hounds meet at the Manor House. Source unknown. Date c1930s
Fete & fancy dress parade at the Manor House 1942. Source unknown.
After the death of Winifred Breitmeyer, the author and illustrator Simon Bond purchased the house and lived there until 1993, he then did a house swap with Geoffery & Carolyn Groome, moving to their house in Langar in Nottinghamshire and the Groomes paying the difference in price for the Manor House
Geoffery & Carolyn Groome
Geoffery and Carolyn updated and renovated the house; and also added a stable block area - the original stables having been lost over time - and swimming pool to the property. They also spent a large amount of time on restoring and replanting the gardens, which were often open to visitors annually to help raise money for charity.
Manor Farm 2021. The dormer style windows in the attic were added in the 1990's when the property was extensively modernised.
Manor Farm circa 1985. Image from Brian Duncan collection.
Threshing at Manor Farm in 1911. The farm bailiff at this time was Richard Whincup. It would be reaonable to assume that members of the Whincup family are in the photograph. Image source unknown
Threshing at Manor Farm, circa 1958. Image source unknown.
Manor Farm yard and outbuildings, circa 1965. All the buildings shown have since been demolished. Image from the Brian Duncan collection.
Manor Farm, circa 1958. The roof is still thatched. The people in the image are not known but are presumably members of the Tyler family who worked the farm up until the 1970's, afterwhich it was the residential home of John Tyler. Image source unknown.
The farm that was associated with Great Addington Manor House became known as Manor Farm, though it only seem to have gained this name in the 20th Century.
The building is shown on the oldest available map, the 1803 enclosure map, and is a Grade II listed building. Its presumed to have been built at some point between 1700-1800 though no early deeds have yet been discovered.
There is an earlier reference to a farm house in Great Addngton belonging to what we now know as Great Addington Manor; this was in the sale by Samuel Whitby in 1700 to David King, on behalf of Robert Lamb (see the entry regarding Great Addington Manor above for more information). However, there are two farm houses amongst a list of other properties that are mentioned and it is not known which one was to become known as Manor Farm.
"sold by Samuel Whitby of Great Addington gentleman, to David King, citizen and mercer of London, to the use of Robert Lambe the younger of Newton Brumshold; 6th May 1700...the manor of Great Addington, the mansion-house, with close adjoining...a farmhouse in Great Addington with close adjoining...a farmhouse in Great Addington, with close adjoining, Woodruff's Close and 2¼ yardlands, all formerly held by Thomas Woodruff;"
Samuel Whitby had purchased a number of properties and lands in the village, adding gradually to the estate before selling it in 1700.
If it is one of the farmhouses mentioned in the 1700 sale then it is clear that the Manor Farm was built much earlier than 1700. It was probably extensively modified during the period 1700-1800 leading to its "Georgian" listing.
The building is made of squared courses of limestone with a modern concrete tile roof. All the lintels over the windows and doors are wooden. The gable ends are finished with ashlar, and the chimney stacks are made of brick and stone stacks. The rear of the building (the Ringstead Road side) has two 19th century sash windows under wood lintels and a lean-to building with a pantile roof. The interior has the remains of two open fireplaces and the kitchen retains a stone sink. MANOR FARMHOUSE, Great Addington - 1040384 | Historic England
In 1803 the farm and many other buildings in the village were owned by William Zouch Lucas Ward who through marriage had become one of the major land owners in the area. See the section regarding Great Addington Manor House for more information about William Zouch Lucas Ward and the Great Addington Manor estate.
Manor Farm was occupied by a series of tenant farmers or farm managers for the next 250 years as the farm and its lands remained with the estate. There are no records available before 1803 but in that year Thomas Checkley and his wife Frances were listed as tenants on the 1803 enclosure map. At that time the property is called Checkleys Home. Thereafter in the census records it is simply referred to as Farm House. Over the next 100 years the property has a succession of tenant farmers, often changing between one census and the next.
Many other properties in the village show generations of the same village families over the tears, but Manor Farm is noticeable by the fact that often the tenants are from outside the village and rarely seems to be stay very long.
In 1841 the tenant farmers name is given as William Curtis, who was then aged only 18. By 1851 another tenants is living in the farm house. In 1861 George & Martha Thurlow are the tenants.
In the census of 1881, Thomas & Charlotte Parkin are listed as farm bailiffs manging 288 acres and employing 10 men and 3 boys. The couple and their family - who seem to have been brought down by Sidney Leveson Lane from Yorkshire in the 1870's when Sidney Leveson Lane brought Great Addington Manor house - are still managing the farm in 1891.
In 1901, Richard Whincup - also from Yorkshire - is the new farm bailiff. He is 65 years old, widowed, and lives in the house with his youngest son George, then aged 14, and two servants - also from Yorkshire. He is another that was brought down by Sidney Leveson Lane as his father and mother ran one of the farms on the estate in Yorkshire owned by Sidney Leveson Lane's wife, Mary Isabel Dawnay, the Dowager Vicountess Downe
Richard Whincup had moved to Great Addington to become farm bailiff around 1897. Eventually his other sons, John Hardwick, Richard Donald, and daughter Winefred also came to live the Addingtons.
The 1911 census shows Richard, then aged 75, still as the farm bailiff. John works as an agricultural labourer, his son, also named Richard, also works on the farm. George is a shepherd and Winifred is a dairy maid. At the time of the census all were shown as single. John Whincup dies in 1913 and Richard Whincup died in 1914 and the rest of the family moved away from the Addingtons.
After the death of Sidney Leveson Lane in 1910 his son, Sidney Ernald, had inherited the estate, but does not appear to have lived in Great Addington. The Manor House itself was occupied by wealthy tenants (see the section above regarding the Manor House), but little is known about Manor Farm during the this time. There is a photo from 1911 showing farm workers in the yard, probably including members of the Whincup family. But after Richard Whincup's death it is not known how lived in the farm house, or how the land was managed.
The next available record is from 1939. Winifrid Breitmeyer had brought the Manor House in 1931 - but it is not known whether the estate had been sold off in whole or in sections by then. The 1939 census shows Winifred Broom, Little Addington Schoolmistress, as the sole occupant.
In 1940 Oscar Battle, the brewer from Cranford, is shown as running Manor Farm - although whether he lived in the house is unknown. At some point between 1911 and 1940 the farm must have been separated from the estate of Great Addington Manor House and the land and the farm(s) sold, thus ending its role as the working farm of the Manor House.
In 1951 Oscar Battle put the farm up for sale as he was retiring. This included the Manor Farm house, Patch Lodge Farm and a number of plots of land totalling 255 acres, though it was all to be sold split into four parcels of land.
The Tyler family brought Manor Farm and lands and it was run as a working farm until 1970 when it became the residential home of John Tyler, with the lands being sold.
John Tyler of Manor Farm in 1982 Evening Telegraph report on how a spring which led from a well near the church to Manor Farm had dried up after at least 200 years of use.
Gardeners Cottage 2020
Gardeners Cottage - Circa 1990
Brian Duncan collection
Gardeners Cottage - red lines showing original height of gable wall end and roof line.
Cranford Rd circa 1955
Gardeners Cottage is the left hand side of this image. From Brian Duncan collection.
Headline from Detroit newpaper 1958 reporting the Vulcan air crash in which Harvey John Scull was killed.
Site of the Vulcan Bomber crash, Detroit, USA, 1958. Source unknown.
In 1803 the enclosure map shows the land that the Spinneys was later built on as a previously enclosed field - fenced in many years before 1803 - called Short Lane Close, and was owned by William-Zouch Lucas Ward as part of the Addington Hall estate.
On the 1884 OS map the building is not shown, but field has now been subdivided and is shown to be wooded. The house must have then been built at some point between 1884 and 1899 as it appears on the 1899 OS Map. It and Spinney Cottage must have been built around the same time.
It is unknown who built the house, but in 1901 the occupant is Elizabeth Ann Scott (b:1837 Finedon) who list her occupation as Surgical Nurse. Also in the house on the same day is her nephew, Herbert (b:1893 Wimbledon) - his surname seems to be Honsge, but this may be a misreading as the handwriting is poor. Elizabeth writes that she is "living on own means", 10 years earlier she had been living in London.
In 1911 Alfred Grey (b:1845 Oundle), the school master is living in the house with his daughter Laura Gray(b:1881 Warmington), who is also the school teacher.
By 1939, Spinney House is occupied by Mary Lucy Pendred (b:1858 d:1940) who describes herself as Novelist and Dramatist. She was the daughter of John Pendered, auctioneer of Wellingborough. Also living there is the housekeeper, Annie Cotton (b:1883).
When Mary Pendered died in 1940, she left her books and "all profits and royalities" to the League of Nations. She also left money in trust for her "companion, Marta Davies, for life" and a small bequest for Annie Cotton.
Spinney Cottage. C. May, 2021
Spinney Cottage - B. Duncan collection c1990
In 1803 the enclosure map shows the land that Spinney Cottage was built on as a previously enclosed field - enclosed many years before 1803 - called Short Lane Close, and was owned by William-Zouch Lucas Ward as part of the Addington Hall estate.
On the 1884 OS map the building is not shown, but field has now been subdivided and is shown to be wooded. The house must have then been built at some point between 1884 and 1899 as it appears on the 1899 OS Map.
As it shares part of its name with The Spinneys and the land ownership was originally with the Manor House estate, the two houses were presumably built at the same time.
The first reference occurs in the 1901 census, but the house is shown as being empty at that time.
By 1911 Spinney Cottage is occupied, with Emma Betts (b:1873 Hendon) and her two children, Henry (b:1903 Cranford) and Phylis (b:1909 Cranford).
