1896 Sale of Properties: part 2

Part two of the auction of properties in Chitterne held on 12 September 1896.

Lot number 4: The Grange (known as The Lodge in 1896) and Holmrooke House.

The Grange, or The Lodge as it is here named, included the house and the large outbuilding which is now Holmrooke House

The annotation alongside lots 4 and 5 tells us that in 1896 both lots were withdrawn from the sale. The estate may not have been sold until Lt. Col. Richard Morse bought it in about 1918. Walter Hume Long had kept this estate for his own use and let it to his relatives in the 1880s, and then to the Misses Hitchcock, formerly of All Saints Manor Farm, in the early 1890s, but by 1896 the tenant was William Beak, previously a landlord tenant of the King’s Head Inn.

The Grange about 1913. I don’t have any old photographs of the outbuildings.

Besides The Grange itself, the estate included another substantial building which housed the coaches, stables and servants quarters. The estate has had a few name changes over the years. In 1896 it was The Lodge, as we have seen, by 1901 it was known as The Old Lodge, presumably because by then the present Chitterne Lodge had been so named by Walter Hume Long, who used it as his country retreat in the early 1900s. By 1911 it was being called The Grange. In October 1924 it was renamed Holmrook Grange by the new owner Ernest Lowthorpe-Lutwidge after his birthplace Holme Rook Hall. The name stuck during Miss Margaret Frances Awdry’s ownership from 1932 to 1949 and Group Capt. Leo Maxton’s from 1949 to 1973.  It was after the Maxtons died  that the outbuilding was separated from the Grange. Allan Fair purchased The Grange and the outbuilding was bought by Paddy O’Riordan and converted by 1975 to the Long House, now renamed Holmrooke House by the present owners. For more on Holmrook Grange:

https://suerobinsonmeuk.wordpress.com/2016/07/29/holmrook-grange/

Lot number 5: The paddock behind the Church, Village Hall and Bow House.

Church paddock

This paddock was withdrawn from the auction, it was being used by Mr Beak, the tenant of lot number 4, in 1896.  The measurement equates to almost three quarters of an acre and stretched from the back of the church to the back of Bow House. GD told me that Leo Maxton sold the part of the paddock behind Bow House to his father in the 1950s, so perhaps the whole paddock was owned by the person who owned the Grange estate up to that point.

Lot number 6: The Round House.

The Round House

This is my house. It was not sold at the auction but purchased the following year for £70 by Miss Alice Mary Langford, niece of Frederick Wallis of The Manor. Alice was a tutor, she lived here for the next 20 years. Before that, from 1880 onwards, the Round House was being used by the constabulary to house the local village policeman. I am not going into more of the house history here, it’s available on the web, but according to recently discovered letters at 98 Chitterne, it seems that there was some thought to demolish the house after the death of Charles Morris in 1879.

The Round House is in the distance, to the right. This is the only old photograph I have, it’s from the 1950s I would guess.

More on the history of the Round House:

http://www.suerobinson.me.uk/rh-history/index.html

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1896 Sale of Properties: part 2

1896 Sale of Chitterne Properties: part 1

Following on from my last blog here are the details of the properties that were offered for sale by Walter Hume Long in 1896 from a copy of the auction particulars found at 98 Chitterne. Most of the properties were in St Mary’s parish, apart from a couple in All  Saints. Some were sold, some were not, and some were withdrawn from the sale.

Lot number 1: The White Hart Inn.

white hart inn sale 1896
The inn is now White Hart House

The tenant at the time was William Poolman, a member of the very large Poolman family that had lived in Chitterne since at least 1737. He is usually known as William Meade Poolman to distinguish him from other Williams in the family. In 1865 he married Sarah George, niece of Thomas George previous tenant of the inn, and ran the White Hart Inn from then until Sarah died in 1906. He was a carrier and landlord of cottages as well as an innkeeper and owned quite a few cottages scattered around the village. He has appeared in my blogs before as landlord of 8 cottages in Bidden Lane. As the village carrier he ran a regular service to the local towns and markets.

whitehart2
The White Hart Inn under William Poolman’s tenancy, note his name above the door

The inn was purchased at auction for £2000 by Margant Bladworth (or Margan & Bladworth, it is not clear) according to the pencilled note on the excerpt above. I have not been able to find out who that was. It may have been an agent for a brewery as the same person/s also purchased the King’s Head Inn.

