The house I’ve moved into is an end terrace, built in 1888. I was keen to find out a bit about the history, with it being over 120 years old, so contacted a friendly local historian to see if he could dig up a bit of dirt on it.
For info, his name is Paul Gardner, and he runs a really good Facebook page – well worth a look – if they let you in (it’s a closed group).
Anyway, within minutes, I was sent a map…
If you don’t know the area, the trees at the top left are now Orchard Street – obviously once an orchard.
In the centre of the map there’s a straight vertical road which was called Mount Lane, but is now Thornycroft Road, and at the top of this there are two buildings – one on the left and one on the right. The right one is the exact site where my house stands.
At this point I got very excited, until Paul pointed out that the map was from 1887. Slight problem there… my house wasn’t built until 1888… and is actually the end terrace in a run of three.
So I asked him if he could turn up anything prior to the map on the census reports, and obligingly he came up trumps with this:
Whilst we can’t prove anything, the area on the map my house now stands on was known as Mount Fields, otherwise known as 11 acres. It seems to fit that a farmhouse stood where I am now, housing William, Catharine and Isaak Hincks, who were farmers. This also might explain that whilst digging in the garden I’ve come across great dirty chunks of red-brick concrete stuff, which I’m still undecided about whether I’ll be able to get out of the ground or not. Perhaps these are a part of the old farmhouse?
The title deeds from 1888 suggest the house was owned by William Gray Farmer and sold to John Hill, and in 1926 the house was owned by Elizabeth Smith and David England.
In any case, it’s been really interesting to find out a bit about the plot and the generations who have lived here before. I may well go to the library at some point to have a good old afternoon digging around in any old records or microfiches they may have 🙂