There is then a gap of 28 years before we get any more written records, and in the 1939 census Spinney Cottage is occupied by Frances (b:1887 d153) & Hilda (b:1889 d:1962) Ball. Francis is a bakery roundsman. Frances & Hilda remained in the cottage until they died.
All Saints Cottage (or Rectory Cottage)
The name of the house implies some relationship to the church or rectory - the rectory was the lands belonging to the church in the village and does not mean the house formerly known as The Rectory. As the owner in 1803 is the parish clerk this does give an indication that the cottage was either built on land that belonged to the church or the building itself did.
It is clearly an old property and is at least 250 years old.
The 1803 enclosure map shows the building and gives the owner as Samuel Harris. He also owned another house - that appears to be larger - on the site where Sunneyside now stands and was the site of the Blacksmiths. The implication in the list is that Samuel lived in the larger house and may have let out All Saints Cottage to tenants. There is a record of a Samuel Harris in property tax redemptions from 1798.
There is some confusion as there was two men named Samuel Harris living in the village in 1803. One was the individual described in this section and the other was the owner of the Hare & Hounds (and also a baker and a farmer). Samuel Harris who owned All Saints Cottage died in 1803, aged 71, he is recorded as serving as parish clerk (a part-time paid role) but the register does not give his normal occupation.
However, his father (John b:1700) and grandfather (Nathaniel b:1670) were blacksmiths in the village. A family tradition going back to the late 1600's and the blacksmiths was always located where Sunneyside is, so it is likely that Samuel was the village blacksmith.
There is an interesting entry in the parish register of 1800 that relates to Samuel Harris:
"In the year 1800, the oldest of the two Register books was rescued by the Rector form the bacon-rack of Samuel Harris, parish clerk, where it would have shortly been the prey of rats and mice; its present appearance will give pretty strong evidence that their attacks had already commenced. "
Brian Duncan's history carried a comment regarding a record in the Northamptonshire Records Office (YZ 7176), that in 1764 there was a public house called the Swan Inn. It was described as being:
"A cottage and all that Close or Pightle of ground adjoining the lands of Robert Andrews in the North & East, and the homestead of William Beeby in the South"
From this Brian suggested that that the Swan Inn, was todays All Saints Cottage. However, I have not been able to confirm this information, nor find the document referred to. The 1803 enclosure map does not record it as a public house.
Following Samuels death in 1803 the property seems to have passed to John Harris (probably his son). Brian Duncan also refers to a letter dated 17th December 1829 from the War Office stated that:
"John Harris of the 82nd Foot, died at the Mauritious (Mauritius) on 29th December 1829".
As with many properties in the village, the names seem to have changed over the years. In the 20th century it is referred to as All Saints Cottage and also Rectory Cottage, by people who were living in the village at the same time.
Unfortunately for the next 100 years we have no information about the house as even though the census records exist for every ten years from 1841 onwards it is impossible to say who was living in the house in 1851, 1861, 1871, 1881, or 1891 as not a single house in Main street is given a name or number in any of the census returns. So many houses have been demolished (and built) over the last two hundred years, it is very difficult even to work back from named buildings such as the Hare & Hounds, or the Rectory. For instance where Vine Cottage now stands, was formerly a row of houses, behind the school was another row of seven houses.
In 1901 the census records Millicent Harris, a widow, aged 77, and her son Thomas Harris, age 52 and single, an agricultural labourer were living in the house.
William Boon (b:1902) a long time resident of the village, said of All Saints Cottage:
"'Old Sarah' kept the shop opposite the Church, All Saints Cottage. She was dotty and used to walk up and down the street saying prayer out loud. There were 5 houses behind the shop, Mrs Ward lived on followed by Mrs Linnell."
This may have been a Sarah Charles - though again it has proved difficult to establish the facts.
The last census that is available is for 1939, and again the information regarding the occupants is unclear.
Ferndale, April 2021
Southern gable end of Ferndale showing evidence of earlier, lower thatched roof with a diagonal line of colour difference between earlier and later stone work. Also clearly seen is that though the front of the building is brick - mid-19th century - the earlier building is made of stone and is at least Georgian, if not earlier.
The 1803 enclosure map, shows a building in the same location as Ferndale, but it is one of those buildings that is depicted in grey, indicating that it was not inhabited - so possibly a barn. However the plot of land on which it stands is given a number, 26, and another building - no longer standing - is shown as being occupied. The owner of the "house and yard", is William-Zouch Lucas Ward, the owner of the Manor house and much of the lands and buildings in the parish.
Ferndale is one of a number of listed buildings in the village. The listing details are on the Historic England web site. It is recorded as being of early 19th century construction and made of squared coursed limestone with a brick facade and slate roof. The south gable has clear marking showing that at one time it had a lower and steeper roof, which would probably have been thatched, as would most of the earliest buildings in the village. It is therefore possible that the earlier uninhabited barn was thatched and the roof raised and converted to slate at the same time as the brick front was built.
Though few house names or numbers are given for the majority of the houses in Great Addington over the centuries, as Ferndale is located next to the Hare and Hounds we are able to see who was living in the house. The first census is 1841 and Charles Wilson (b:1801) and his three children, Charles (b:1827), Lucy (b:1832), and Mary (b:1835) are living in the house. Mary Wilson (nee Riddle) had died in 1837.
In 1851, Jane Abbot (b: 1812) and her three daughters and one son are living in the house. In the form where it would normally state the persons occupation, it says "relieved from the Parish", which indicates that Jane was living on charity provided by the parish - it was the parish responsibility to provide for those unable to work. Jane's two eldest daughters - aged 15 and 11 - are given a lace makers. At this time lace making was a significant industry in the area. Jane is given as the Head of the Household.
In 1861 James and Elizabeth Ward and their son James and daughters one of whose names is difficult to read and the other named Charlotte. Charlotte's name is Allen and their is a Henry Allen in the house, marked as step-son. James the elder and his son are both agricultural labourers. Henry is a shoe maker. The womens occupations are not given.
There were many people with the same surname in the village and often with the same forenames. It is confusing that in 1871 a James Ward (b:1801 d:1872) and his wife Ann Ward (b:1811 as Ann Wallis of Lowick) are living in the house with their son James who is an agricultural labourer. James (the elder) and Ann appear to be marked as paupers and may have been living on the parish. There is good reason to believe that this is the same couple, but why Elizabeth is now Ann is unclear. Both record indicate that she was born in Lowick, so it is presumably the same person.
John Harris in his will of January 1868 gave his house, garden and blacksmiths shop - which he had purchase from John Ward Boughton Leigh (the owner of the Manor House and lands) - plus another house, farm, yard, orchard and four cottages and premises (formerly the property of William Harris) to his wife and then to his son John Harris and daughter Mary (later to marry and take the name Painter).
There was a row of cottage that once stood between Ferndale and Vine Cottage and it is probably these that are being referred to. They are not shown as being there in 1803.
In 1881 the house is occupied by Rhoda Harris, age 68 and originally from Hargreave, who gives her occupation as Blacksmiths Widow. Also in the house is her son and daughter, John, a blacksmith, age 37, and Rhoda, age 30, a seamstress.
In 1891 Charles and Fanny Hanger are living in the house. Fanny was born Fanny Matilda Loakes in Great Addington and married Charles Hanger from Sywell. Charles was a stone mason. Also in the house is their son Cecil, aged just 4 months, and Annie Loakes, marked as visitor. Charles and Fanny have more children, including another son called Rowland. They leave Great Addington around 1894 and move to Cranford. There are a collection of interesting records from the United States showing that the two sons travelled together to the USA in 1912, on the ship Olympic, both employed as Footmen. Cecil enlist into the US army in 1917 and Rowland is drafted into the US army in 1918. Cecil gets sent back to fight in France in 1918. Both survive the war. In 1942, Rowland is again drafted into the US army. He survives and both brothers went on to live long lives in their adopted homeland, living near New York.
In 1901 Thomas (aged 50) and Sarah Mayes (aged 45) and their family are living in the house. Their children at that time were Albert, Ernest, Rose, Frank, and Reginald. Thomas, Albert and Ernest were all employed as agricultural labourers.
Just 10 years later and Thomas Mayes is now dead and Sarah is head of the family and Ferndale is now the village post office and shop - you can still see where the post box used to be set into the wall of the house. Ernest, aged 25, had married, but his wife died soon after the birth of their first child, and he is living in the house with his mother and the baby Violet. Ernest is now working as a blacksmith. Also in the house are Rose, aged 21, working as assistant Post Mistress; Frank, aged 17, working as a woodsman; and Reginald, aged 16, who works as a farm labourer.
In 1939 Ethel Forscutt, a widow, lives in the house with her son Cyril, aged 25.
Hare and Hounds, April 2021
Hare and Hounds c2015
Hare and Hounds interior, c2015
Hare and Hounds interior c2015
Fred Abbott, publican from 1955. Image from Evening Telegraph 1968
Philip & Mary Parry took on the tenancy of the Hare and Hounds in 1995, image from Kettering Evening Telegraph, 1995.
Hare and Hounds
Hare and Hounds, c1900. Beyond the Hare is Ferndale and beyond that is the Bakery which stood in front of Vine Cottage and has now been demolished. From B. Duncan collection.
So far no deeds have come to light relating to Hare and Hounds. It is marked on the 1803 inclosure map as a public house, though no name is given, and it is part of the William-Zouch Lucas-Ward estate which including the Manor House and approximately a quarter of the land and buildings of the parish.
It is a listed building and believed to be early to mid-18th century, the details can be found on the Historic England web site. It has changed hands many times but remain largely unchanged - though the interior bar area was moved and a new staircase and external access to the top floor was added in the 21st century when the top floor was turned into a separate flat with its own dedicated entrance.