Lot number 2: The King’s Head Inn.

kings head sale 1896
Part of the King’s Head’s ground is a part of the St Mary’s graveyard and 101 Chiiterne

The tenant of the King’s Head in 1896 was George Brown. I have very little idea who he was. His name appears in the Pig Club ledger for providing a Pig Club supper in 1895, 1896 and 1897, but not in any parish records, neither does he appear to be related to the Browns who taught at the school at that time.

kings head thatch
The King’s Head at the turn of the century

The King’s Head was purchased for £1350 at auction by the same person/s who bought the White Hart Inn, Margant Bladworth or Margan & Bladworth, possibly agents for a brewery.

Lot number 3: Bridge Cottage.

bridge cottage sale 1896

The sitting tenant, Miss Annie Compton, purchased Bridge Cottage for £55 at auction. She had been living there since before 1891, and stayed until her death in 1931. She was one of the first women in the country to be elected to serve on a council. In 1894 she was elected to the Rural District Council representing Chitterne, and remained so for almost 40 years. She was also a member of the Board of Guardians of Warminster Workhouse until she was 90 years old.

Comptons-at-King's-Head1
Bridge Cottage is centre behind the horse and cart

Bridge Cottage is named for the bridge over the Chitterne Brook, which it fronts. The bridge was always known as Compton’s Bridge by the locals in those days. It was hump-backed until the second World War, when it was flattened to allow for easier movement of military transport. American troops who were billeted in Chitterne made use of the Bridge Café run by Henry Slater and Lily Poolman at Bridge Cottage during the war.

 

 

1896 Sale of Chitterne Properties: part 1

Sale of Cottages 1905

Lord of the Manor, Walter Hume Long, sold off most of his Chitterne properties in 1896, including the two public houses, but he kept hold of a few cottages in Chitterne All Saints. In 1905 he sold these remaining cottages to Harman Bros, estate agents and surveyors, of Cheapside, London. This last sale finally severed the link between the Long family and Chitterne, which had lasted 75 years.

1905 Sale of Cottages cover
Cover of the 1905/6 brochure. Note the reference to hare coursing, a legal activity in those days!

Harman Bros offered the cottages for sale and a copy of their brochure has recently been found amongst the effects of the late Raymond Feltham. The brochure is interesting for its descriptions of the cottages and the photographs.

1905 Sale of Cottages Rose Cottages
In 1906 The Post Office was at 53 Bidden Lane (Syringa Cottage)

As far as I can tell Rose Cottages were demolished to make way for 58 and 59 Bidden Lane by Polden brothers, builders. Eric Polden lived in 58 and Gerald Polden in 59.

1905 Sale of Cottages Flint House
The garden stretched to Back Lane in 1905

Flint House was purchased by Clement Polden and became home to Polden & Feltham, wheelwrights, carpenters and farriers. The Feltham part of the outfit was Jimmy Feltham, Raymond’s grandfather. Clement and Jimmy were succeeded by Clement’s sons, Owen and Alban Polden. When they retired and sold up Alban built the Walnut Tree bungalow on the back half of the garden for himself and his wife.

1905 Sale of Cottages Pitt's House
In 1905 Pitt’s House had two cottages attached at the rear, alongside Pitt’s Lane

Frank Sheppard bought Pitt’s House and ran his business from there. He started out as a carpenter, but later he mended clocks and mechanical devices, charged accumulators, repaired and sold bicycles and was an agent for motor vehicles.

1905 Sale of Cottages Woodbine Cottages
45 and 46 Chitterne

2 Woodbine Cottages became the home of the village policeman until the 1960s. The County Police bought the properties for £332.9s.2d. in 1906.

1905 Sale of Cottages Poplar Cottage
The Poplars looks quite different

The Poplars was the village smithy from at least the early 1800s. Clement Polden rented and lived here before purchasing Flint House. I do not know who purchased the cottage in 1905/6 but in about 1924 Arthur Polden bought it and gave it the look we see today. He demolished the smithy and raised the roof of the single storey part of the building nearest Woodbine Cottages, moving the front door to the centre at the same time.

1905 Sale of Cottages Chestnut Cottages
60 and 61 Bidden Lane

Chestnut Cottages were built at the request of one of Walter Hume Long’s predecessors, Richard Penruddocke Long. I have written about the unusual construction of these cottages in an earlier blog, “Researching Concrete Houses” on 23 September 2014, to be found in my old blog archive. Number 60 was built as a grocery store or ale house with a storage cellar beneath. It was run by the Bartlett family before the sale, but I do not know who purchased the cottages in 1905/6.

With special thanks to SH and JF for the copy of the brochure.