The listing records it as early/mid 18th century made of squared coursed limestone with a slate and pantile roof. It is L-shape in plan, and two storeys high. The ground floor windows have shutter recesses alongside the windows and the remains of the shutter hinge can be seen embedded into the wall on one window. There is a 19th century single-storey one-unit extension to right. The interior has some original spine (supporting) beams and original plank doors.
Like many public houses, the Hare and Hounds would have offered rooms for traveller or visitors to the village; and, as with the Leopard Inn, the Hare and Hounds would have been used to hold public auctions. An example from 1809, when 90 Ash and Elm tree were to be sold, is quite typical of the time and also names the occupant of the Hare and Hounds at that time:
"apply to Mr. Samuel Harris, at the sign of the Hare-and-Hounds in Great Addington"
A Samuel Harris is shown as tenant of William-Zouch Lucas-Ward in 1798 and this may be the same person. Samuel died in 1815 and the entry in the parish register records him as:
"Samuel Harris, farmer, baker and keeper of the ale-house known by the sign of the Hare & Hounds, aged 50"
The first census of 1841 lists Mary Warmsley as the occupant and publican, aged 50, she was born in 1791. Also in the building of the night of the census are a William Wood (15), John Hyde (25), Charles Wrenshaw (40) and his son, also called Charles (15). Occupations are given for William Wood and John Hyde, but the census taker has used abbreviations and the handwriting is difficult to read. Only the entry for Charles Wrenshaw (elder) gives a clear occupation, horse dealer. Presumably all of the people in the Hare and Hounds, apart from Mary, were just staying overnight.
The village directory entry for just six years later in 1847 gives Thomas Chapman as the publican. He is still there in 1851 (aged 52) and giving his occupation as, Victualler. He lives with his wife Mary (aged 48). Lodging in the house on that night was Frederick Abbott (aged 32), a Cord Wainer - somebody who makes new shoes from leather, as opposed to a cobbler who repairs shoes, Frederick is from Woodford.
By 1861 the landlord had changed and Benjamin Cole (aged 55) and from Orlingbury is now in charge. Sarah his wife (aged 57) is also from Orlingbury. In the pub on that night are two lodgers, John Harris and Samuel Pettifer who both mark the their occupations as Government...... but the last word is unclear, perhaps they were working on the census. John is from Oxfordshire and Samuel from Northamptonshire.
The village directory from 1864 still has Benjamin as the publican and shop keeper.
The village directory of 1871 gives George Knight as the publican, but the census of that same year records Edward Perkins (age 37) as the landlord. Presumably the landlord had changed between the two records. Edward lived with his wife Mary (aged 37). They were both from Irthlingborough and had married in 1853, at which time Edward had listed his occpuation as Shoemaker. Mary's maiden name was Vorley. They had two children, Elizabeth and Leonard, aged 11 and 10 at the time of the census. Also in the house visiting that night was Mary's mother, Elizabeth Vorley.
The village directory of 1874 has George Wright as the landlord, however this may be an error as the 1881 census records George Knight as landlord. As the directory of 1871 had George Knight as the publican, he must have taken over in 1871 and remained as publican for the next 30 year. The village directory of 1884 records it as George Smith, but this is probably another error, as in 1894 it is George Knight again. In 1903 it still shows George Knight, and also in 1906.
The census records are therefore the best records to go by. George Knight (aged 39) in 1881 is from Little Addington and is married to Hannah (nee Beeby) from Great Addington. Also in the house is Emily Hamlin (or Tomlin) (age 16), a servant, from Raunds; and Issac Abbot (37) lodging in the house, he is from Great Addington and is an Iron Miner.
George and Hannah are still running the public house in 1891. There are three boarders, Isaac Abbott (still!), John Newman, and Charles Patrick. All three men are employed as Iron Stone Labourers. John and Charles are from Cranford.
George and Hannah do not appear to have children and in 1901 are still running the pub. They have their niece, Alice Hunt (age 18) from Catworth, Huntingdon, now living with them and working as barmaid. Boarding in the Hare and Hounds is Isaac Abbott, now aged 57, and still working in the iron stone quarries as labourer. George died in 1910, and at the next census in 1911, Hannah is widowed and lives in Little Addington on her own after 46 years of marriage.
Following George's death, David Payne took over as publican and appears as such in the census of 1911 and is also still there in 1914. He is aged 48 and lists his occupation as Farm Horse Keeper and Inn Keeper, David was born in Great Addington. His Wife, Margaret, is the same age and lists herself as Inn Keeper as well. She was born in Spennymoor, County Durham. Living in the house in 1911 is their daughter, Lilian Rose (22), who gives no occupation; David's brother, Benjamin Payne (40), who is a cow man on farm; and also, Isaac Abbott, now aged 67, still boarding, but now working as a Farm Labourer. Ten years earlier David and Margaret had been living in Old Stones, and Benjamin had been living with them then. In 1939 they are living in Ivy Cottage.
In 1939 Joseph Samuel Partridge (59) and his wife Emily (61) are running the pub. The village directory of 1940 has Joseph as the publican.
Around 1955, Fred & Elsie Abbott took on the tenancy and an article in the Evening Telegraph in 1968 records them as still being there.
In 1995, Philip & Mary Parry took on the tenancy of the Hare and Hounds, which at that time was owned by the Charles Wells brewery group.
Hare and Hounds, c1900. Beyond the Hare is Ferndale and beyond that is the Bakery which stood in front of Vine Cottage and has now been demolished. The footpath on the left of the image is much higher than the road level, unlike today. From B. Duncan collection.
As with many of the older village properties little information is known regarding when the house was first built. The 1803 inclosure map is again the key source showing the building and naming the owner as John Vorley.
The Longhouse, circa 2019
In this photograph taken prior to 1955 the row of separate houses that were later converted into "The Long House" can clearly be seen. If you look closely separate entrance doors and garden wall/fences can also be seen. This is very much how the property and surrounding village would have looked during the 18th and 17th centuries. From Brian Duncan collection.
The site of the Cottage in 1803. The red building is inhabited, the grey buildings on the same plot are barns or workshops. These would later be converted into housing.
The Cottage showing modern site and original boundary, also site of Medieval rubbish pit & pottery finds and most recent well or cistern find.
The Cottage, May 2021
The side of The Cottage in Gauls Lane, 2021. The different heights of the buildings, bricked up windows and doors of what were previously a number of separate dwellings can be seen. The buildings were originally thatched. Image April 2021
Harlestone House as planned by Humphrey Repton circa 1820 for Robert Andrew the owner of the estates of Harlestone, Crick, and Great Addington.
1885 OS map showing the different buildings on the original site. Much of the area numbered 53 on the map was sold to Samuel Loakes in 1898.
In 1904 Ralph Abbott buys land marked in red from James Rennie Wilkinson who owned the Cottage and many other buildings and land in the parish.
1913 Sales Deed. Rennie Beauzville Wilkinson, nephed of James Rennie Wilkinson, sells The Cottage site (mauve). Also highlighted on the map are Tea Tree Cottage (red) and the Redlands site (brown), though it is not known why these are highlighted on this old map.
John Thomas (Jack) Hollis and Agnes Alice (Angie) Ward , at the rear of the picture, on their wedding day, 1908. Image source unknown.
1911 Census record showing Sydney Peck (26) Bricklayer and Amelia Peck (33) and their 6 of their 7 children (1 having died) living in the house. Son Wilfred, though only 13, is already working as an apprentice in the leather industry.
1939 - Samuel Frederick Hayo and Celia Hayo (both 55) and their two sons, Frederick and Reginald are living in part of the property. The address is given as Gauls Lane, which is the original name of the track between The Cottage and the Manor House.
1968 Sales Deed. The building marked 3 at the top and associated land (bottom) was occupied by an individual named Hackney and the building (top right) marked as 1 is occupied by an individual named York. Nobody is living in building 2.
Well discovered under patio area of The Cottage in May 2021
Brecon House, April 2021
The house was built between around 1899 on land that was formerly a "garden" or orchard. We are lucky in that that the deeds of sale of land exist from before the house was built. The land was part of the extensive land holdings of James Rennie Wilkinson who lived at Shooters Hill. In 1898 he sold a portion of the land between Bank House and the buildings now know as The Cottage to Samuel Loakes for the sum of £20.00
Samuel Loakes list his occupation as shepherd and had been living in the village since he was born in 1865, one of eight children. His parents lived in Tee Tree Cottage. Samuel's father was also from Great Addington and was also a shepherd, Samuel's mother was from Desborough. In 1891 the family are still living in Tee Tree Cottage, Samuel's father is now listed as "small farmer" and Samuel is an agricultural labourer - perhaps working with his father.
At the point Samuel brought the land in 1898 there was no house, and the land was described as:
"a parcel of land now used as a garden containing thirty poles twelve yards....bounded on the east by the road to Little Addington...on the south by property (Bank House) of Sidney L Lane...and on the west and north by the property of...James Rennie Wilkinson"
An acre was 160 poles, therefore the land acquired by Samuel was just under a fifth of an acre. It can be clearly seen as on the OS map of 1894 and is marked by the number 53.
Just under two years later in 1900, Samuel Loakes sells the land to Sidney Leveson Lane for the sum of £265.00. The sale deed describes the land and its former use as a garden, but now also mentions:
"the dwelling house recently erected on the said piece of land"
The deed goes on to give the name of the occupant of the house - but the copy of the deed we have is so faded that the name cannot be read.
Sidney Leveson Lane held a lot of property in the village which he let out to tenants, often workers on his estate.
In the 1901 census, Samuel is no longer living in the village, instead he and his wife Sarah, and his younger brother are living in Kettering, where he is employed as a "horse keeper", he dies in Kettering in 1927.
In 1901 it appears as if Simeon Abbot, agricultural foreman is living there - he may have been working for Sidney Leveson Lane - with his wife Mary and their son Arthur. They appears still to be there in 1911, though Simeon is listed as Under Bailiff for the farm.