Sale of Cottages 1905

Clay Pit Hill

Clay Pit Hill is the highest hill in Chitterne parish at 178 metres. It lies south of the village between Chitterne and Codford and from the top you can see the hills beyond the Wylye Valley. The hill is named for the place where clay was dug in the 17th century and carted to Amesbury to be made into clay tobacco pipes. More about this here: Clay Pits

There are two public paths to reach Clay Pit Hill from the village: via a bridleway off Shrewton Hill and via the old Warminster to Sarum road at the top of Shrewton Hill. Both of these eventually join in with the old cart track between Maddington (Shrewton) and Codford that forms the southern part of the Chitterne Parish boundary.

clay pit hill harvest road path start
The finger post marking the start of the bridleway

The bridleway starts from the B390 to Shrewton, just outside the 30 mph limit, and cuts south across a field. Usually the path is cleared by the farmer if a crop is being grown, but when I walked it recently the path was unmarked.

clay pit hill view village
Looking to the right toward Chitterne from the bridleway

Set off across the field heading toward the left end of a line of trees and come to the first bend of the bridleway dog leg, a left then a right.

clay pit hill harvest road corner
This is where you meet the line of trees and the bridleway turns left. Sorry for the poor quality of the photo but the sun was directly ahead

At the line of trees the bridleway turns left and becomes a well-defined gravel track for some way before taking a right turn. Follow the bends of the track until you see a finger post on your left marking Codfod Drove.

clay pit hill harvest road meets codford drove
The junction of the bridleway with Codford Drove

The track bears right but in fact you are leaving the bridleway and joining Codford Drove.

clay pit hill from turning of harvest road
At the same junction looking right toward Clay Pit Hill Clump. The Clay Pit Hill trig point is just visible on the horizon to the left of the clump of trees

The Codford Drove marks the boundary between Codford Parish on your left and Chitterne Parish on your right. Before you get to Clay Pit Clump you will come across the trig point on the right of the track.

clay pit hill trig point
Clay Pit Hill trig point 178 metres

I carried on from the trig point toward Clay Pit Clump. This patch of trees covers the old clay pits and is private land. If you wish to see the clay pits you will need the permission of the farmer at East Farm, Codford.

clay pit hill clump
Finger post at Clay Pit Clump pointing the way to Codford

Turn left at Clay Pit Clump and you are entering Codford Parish. Straight on follows the parish boundary and takes you across fields in Codford parish to emerge eventually on the Codford Road. I turned around at this point and retraced my steps.

The other way to get to Clay Pit Hill starts at the top of Shrewton Hill almost opposite the water tower, where the old Warminster to Sarum road heads off toward Yarnbury Castle. Follow this track for several hundred metres until you reach a finger post on your right. This point is known as Oram’s Grave. It marks a junction of two parish boundaries, between Chitterne, Maddington and Codford. In the old days suicides were buried where the parish boundaries met in order to confuse the spirits of the dead. More about Oram here: Oram’s Grave

clay pit hill maddington to codford drove orams grave
Looking west along Codford Drove from the junction

If you head from here toward Clay Pit Hill on Codford Drove you will eventually come to the same junction with the bridleway that I mentioned earlier, and so to the top of Clay Pit Hill. This track is most probably the track taken by the carters who carted the clay from the clay pits to Amesbury.

Clay Pit Hill

Valdes-Scotts at Elm Farm 50 years ago

valdes-scott, roselle feeding lambs (2)
Roselle feeding the orphan lambs at Elm Farm

50 years ago Elm Farm was still a working farm, rented by the Lovell family from the MOD and run by a manager. Recently some photographs by the family managing the farm for the Lovells in the 1960s have come to light.

valdes-scotts in Chile 1961 (1)
The family before they left Chile in 1961 Javier, Michael, Roselle, Gwendoline, Anthony and David

They were the Valdes-Scott family who had been living in Chile until 1961. Javier Valdes, a Chilean and Gwendoline Scott, an Englishwoman, and their four children: Anthony, Michael, David and Roselle. Roselle was 10 when they came to England. After living for a while in Steeple Ashton, they moved to Elm Farm, Chitterne in 1961/2 and stayed until 1967.

valdes scott, javier at Elm Farm (9)
Javier Valdes at Elm Farm
valdes-scott, roselle in school uniform at Elm Farm (3)
Roselle at the back of Elm Farm in Leweston School uniform

Keen horsemen, the Valdes-Scotts had two horses at Chitterne, Paddy and another whose name I can’t decipher. The dog was called Pip.

valdes-scott, roselle on Paddy(5)
Roselle on Paddy in snowy Chitterne
valdes-scott, roselle and michael (7)
Roselle and Michael at Elm Farm gate
valdes-scott, david (4)
David outside Elm Farm
valdes scott, Anthony and Michael (5)
Anthony and Michael at the bottom of Back Road (now Back Lane)
valdes scott, roselle and friend (3)
Roselle and a friend near the Sportsfield footbridge
valdes scott, roselle (2)
Roselle out on the downs

With grateful thanks to Paul Clarke who acquired the albums and uploaded the photos to flickr.