Sidney Leveson Lane died suddenly in December 1911 and his son, also called Sidney, inherited the estate and houses. In 1920 he sells the house to Sanders George Piggott (b: 1873) who in the census of 1911 was listed as a mason on the estate. Sanders died in Northampton General Hospital in 1940 leaving a widow, Agnes Laura Piggott who continues to live in the house until she dies in St Marys Hospital in Kettering in 1952, at which point the house was sold to a family called Mehew.
The house has passed through a number of hands until the current residents acquired the house in 1990.
Contrary to some suggestion, the house was never a bank, rather it stands on a bank of land - the name of the house, as with many in the village, only started to be used in the late 1930's.
The property was built around1880 and appears on the ordnance survey map of 1884. It may have been built on the instruction of Sidney Leveson Lane, who lived in Great Addington Manor at that time. Around the same time he also had Ivy Cottage built and they are of similar construction. Supporting this idea is the 1898 deeds of sale for the land on which Brecon House stands - situated out of frame to the right of Bank House - which states that the property next door to Brecon House belongs to Sidney Leveson Lane.
Built of brick and stone, there were a number of outbuildings to the rear of the property but these have now gone, leaving just the outside wall of those buildings as a garden wall. The building was originally L-shape in plan with a conservatory on the left at the rear. This was changed in 1986 when the house was modernised and extended into a square-plan.
As with many village, the access rights over land, particularly to outbuildings was often confused and the houses on Lower Street are no exception. As mentioned earlier there was an existing lane parallel with Lower Street on the 1803 inclosure maps, and this may date back to the Medieval period. In 1946 a legal agreement was reached over the access rights of Bank House, Fern Cottage, and Old Stones through the "yard" to the left hand side of Bank House. The original plot of land extended as far as the public footpath that now runs between No2 and No3 Manor Close, with more buildings - there were also buildings behind Old Stones and Leopard House - but these were demolished in the 1974 and some of the land and access rights at the rear were gifted to Fern Cottage, and some of the land was also sold to the owner of Leopard House (then called The Post Office). In the same year when the plans were being developed for Manor Close, an agreement was reached with the then owners of Bank House, Leopard House, and Brecon House with the developers that an existing right of way that had been in place since 1969 between Gauls Lane (the lane between the Manor House and The Cottage, opposite Ringstead Road) and the rear of the three houses would be waived provided that the three houses continued to have access (the old right of way goes through the middle of No2. Manor Close); at the same time the existing footpath which ran from Gauls Lane parralel to Lower Street to the bottom of the hill was also moved as the then footpath went through No4 and No5 Manor Close.
Digging in the garden in 1993 uncovered a large beehive shaped brick built underground cistern - about 10 feet deep and six feet wide - only just covered by some rotten wooden boards and 4 inches of soil! This was probably originally used to store rain water for use in the "copper" in the laundry (which may have been one of the outside buildings) and for watering plants in the garden, as there was no mains water when the house was first built.
Due to the slope of the site, the right hand side of the house is actually set into the hillside to a depth of over a meter. The left hand side sits on a raised platform built from local roughly hewn limestone.
The roof in the picture - now replaced and built upwards with the addition of gable ends - was of a particularly low pitch. There was a complex arrangement of 4 separate roof structures with joining valleys, though masked by the front structure which met three other sections at the rear. When the roof was replaced in 2008 it was found that many of the wooden roof beams were quite roughly cut and still retaining tree bark on them, so were probably local wood, cut and shaped on site.
The first residents seems to be Thomas Coleman, a retired farmer, and his wife Sarah - though the census record for 1881 - as with many years - do not give actual house names or numbers for many properties in the village.
In 1891, Thomas Parkin (from Kirkby in Yorkshire), farm bailiff is living there with his wife Charlotte, and their children Mary (17), Thomas (14), William (12), and Helen (6). William and Helen are shown as having been born in Great Addington, the family had moved here from Ashenby in Yorkshire around 1879 - most likely brought down by Sidney Leveson Lane to help manage the Manor estates.
By 1901, Latimer Harpur (69) - who give his occupation as "living on own means" - is living there with his wife Sarah and two daughters, Grace and Annie, plus a servant Matilda Coles. Grace and Annie were born in Newbury, Berkshire. We do not know why the Harpur family were living in Great Addington at this time and they had left the village by the next census of 1911.
On the 14th December 1923 (or 1928, the numbers are not clear on the deeds) David Edward Mitchell of Shooters Hill purchased Bank House from Sidney Ernald Ralph Lane, the son and heir of Sidney Leveson Lane of the Manor House.
We get the first reference to the house by name in the 1939 England & Wales. In the house at that time was Ernest Mayes (insurance agent) and his second wife Margaret, and their family. They would have been tenants as the property was still owned by David Edward Mitchell.
Ernest had married Lucy Marion Harris from Whittlebury, Northamptonshire in November 1908. But by 1911 he is a widow with a 1 year old daughter - Violet Lucy Mayes - and back living with his mother in the post office - which at that time was Ferndale - with his sister Rose and two brothers, Frank and Reginald. Ernest list his occupation as Blacksmith. Ernest remarried in 1912 to Margaret Ellen Abbott.
Frank was killed in September 1914 whilst working as a porter at Kettering railway station when he was struck by an express train.
In the 1921 census , Ernest & Margaret are living in Bank House with their children, Phyliss (7), Ernest (6), Margery (5), and Evelyn (2). Violet is not listed with them, presumably she is being brought up by her grandmother at the post office. Ernest (senior) list his employer as British Portland Cement of Irthlingborough, but that he is currently "out of work". Margaret lists herself as "home duties".
In the 1931 register of electors, Violet is living with her grandmother, Sarah Mayes, at the Post Office.
In the 1939 record, two of the occupants records are still redacted, but the named children are Ernest Jnr (age 25, poultry farmer), Margery (age 23, tailors machinist), Frank (age 16, sharing the same name as his uncle and his grandfather apprentice), and Evelyn (age 21, who worked in a shoe factory); also shown in the house on the day the register was taken is Arthur Abbott, who was 46 years old at that time, and was a farm labourer and was related to Margaret.
In August 1946 there is a conveyance of the property from the estate of David Edward Mitchell, who had died in March 1946. The inheritor was Bertha Parish of the Populars, Finedon. The property was sold to the tenant, Ernest Thomas Mayes. At the same time Ernest purchased all the land that Ralph Abbott had held at the rear of Lower Street, but which had been sold to David Edward Mitchell in January 1929. See map.
In July 1963, Ernest sold a portion of the land to David Walter Turner of Tea Tree Cottage including a right of way for vehicles. See the map for details.
Ernest died in April 1968 and his son, Frank Percy Mayes (named after his brother), inherited the house and land.
In February 1969, Frank sold the majority of the remaining land - see map - in what was to become Manor Close, to Ivan James Royston Musson & Sybil Musson, of The Poplars, Finedon.
Frank Percy Mayes died in December 1985.
Bank House and Brecon House, April 2021
Bank House - c1990 - with original roof
B. Duncan collection
Ernest Mayes who lived in the house with his family from 1939 to 1968. After his death the family continued to live in the house until the death of his son, Frank in 1985. Image c1930's
Newlyweds Evelyn Mayes & Eric Sherwood with both sets of parents. Ernest & Margaret Mayes (nee Abbott) on the right hand side. Image c1943
Violet Mayes, daughter of Ernest & Lucy Mayes. Her mother died the same year she was born. The 1921 census and the 1931 electoral register shows her living with her grandmother, Sarah Mayes. Image c1930's
Bank House & Land - Deed Maps
Plan from 1946 deed of sale. Ernest Mayes purchased both Bank House, marked in red, and the separate plot of land marked in blue.
1963 Sale Deed. Land marked in red sold by Ernest Mayes to David Walter Turner of Tea Tree Cottage. The right of way for vehicle access to the land is marked in blue.
1969 Sales Deed. Frank Mayes sells much of the remaining land highlighted, to Ivan & Sybil Musson of The Poplars, Finedon. This later sold to the property developers of Manor Close.
There is not much information available about Fern Cottage and what there is relates mainly to the occupants over the last 160 years. The building, at least when viewed from Lower street, appears to be built of stone. However, when viewed from the side and rear it is mainly brick, and shows clear evidence of at least three different extensions. There is also an unusual chamfer on the north west side where the "yard" between Fern Cottage and Bank House is, a large stone lintel is positioned above a brick built side wall. There is also evidence of an original entrance door on the same side, where a very old wooden lintel can be seen and the clear outline of a former doorway, now filled in with stone. The house has two main levels on the ground floor and the upstairs has a series of linked rooms with no joining corridor. Part of the building, now the kitchen, was at one pint the storage barn and an outside w/c belonging to Old Stones. At the rear, access was provided to Manor Close in 1974.
There is a building shown in its location on the 1803 enclosure map.
Samuel Vorley, weaver and watchmaker, was living at Old Stone, next door, at the time and the 1803 map appears to show what we know as Fern Cottage as an outbuilding on the Old Stones land. It is not shown as a inhabited building and may in fact be an earlier building used as a barn or workshop.
In 1851 a married couple, William and Sarah Wilson are living in the house. By 1861 William Wilson (who gives his occupation as shoemaker) is aged 65 and living in the house on his own.
In 1871 we have a Sarah Wilson and her husband Charles Wilson in the house. It may be that Charles and William are in actual fact the same person - maybe Charles or William was the middle name - as they share the same birth year, the same surname, the same house, and apparently the same wife. Both are listed as paupers.
Charles and Sarah had married in 1837, both are listed as widowed on the marriage certificate. It is also clear that neither of them can write, as they sign their names on the marriage certificate with a X as their mark.
The next map we have is from 1884 and we can see that the house is clearly defined. The census of 1881 lists Sarah Wilson(b:1805), pauper, aged 74 as living in the house.
As paupers, the couple and then later Sarah as a widow would have been reliant upon charity from the parish (earlier records often refer to "living on the parish") to be able to survive. It is unlikely that they owned the house they lived in, but it may have been provided rent free as there are some references to both James Rennie Wilkinson (Shooters Hill) and Sidney Leveson Land (Manor House), allowing paupers and widows to live rent free.
The clarity of the 1899 map clearly shows the building as being separate from Old Stones, and in the 1891 census Thomas & Mary Coleman are living in the house. Thomas appears to be a game keeper and also a dairy man.
If we jump forward to 1901, Joseph Loakes, (widower) is living there with his two sons. All three list their occupations as Agricultural Worker. There is also a house keeper, by the name of Eva Strange, aged 30 who was originally born in London. It was not unusual for such a small house to have a house keeper in those days, especially as Joseph was now a widow and he and his two sons worked - probably 5 to 6 days a week.
The 1911 census is particularly unhelpful to try and search as nearly every house gives its address as "Great Addington", no house names, not even road names. However, it does appear as if Joseph, now 69, is still living in the house. His two sons have left home, but Eva (now aged 39) is still listed as the housekeeper.
Just before the war in 1939, Emma Tyler (widow), aged 70, and her son Arthur Tyler, age 32, are living there. Arthur lists his occupation as Cowman.
Fern Cottage. B. Duncan collection. c1990
Wooden lintel set into the side wall of Fern Cottage with former doorway now filled in with stone walling. Image 2021.
Unusual angled wall, perhaps due to property boundaries, with large stone lintel set into what appears to be a later brick extension to the original stone building. Image 2021.
Old Stones (also possibly known as Rose Cottage)
B. Duncan collection c1990
Vorley borthers clocks. Early 1800's
Image source unknown
Plan attached to declaration stating that the area marked red on Fern Cottage, actually belonged to Old Stones.
Photograph showing store & w/c on centre left of image built into the structure of Fern Cottage but was stated to be owned by Old Stones. It is believed that as Fern Cottage was extended backwards it encroached onto Old Stones. To save building a narrow angled extensions an agreement was reached to use some of Old Stones land, but give use of the bottom half of the extension to Old Stones, whilst Fern Cottage had use of the second storey.
Thelma Wheatley as a child with her mother Mary and grandfather David Culpin. Source unknown. c1952
Great Addington House (formerly The Rectory and also The Parsonage)
Great Addington House was first built around 1670 as the Rectory. The name seems to have varied over the years, being referred to initially as the Rectory, then the Parsonage, and even as "the Rectory on Parsonage Hill". It is a Grade II listed building and details can be found on Historic England web site.
Leopard House - c1990
Cyril & Sylvia Kelly were living there at this time and as well as being teachers they offered B&B accommodation.
B. Duncan collection
Ralph Abbot, who lived in the Leopard Inn in 1901. He was a Carter, Coal Dealer, and Publican. The image shows him outside Mrs. Child's shop, c1910. Source unknown.
Sarah Abbot. She ran the Leopard Inn with her husband Ralph. Date and source unknown.
Rose Abbot, daughter of Ralph & Sarah Abbot. c1916. Source unknown.
Rose Abbot, daughter of Ralph & Sarah Abbot who ran the Leopard Inn, in the uniform of the Women's Land Army. C1914-18. Source unknown.
Rose Wright, aged 78, still working in Great Addington Post Office (Leopard House). Image copied from unknown Newspaper, c1968.
This is one of only two properties in the village that has managed to keep its name over the centuries. Unusually the exterior of the main building also does not appear to have been changed over the centuries unlike many other others in the village. There is no evidence of an earlier thatch roof, nor does it appear to have been extended to the side or rear. Therefore it is fair to say that the building we see today is as it has been for at least 300 years.
Leopard House is built of stone, mainly dressed and squared with some of the blocks visible on the left hand side of the building being very large indeed. Stone lintels are in place above windows and doors. Interior wooden shutters are also still in place on a number of the window. The roof is slate with only the chimney stacks appearing to have been replaced at some point in brick. To the rear of the property are some of the original stone outbuildings. In the 1990's the building interior was modified and some of the outbuildings connected to the house and incorporated into the main building living space. In the garden are some "cider apple tree" that it has been claimed were planted for local production - fruit trees are mentioned in a property description from 1838 (see below).
The earliest reference to the house is by way of a public house licence review in 1906, by the Thrapston Division of the Petty Session - an earlier form of Magistrates Court - which states:
"The licence was first granted in 1724, and was the oldest house in the division"
In another meeting in that same year at the Northampton County level it is mentioned that the Leopard was the second oldest licenced public house in the county.
The division being referred to was a large area of Northamptonshire that extended from Brigstock to Oundle and down towards Irthlingborough, representing roughly a quarter of the entire county. So it is therefore of great interest that the Leopard is recorded as being the oldest public house in the area and the second oldest in the county.
According to Brian Duncan's history of the village, published in 1990, the next reference relating to the house is from 8th February 1781 in an agreement between brother and sister, Henry and Jane Hudson to change the arrangements of their father's will. He was Henry Hudson, a carpenter from Ringstead, who had died in 1777. The new arrangements gave Henry (junior) £50.00 and Jane the property known as Leopard House.
Jane Hudson married James Allen, a farmer, and in May 1786 they sold the property to Samuel Allen (b:1755 d:1821), Victualler (publican) for £62.00. Samuel and James were brothers. We don't know whether the property was a pub before Samuel, but there is a newspaper report in 1795 that mentions Samuel Allen at "the Sign of the Leopard", indicating that the property was definitely a pub by then.
Samuel had married in 1780 to Mary Alliston of Northampton. At that time he gave his occupation as Baker.
In the 1803 enclosure map William Allen (b:1750 d:1814) is given as the owner of the property. William was another of the Allen brothers. However, the register of electors in 1806 gives Samuel Allen as property owner.
When the commissioners for enclosure drew up the draft map in 1803 a copy was:
"left at the Leopard Inn, in Great Addington, for the inspection of all persons"
William Allen dies in 1814 and in Samuel's will of 1821 - though not "proved" until 1825 - he left his estate to his wife and upon her death to their three children, George, of Bloomsbury, London, and Martha and Mary of Great Addington.
Martha Allen married Thomas Lovell, yeoman, somebody who owned and farmed a small amount of land and could serve on juries and vote. Mary married William Mitchell, paper maker, who worked at the Cotton Mill where they were producing paper for a number of years.
Mary, Samuel Allen's wife, dies in 1838 and the executor of the will is William Beeby, who puts the house up for public auctions held on the premises 19th April 1838:
"that long established freehold public house known by the Sign of the Leopard, in Great Addington...late in the occupation of Mrs. Allen; with brewhouse, barn, stable, and other outbuildings; and also a large yard and garden and belonging, in which are several young and thriving fruit and timber trees"
The highest bidder is William Mitchell who pays £260.00
Three years later in the 1841 census, Mary and William Mitchell are listed as living at Leopard House. There is no mention of the house being a pub at that time, and William puts his occupation as paper maker.
In Whellan's Gazetteer & Director of Northamptonshire in 1849 there is no mention of the Leopard as a public house, the only one listed is the Hare and Hounds.
By 1851 the house is again a pub, William and Mary Mitchell are still there and William now lists his occupation as, Victualer, a licenced publican.
A new family name appears in 1861 when the house, not named but listed as Public House, is occupied by James & Mary Ingram and their 2 daughters, 2 sons, and an apprentice, Henry Levan. James lists his occupation as Wheelwright and Mary's occupation seems to read "ale wife". James was from Balsall, Warwickshire, and Mary was from Spratton, Northamptonshire.
In 1871 the property is referred to as Leopard Inn and is occupied by Lawrence Hudson and his wife Millicent. Lawrence gives his occupation as carpenter. There is no occupation given for Millicent. They are both from Great Addington and at that time both were in their mid-50's. Lawrence was born in 1817 to Lawrence & Elizabeth Hudson, his father was a wheelwright. It is most likely that he was descended from the Henry Hudson who had originally owned the property in the mid-1700's. In 1881, Lawrence and Millicent are still living in the house on their own.
In 1879 a William Battle appears to have brought the Leopard. This would be William Battle who founded Battle Brothers Brewery, in Kettering Road, Cranford in 1861.Battle Brothers Brewery was sold c1926 and brewing had ceased by 1930. At its peak the brewery only owned 7 houses;
There is a newspaper article from 1888 that mentions Mrs Millicent Mary Mitchell, landlady of the Leopard Inn, which would indicate that whilst Lawrence carried on his trade as carpenter, Millicent ran the pub.
By 1891 the house is now occupied by Thomas & Mary Hackney and their daughter Ellen Hackney. There is also a Frank Hackney, who lists himself as "boarder", so is probably a relative though not Thomas & Marys' son. Thomas give his occupation as "Publican & Agricultural Worker". Against Mary, the word Pub is written near the space on the census form for occupation, so it is likely that she was helping to run the pub. Thomas was born in Great Addington and Mary in Aldwinkle. The Hackney family are another of the families that lived in Great Addington for generations, with the name appearing in the parish register for 200 years before disappearing at the start of the 20th century.
Public houses were central to the effective administration of local justice in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. In many communities it was the only readily-available, large, indoor space where public events could take place. So auctions were commonly held in pubs and so were coroners’ inquests. The proceedings were normally held in an upstairs or back room of the pub, sometimes with their own entrances. Such events were good business for the landlord who benefitted from payment for the room and the increased business that was invariably brought. A sad example is from 1890:
Another inquest was held in 1892 into the death of John Milligan who lived in a farm in the village.