Valdes-Scotts at Elm Farm 50 years ago

Breakheart Hill

Breakheart Hill lies northwest of Chitterne and divides the village from the Imber Range live firing area. There are two public ways up the hill from the village. Via Imber Road or via The Hollow, otherwise known as the old Salisbury to Warminster coach road.

breakheart imber road (2)
The old road to Imber heading up Breakheart Hill

Imber Road starts from the Tilshead Road in the village, crosses Chitterne Brook, passes between Manor Farm and old All Saints churchyard, through Chitterne Farm West farm buildings and continues on up the hill. It is a hard surfaced road until the crest of the hill, where it suddenly stops as you reach the firing range danger area. At this point, looking ahead, you can see Breakheart Bottom, a dry valley within the danger area. (Incidentally, E M Forster mentions walking through Breakheart Bottom on page 171 of his book called “The Creator as Critic and other Writings”).

breakheart bottom
Looking towards Breakheart Bottom from the by-way

Before the land was taken for military training the road to Imber crossed the valley and passed the site of yet another Field Barn settlement called Penning Barn. A reminiscence of Penning Barn from a 1992 copy of Chitterne Chat, edited by Jeanne George says:

“A stable of 10 carthorses used to graze the large paddock on Penning bank behind the barn …and pigs, saddlebacks and large whites, were bred there and free-ranged in the paddock.”

breakheart byway (2)
The gravelled by-way on Breakheart Hill looking west. Breakheart bottom is to the right.

At the top of Imber Road a gravelled restricted by-way extends to the left and right, almost following the crest of Breakheart Hill. Turning left the by-way brings you eventually to the top of the Hollow and from it you can see for miles across the Imber Range in one direction and back towards the village in the other direction.

 

breakheart hollow (2)

The Hollow starts at the western end of the village in a part of Chitterne once known as Gunville. Although the by-way was originally the stone-paved coach road to Warminster it is now a muddy uneven track much loved by 4 x 4 drivers and trail bikers. It is now in such a poor state for walkers that it has almost lost its status as part of the Imber Range Perimeter path. Walkers following that route are warned and directed toward the easier path via Imber Road.

breakheart hollow (1)

However, if you brave the series of puddly dips and rises and climb up the western end of Breakheart Hill, at the top you will be rewarded with a view across the Wylye Valley towards the hills beyond. On the way up if you look carefully on your left you may even spot one of the original coach road milestones hiding in the bank behind a small tree: Warminster 8 Sarum 14.

It must have been a sight 250 years ago to see a laden coach and horses struggling up out of the village via this route, perhaps after a night spent at the White Hart Inn. No wonder it was known as Breakheart Hill.

 

 

 

 

 

Breakheart Hill

Breach Hill

Chitterne is surrounded by the gentle rolling hills of Salisbury Plain. To leave the village and strike out across the countryside you have to climb a hill, except if you take the road to Codford following the course of the Chitterne Brook.

breach hill
Breach Hill with Middle Barn on the right

Breach Hill is the hill you encounter if you leave the village via Townsend and head towards Tilshead. The road up the hill starts and ends with a set of double bends and, in the old days, with two field barn settlements, (outlying groups of farm buildings and dwellings for farm workers). The double bends mark the passage of the old London road at the bottom of the hill and the old Bath to Sarum road at the top. Middle Barn settlement at the bottom of the hill still exists but Breach Hill Farmstead is no longer at the top.

Strictly speaking Breach Hill Farmstead was just a few yards inside the Tilshead parish boundary, where it stood on the left of the road immediately after the second of the double bends at the top of the hill, but Chitterne was nearer than Tilshead.

breach hill farm 1921
Sketch by the late ErnieGeorge

In broad Wiltshire dialect the farmstead was pronounced ‘Braitchill’. It comprised a barn, cartshed, stable, and cottages. Frank Ashley and family lived in the cottages in 1915 when their four-year-old son Norman was lost on the downs overnight and died from exposure. The Ashley children all attended Chitterne School, but the only time Breach Hill cottage appears on any census for Chitterne All Saints is in 1881. That may have been a mistake or because the Ashleys were originally from Chitterne. By 1921 they had moved to 11 Townsend and Herbert Coleman and William Nash lived at Breach Hill.

breach hill famiy 1925
A family at Breach Hill farm in 1925, sadly I don’t know who they are.

The entire settlement was demolished sometime after 1937 and the War Department (MOD) erected Vedette Post number 4 in its place. This remained until the army’s Copehill Down training village and range road were constructed in 1988 and 2000, and the Vedette Post was moved a few hundred yards nearer to Tilshead.

 

Breach Hill