There are also a number of reports of public auctions of land and houses in the village being held at the Leopard Inn.
The 1901 cenus gives the occupants as Ralph & Sarah Abbott. Ralph list his occupation as "Carter, Coal Dealer & Publican". Sarah just writes "pub" in the occupation column. There are 6 children in the house with them; though the eldest, Rennie Abbot, aged 13, is already at work as a under shepherd on farm.
From the article above it is clear that whilst Mr. Musson is the licensee and lives in the building. The licence was approved.
In the 1906 licence review the owner is given as Mr W Battle of Cranford. In the objection to the licence renewal it was stated that:
The newspaper article goes on to say that Battle Brothers had owned the Leopard for nearly 30 years. The licence was renewed.
Between 1906 and 1911 the licensee was changed and Charles Houghton took over,
However, in 1911 the Leopard again appears in the Northamptonshire Mercury regarding the licence renewal, and this time the owner is still Battle Brothers brewery.
Mr Campion supported the objection to the renewal of the licence of the Leopard...owners the executors of the late Mr. W. Battle, Cranford; (and) licensee Mr. Charles Houghton.
Mr. Campion said that Great Addington had two licensed houses, and as estimated population of 268, but included in those figures were residents of farm lodges, and residents of a class that did not require a public-house.
...The Hare and Hounds was a better house than the Leopard in point of structure and accomodation, and was much better suited to the requirements of the neighbourhood.
...Mr Battle the owner of the house, is a small country brewer, owning but five houses and it would be inflicting a hardship on the owner if the licence was refused.
Charles Houghton, the holder of the licence gave evidence...he put in a petition signed by between 70 and 80 persons in favour of retaing the licence.
This time however the licence was refused.
In the same article is some interesting information about the layout of the village at the time, as it is mentioned that there are 71 inhabited houses in the village and that 55 were near the Hare and Hounds but only 16 near the Leopard. At this time there were a number of "lanes" of houses that ran at right angles to Main Street, one near vine cottage, and another near the school. There was also a row of houses near the church; therefore the village was very much centred higher up Main street clustering around the church and the school. Lower street had become a quite area of the village with few houses and residents.
After the licence was refused in 1911 by the Thrapston District licencing committee it was appealed at the county level. The licence was again refused, but is was noted that:
"the licence...was the second oldest in the county"
In the 1911 cenus Charles & Florence Houghton re living in the Leopard Inn. His occupation is "publican and ironstone labourer under ground", so was probably working at one the local underground mines, as opposed to the more typical open cast mines that we still see traces of in the area. There were underground mines at Irhtlingborough and also near Twywell. Florence does not give an occupation. They have 3 children, Florence (aged 11), Jack (aged 10), and Gertrude (just 1 month old).
At some point after it ceased to be a pub it was occupied by the Wright family. Rose Wright (b:1890), the daughter of Thomas and Sarah Mayes, and her husband Henry had moved into the property. Henry had served in France during WW1 and been wounded. When he had joined up he listed his occupation as Chimney Sweep, in 1939 he lists his occupation as Baker. The house is not listed as the Leopard Inn, but is now the Post Office.
Also living in the house in 1939, was their daughter, Ethel, and Sarah's mother Sarah Mayes (b:1855) who had been the village postmistress from 1906 until her daughter Rose took over.
Henry and Rose Wright had a son, John Joseph Wright. He was born in 1923 and died serving in the Northamptonshire Regiment, at Anzio in Italy in May 1944, age just 21. His had worked a a bricklayer before joining up in 1942 and was married. His wife's name was Anne Lilian Wright, and at the time of his death she was living in Leopard House - though then it was simply known as The Post Office - with her husbands family.
Henry and Rose were divorced in 1946;
The house remained the village post office up until 1982. Over the years the family tradition had continued and Henry & Sarah Wright's daughter, Freda, had become postmistress and lived in the house with her husband Raymond Panther. Freda retired in 1982 and the post office and village shop was continued by Mrs. Helen Robinson for another 12 months before she left.
It reverted back to being a private house, now known as Leopard House and became the home of Cyril & Syliva Kelly and family. For a period of time Cyril & Sylvia, as well as being teachers, operated the house as a Bed & Breakfast location.
Tea Tree Cottage, c1880. Presumably Robert & Elizabeth Loakes, who occupied the house in 1881, are standing in the door way. The roof is still thatched in this image. To the right of the picture can be seen the attached barn with entrance door which has now forms part of the house. Source unknown.
Robert & Elizabeth Loakes who lived in Tea Tree Cottage and raised 8 children. c1880, source unknown.
Tea Tree Cottage, c1990. Roof now made of tiles and larger windows have at some point being added to the house.
Tea Tree Cottage, April 2021. The roof line of the original thatched roof can be clearly seen as two diagonal lines leading up to towards the chimney.
Tea Tree Cottage
The property is shown on the 1803 enclosure map and is one of a large number of houses and lands that belonged to Robert Andrews, no name is given for the property.
The property originally had a thatched roof. At some point this was replaced with a tile roof and at the same time the wall height were raised. Traces of the original roof line can be seen on the south gable end. As with many of the older properties in Lower Street, the practicalities of building a house on a slope meant that the south (lower) side of the building is built on a raised platform, made of large irregular shaped stone blocks.
The first census record from 1841 does not give a house name, but by implication - it the house next to Leopard House in the records - the occupants are William & Jane Harris and their 8 children. Jane Harris is 35 at the time of the census and the eldest child is Samuel Harris who is 20. The parish register for Samuel's baptism in 1821, states that William and Jane (nee Beeby) were not married at the time Samuel was born.
The census record of 1851 gives the occupant as a Robert & Catherine Loaks (Loakes?), he is a farm labourer.
By 1861 the occupants are David & Sophie Harris and their two youngs children Emmely (Emily?), age 4, and Hannag, age 1. David is an agricultual labourer and is the on of William & Jane Harris who were living in the house in 1841.
The 1871 record show Robert & Elizabeth Loakes as the occupants with 5 children, including Anne who is only 3 weeks old. Robert (b:1839 in Great Addington) is a shepherd, Elizabeth (b: 1838 in Desborough) does not give an occupation. Their eldest child is Hannah and she is listed a being born in Deborough, so presumably the family were living in Desborough after Robert & Elizabeth (nee Payne) were first married. The marriage record shows that the married in Desborough in May 1860.
One of the oldest photographs of the village, dating from c1880, is of Tea Tree Cottage. The 1881 census records shows that Robert & Elizabeth Loakes were still living in the house and now had 8 children. Robert is still a shepherd and Elizabeth list herself as shepherds wife. The two eldest sons Samuel & George, aged 15 & 14, are already at work as agricultural labourers. Their eldest daughter Hannah, had married and left home in 1880. The picture (see left) shows a couple standing in the doorway of the house and presumably this is Robert & Elizabeth.
Ten years later in 1891, Robert & Elizabeth are still living in Tea Tree Cottage (though no house name is given). Robert list his occupation as small farmer. Three of their sons, Samuel, Thomas, and Frederick, are also still living in the house and all are listed as agricultural labourer.
In 1901, the couple are still living in the house, though now with their daughter, Elizabeth (b: 1870) who is listed as housekeeper. Robert list himself as Shepherd on a farm.
Robert died in 1904 and Elizabeth dies 3 years later in 1907.
In 1911 the house is occupied by George & Sarah Sharp. George lists his occupation as Farmer (though where the farm is that he works on is unclear), he was born in Little Addington in 1867. Sarah was born in Naseby, Northamptonshire in 1865, and her maiden name was Gibbs. They have two children, George Henry Sharp born in 1893 and who works for his father on the farm, and Grace Sharp who was born in 1895 and gives her occupation as dressmaker. Ten years previously the Sharp family were living in the Mill Cottages (now demolished).
There are a number of photographs taken outside the house from 1918 (sometime between Jan and March) when Grace married Leonard Davis Abbott (see below) plus a postcard sent by Leonard, presumably to Grace, whilst he was serving in WW1. The card is dated 21 August 1918.
Leonard was the son of Joseph & Elizabeth Abbott who were living in the village in the 1911 census. Joseph there is confusion as to whether Joseph was born in London or in Great Addington, as there are records for both locations. Elizabeth (nee Fox) was born in Calverton, Nottinghamshire. They married in 1885 in Nottingham and lived there for a period of time as the 1891 census shows Joseph and Elizabeth living in Nottingham, and Joseph's sister Eliza was also living with them. Both Joseph and Eliza are listed as having been born in Great Addington, despite earlier records showing Joseph as having been born in London, and both are employed in the lace industry for which Nottingham was famous. Leonard and his sisters, Bertha, Gertrude, and Florence, were all born in Nottingham.
By 1897 the family had moved to Great Addington where more children, Bernard, Mabel and Maud, were born.
The WW1 medal card and records for Leonard are held by the National Archives under reference WO 372/1/2509. He originally joined the Northamptonshire Regiment in 1915 (regimental number 9975) and rose to the rank of corporal, he was then discharged in 1917 to enable him to re-enlist as a commissioned officer with the 3rd Battalion of the Leicestershire Regiment (he retained the regimental number 9975) where he served as 2nd Lieutenant. On his medal card it list Bourneville Cottage, Great Addington as his postal and next of kin address.
In 1913 the house is purchased from Rennie Beauzville Byles & Herbert Horsfall Wilkinson - the executors of James Rennie Wilkinson who had lived in Shooters Hill and who had died that year - the buyer is a Charles Hudson.
There is another transaction in 1928 when Davied Edward Mitchell, now the resident of Shooters Hill, buys the property from Sidney Ernald Ralph Lane, son and heir to Sidney Leveson Lane who had lived in Great Addington Manor until his death in 1911. How the property had come into the Lane family possession between 1913 and 1928 is not known.
In 1939 the occupants are still George Harry Sharpe (b: 1867) and Sarah (b: 1864) his wife. George list his occupation as Dairy man retired. Sarah's occupation is listed as UDD, which stood for unpaid domestic duties.
Tea Tree Cottage, April 2021
Leonard Abbott and Grace Sharp on their wedding day 1918. Grace lived with her parents in Tea Tree Cottage. Image source unknown.
Leonard Abbott, Grace Sharp, bridesmaids and presumably best man and side person on the wedding day 1918. Grace lived with her parents in Tea Tree Cottage. Image source unknown.
Leonard Abbott's postcard from when he was serving in WW1.
Image source unknown.
Leonard Abbott's postcard from when he was serving in WW1. He is wearing the uniform of a 2nd Lieutenant, 3rd Battalion of the Leicestershire Regiment. Image source unknown.
Leonard Abbott's medal card from WW1. Original document know held by the National Archives. Image produced courtesy of the National Archives.
It is believed that the site on which Home Farm is located is the site of the original Saxon hall - Eada's Hringtun. As such it is the oldest continuously occupied site within the village, dating back around 1,500 years. Over the years the building(s) have been changed many times, often being completely rebuilt, but the site has been in continuous usage throughout this time. More information on the village origins can be found in the Anglo-Saxon section.
The current building is largely Victorian in construction and was built around 1890 following the destruction of an earlier building by fire. From the front the building has the appearance of a typical stone built Victorian "villa" made from cut and shaped stone blocks. From the rear though it is possible to see that rougher, unshaped stone has been used in the construction of the property, stones probably reused from the earlier building.
Nothing is known about the form of the building during the Anglo-Saxon period, but after the de Vere family took control of the manor and lands following the Norman Conquest a Medieval Manor house was built on the site and which was the family home for nearly 400 years. Details of the house at this time and the de Vere family can be found in the Medieval Section.
After the death of the last male heir in 1493 the de Vere family house and lands passed to the Mordaunts of Drayton house. It is unclear what happened between 1493 and 1604, but in that year the British History Online records the fact that the house of Great Addington was leased by the Mordaunt family to a Arthur Darcy in 1604 with the chief messuage (principal dwelling house) in the tenure of a John Cootes.
It appears therefore that Arthus Darcy and family were living in the house, which was leased from the Mordaunts by Sir John Cutts on their behalf - the Darcy family appearing to have fallen on hard time, probably due to their Catholic associations. More information about the Darcy family can be found in the Tudors & Stuarts section.
The house and and was acquired from the Mordaunts by a William Andrew some time around 1645. He is mentioned a being a farmer in Great Addington and his son, Thomas, lived the first part of his life in Great Addington. Thomas Andrew was later to become a significant figure amongst the Northamptonshire elite and later lived in Harlestone, though retained his lands in Great Addington.
In, The History of Northamptonshire, by John Bridges, though not published until 1791, 50 years after his death, had originally been written between 1710-20 and Bridges wrote the following:
This is the earliest written reference giving a specific location for the manor house which is the site on which Home Farm sits. It is worth noting that a "Home" farm was the name given to a farm that was located at or nearest to a manor, to differentiate it from other farms which though they may belong to the manor were not "home".
The site is shown on the 1803 Inclosure Map, but no name is given for the tenant on the map, though the name of the property is given as Home Farm. We do know that Home Farm and much of the village and land of the parish was owned by Robert Andrews of Harleston. The village priest, recorded the details of the tenants of Robert Andrews and the amount they paid him. The largest amount is paid by a George Allen and it is therefore reasonable to assume that George Allen was the occupant of the largest farm, Home Farm. George Allen is also recorded as being the single largest paying tenant in the 1790's. More information on the Andrews can be found in the Tudor & Stuarts section.
In the earliest census record of 1841 the occupants of the house - known then as "Bottom Farm House" - was Thomas(35) and Mary Page(30). Also living in the house is John Allen (9), Elizabeth Labut(15) who is listed as "servant", and Jeremiah Knight (15).
In 1851 Thomas and Mary Page are still living in the house. Thomas writes:
"Farmer of 443 acres. Employing 14 men and 6 boys"
Living in the house with Thomas and Mary are Emma Allen (24) who is a visitor - Mary's surname before she was married was Allen and she came from Liddington in Rutland as does Emma. Also in the house is Thomas Lovell (20) and Lucy Wilson (20), both seem to be servants. Thomas Lovell is written onto the census form as a later addition, crammed onto the same line as the entry for Lucy Wilson.
The last tenant of the farm before it was sold in 1865 was Charles Bettler (30), Farm Bailiff, who was unmarried at that time. Also living in the house was Mary Page (55), Housekeeper, and Anne Hanland (16) Servant.
Due to financial difficulties the Andrew family sold their land and property in Great Addington to James Rennie Wilkinson in 1865. For more about the Wilkinson please see the Victorian section.
In 1871, James Rennie Wilkinson and his wife Elizabeth and their servants are listed as living in the "New Farm House". James being a farmer of "400 acres. (employing) 12 men and 5 boys". However, this New Farm House is most likely to be the new house that he built, now known as Shooters Hill.
In the same census there is a reference to the "Old Farm House" which is occupied by a married couple, George (29) and Mary (27), their surname is believed to be Freeman but the handwriting is difficult to read. George is listed as a Gardner - presumably for James Rennie Wilkinson who owned the land and buildings. George is from Risley in Bedfordshire and Mary was born in Brentor, Devon. They have one daughter, Johanna (1).
Extract from 1803 Inclosure Map of the village. Home Farm is the red building, No.35 in the image. The grey buildings, No.36 are also detailed as being part of Home Farm. The large field, No.34 is marked as being an orchard. Building, No38, in red towards the bottom right of the image is the (now demolished) Mill House. At this point in time all the shown land was in the property of Robert Andrews who owned much of the land in the area.
Home Farm and outbuildings, 1885. The farm buildings were far more extensive than the farm building at that time and have expanded considerably since the 1804 map. The mill is shown towards the bottom of the image. Also shown is the mill lake which used to lie between the farm and the mill.
Home Farm and outbuildings circa 1950. The outbuildings are significant in size when compared against the house itself. The modern houses of Lower Street, Ringstead Road, Manor Close, and Chapel Close had not been built at this time.
This is one of the best pictures that captures how the village would have looked prior to the 20th century and is similar to the maps of 1804 and 1885.
At the bottom of the picture can be seen the traditional "kitchen garden" that many houses had dating back for thousands of years - often referred to in older documents as a "close". Replaced later with "allotments".
Image taken before 1955.From the Brian Duncan collection.
After a period of time James Rennie Wilkinson decided that he no longer wanted to be run the farm himself and brought in farm managers to run the estate for him.
In the 1881 census, the farmer is William Smith (51). He records:
"Farmer of 397 acres, employing 7 men and 4 boys"
Also living in the house is Emma (44) his wife who gives her occupation as Farmers Wife, two sons, Frank (16) and George (10), three daughters, Bessie (12), Edith (8), and Henrietta (5), and one servant Mary Rowlett (17).
By 1891, James Rennie Wilkinson had brought a new farmer to manage the estate. John Milligan (30) who was the son of Thomas Milligan of Dean, Bedfordshire where James had learnt farming as a young man. Also in the house was William Craig (23) a visitor who worked in chemical manufacturing and was from the Isle of Wight, Elizabeth Easterbrook (45) another visitor, Lucy Palmer (21) a servant, and Lizzie Bland (23) another servant.
On Tuesday, 23 August 1892, James Rennie Wilkinson's farm manager and friend John Milligan, took his own life. The inquest took place on Friday, 26 August 1892 at the Leopard (House) Inn, Great Addington. A witness, Amelia Carpenter of Little Addington, said she was employed a cleaner by John and was working at the house when she heard the report of a gun as she was in the kitchen. She ran upstairs to the sitting-room, from where she thought the noise came and found John lying on the floor.
By 1911 a new farmer, Hubert Howard (28), had come to live at the farm from Holme in Bedfordhire and manage the Wilkinson estate. He lived there with his wife Ethel (25), his brother in law, Victor Lawrence (15) who worked on the farm, and a servant, Lilly Abbott (16). Ethel and Victor had originally been born and lived in Bridgewater, Somerset.
On Wednesday 12th March 1913 James Rennie Wilkinson took his own life by drowning himself in the lock on the river Nene near the railway station, (now demolished). Hubert Howard was in the meadow near the river working with Mr. Peck. They saw James cross the bridge over the river and walk towards the lock. Howard and Peck went towards James and saw that he “sat on the wall of the lock and appeared to slide in. The lock was about 10 feet deep”. Peck ran towards the station for assistance and Howard ran to fetch a ladder. A porter from the station, Harry Holley, jumped into the water and with assistance from Howard was able to get James out of the lock. “He was unconscious...(and) after artificial respiration..he appeared to come around slightly, his heart beating faintly”. However, as he was being carried to the house he stopped breathing.
Following Wilkinson's death the estate was purchased by the farmer Hubert Howard. At that point in time the house was known as Brook Farm. As well as the farm house and all the land, the Howards brought the four cottages that now make up the Long House, the Corn Mill, the Mill Dam, and the mill cottages.
The Howards were still running the farm in 1939, though by now they had two children John (23) and Agnes (23) who helped run the farm.
In June 1945, a further tragedy occurred when Hubert & Ethels' son, John Hubert Howard (29), was found dead by Hubert in a nearby field. He had died from a single gunshot wound to the head, the inquest recorded it as accidental death. John had been helping Hubert run the farm. In 1947 the Howards put all the animals, livestock and machinery of the farm up for sale. Hubert died later the same year in November.
In 1963 the farm and other properties was sold to Talbot Williams, farmer, of Stanwick. Following the departure of the Williams brothers it ceased to be a working farm. The site of the outbuildings was redeveloped as two new house, Stonecrop and Millfield.
Aerial view of Home Farm. The outbuildings have now been converted and/or replaced with two new houses. The mill which is mentioned in the Domesday book stood at the junction of the two streams at the top of the image but had been demolished by the time this photograph was taken. Image from Brian Duncan collection, circa 1985.
1940 plan of Home Farm and outbuildings (not to scale) showing the layout of the working farm in 1940. Image from Brian Duncan collection, circa 1985. The "rough wall" shown at the top left still stands as seen in the image below.
Home Farm - circa 2019. Much of what can be seen was built in the late Victorian period on the instructions of James Rennie Wilkinson who owned much of the land., including Home Farm, though he himself lived at Shooters Hill.
Boundary wall of Home Farm - circa 2020. An earlier stone wall has been built up in red-brick - possibly during the Victorian period - to give greater privacy to the house.
Jasmine Cottage - c1965
Roseanne Duncan in the foreground
B. Duncan collection
Jasmine Cottage, c1990
The restoration work on the house by Brian and Sheila Duncan was completed by 1967, but the garden took many years of work.
B. Duncan collection
Jasmine Cottage, c1965 before modernisation
Roseanne Duncan in foreground on the right of image
B. Duncan collection
Jasmine Cottage, c 1990
B Duncan collection
Jasmine Cottage - formerly White Hall
The property is shown on the 1803 enclosure map and is one of a large number of houses and lands that belonged to Robert Andrews; the property name on the inclosure map is White Hall. It is also referred to as Whitehall Cottage in later documents. It was renamed Jasmine Cottage in 1967.
Brian Duncan's history of the village (1990) included the following information on White Hall:
Previously belonging to Henry Leete (b: 1750 d:1804), Surgeon of Thrapston, and was acquired by Robert Andrews.
The Northampton Mercury of February 1778 carries a notice by a Mr. Leete, Surgeon, of Thrapston, of a property for sale in Great Addington consisting of:
"a Farm House, Homestead, Cottage, and a little Close of Pasture (field), with about 60 acres of arable land"
Brian Duncan also found an indenture document dated 27th March 1807 drawn up between Robert Andrews and William King, Miller, of Great Addington and his executor giving for one years "peppercorn rent" a property that includes:
"that farmhouse or tenement adjoining the churchyard there towards the south, now or late in the tenure of Charles Currel and William Allen, including that cottage, now in the tenure or occupation of John Beeby the elder and John Beeby the younger, together with a little close where to a Barn doth now or did formerly stand, the total land involved being estimated two rods (half an acre), known by the name of White Hall Close, now or late was in the tenure of William Harris, Blacksmith."
In 1810 Thomas Lovell paid William King £70.00 for a "cottage with a close of pasture adjoining". When Thomas Lovell died in August 1844 his will stated:
"my estate to be sold as soon as convenient, which include homestead house, barns, yard, and garden...I will that my wife Sarah take her household goods what she brought with her and her wearing apparel whats and wheres to her own use"
Everything was to be sold and the proceeds were to go to his son, also called Thomas.
At a public auction held on 14th October 1844, the Rev. James Tyley purchased White Hall Close for £245.00 and would have let it to tenants.
Following the death of the Rev. James Tyley in 1856 all of his property and effects passed to his wife Mary. In her will of 1879 she decreed the property to be valued and offered to the Rev. Richard Dokes who was then the incumbent of All Saints church. He brought it for £30.00 and then sold it in October 1884 to Anna James, for £35.00 and the deeds state:
"three cottages now being erected by the Purchaser on the site of a Cottage or Tenement (lately pulled down by the Purchaser)"
Brian Duncan, in his history of the village (published 1990), questioned the accuracy of this part of the deeds as a date stone on the east gable of the building reads T. L. over the date 1829, which would be Thomas Lovell who had purchased the cottage and land in 1810. He must have added that section onto the older (pre-1810) cottage that was once thatched and still (in 1990) had a wooden lintel.
Thomas Lovell was also probably responsible for raising the height of the external walls - when converted from thatched to tiled - and adding the eastern end of the building.
The cottage mentioned in the deeds from 1884 may have been the cottage of Elizabeth Bolney, shown on the 1803 enclosure map. She had died in 1806 and there are no references found so far as to what happened to that home.
The 1891 census shows Anna James as the housekeeper for the Rev. Richard Dokes and living in the rectory. Brian Duncan references Anna's will, though there is no date given for it, and the property is left to her nephew David E Griffiths - who, age 19, was boarding in the rectory in 1891 and gives his occupation as "scholar". At the point Anna died, David was still studying at Worcester College, Oxford so her death must have been circa 1892.
In the 1901 census there is only one family listed in Whitehall Cottage. Annie Constable, who lists herself as "wife" but gives no occupation, and was born in 1873 in Gainsborough in Lincolnshire. Also on the house are her three sons, Walter (age 7), Percy (age 4), and Talbot (age 8 months). Walter and Percy were born in different villages in Lincolnshire, and Talbot was born in Clifton Reynes, Buckinghamshire which is near Olney. The family had clearly moved around and as Talbot was under one and from a different village they can have only just moved to Great Addington.
In April 1910 David Griffith sold the house to Sidney Leveson Lane of the Manor House for £350.00. The tenants are listed as Feary, Forscutt, and the third cottage is unoccupied. The Feary family would have been John & Charlotte Feary and their 5 sons and 1 daughter. John was from Burton Latimer and Charlotte was from Finedon. John worked as an ironstone labourer and the two eldest boys, aged 16 and 13, worked as shoe finishers.
William Boon(b: 1902 d: 1989) a resident of the village gave an interview to Roseanne Duncan in 1983 in which he recalls Whitehall Cottages.
"Whitehall Cottage were three cottages under one roof and were occupied at one time by three families named Bettles, Fairey (actually Feary), and Hicks. Hicks, an insurance man, hung himself in a shed at the top of the garden."
In the 1911 census there are families by the names Bettles and Feary. There is not a Hicks family listed at that time. It is likely that James Hacker Hicks & Ivy Agnes Hicks (nee Hilson), from Stanwick, are the Hicks family being referred to and they must have have moved into the village some time after 1911. James Hicks had been a career soldier, joining the Royal Marines in 1895 and invalided out in 1911 with a military disability pension. In 1911 James & Ivy are living in Walthamstow, London. His death is recorded in January 1922, but no details are given. James & Ivys' son, Lance Corporal Stanley Hicks, died in January 1944 during WW2 and is buried in Great Addington church yard. Stanley had married Wilhelmena McCaskie in 1938 and in 1939 the couple were living in Rushden.
The property deeds for the house show that it was purchased by Ivy Hicks for £135.00 in 1926 from Sidney Ernald Ralph Lane, the son of Sidney Leveson Lane, who had inherited the properties in the village following his fathers death in 1911.
Ivy Hicks remarried in 1939 to John Ball and at the time of the census in 1939 they were still living in Whitehall Cottages. John was a shoemaker and was born in Oundle.
William Boon also recollected that:
"they (Ivy & John Ball) converted the end two cottages into one. Mrs. Langley lived in the other one, there was a wash-house and barn at one end. A stony lane, Hicks's Lane, which passed Whitehall Cottages went over a stile, into the spinney and on into a gated field. Along the land was an apple and (a) walnut tree."
Mrs Langley, would seem to refer to Phylis Langley and her husband Russell . They were still living in Whitehall Cottages in 1939. Russel was from Ringstead and died in 1970. He was living in Ringstead Road at that time. Phylis Langley (nee Stair) was from Rotherham and died in 2003.
Brian Duncan recorded that the property was sold by Ivy (Hicks as was) & John Ball to a Wilhelmena Marcon Bridgland of the Rose & Crown, Aldwinkle, in February 1960 for £350.00. This is the same Wilhelmena who had been married to Stanley Hicks until his death in WW2. She had remarried in 1945 to Horace Bridgland.
Whilelmina's second husband, Horace Bridgland sold the property to Anthony Harry Gent and Arthur James Brown in March 1962 for £250.00. Wilhelmena died in 2005 and is buried in Wadenhoe church yard alongside Horace who had died in 1979. Wilhelmena's grave gives her name as simply as Marion.
The building was acquired in October 1965 by Brian & Sheila Duncan and the restoration and alterations, including the conversion into a single dwelling and the addition of a north facing wing, took another 2 years. Brian & Sheila also purchased the adjoining north paddock to make a better approach driveway.
Further significant extensions and alterations have since been undertaken by the current owners.
The 1760 map of the Hundreds of Northamptonshire shows 11 mills between Higham Ferrers and Stoke Doyle, of which 4 were between Great Addington and Woodford.
There are known to be a mills at Great Addington as far back as the 9th century and three are listed in the Addingtons in the Domesday book in 1086. Mills were an important source of wealth up to the early 20th century and feature often in land sales and transfers around the village.
There were four mills along the short, but winding section of the valley between Great Addington and Woodford. Three of these were on the river and one was powered by the streams that encircle Great Addington and had been dammed and created a large mill pond at the back of where Home Farm stands - also the probable site of the Anglo-Saxon and Medieval manor house.
The mills have had various names over time but from west to east are best known as follows:
Cotton Mill (Ringstead Mill) - was located on the Nene near to Great Addington and has since been demolished. Its site is where the lock on the river Nene now stands and where the footpath from Great Addington crosses the river, on three bridges.
Great Addington Mill (Corn Mill) - located on the edge of the village and fed by stream. Now demolished.
Willywatts (Woodford) Mill - still stands on the Nene where the Ringstead Road from Great Addington crosses the Nene on the way to Ringstead.
Woodford Bottom Mill (Allens Mill) - was located on the Nene between Woodford and Denford and has been demolished.