Securing our history for the future

Church Road (Part 1)

Sunnyview Cottage, Church Road (opposite the School)


Above: Sunnyview c. 1997

sunny view cottageLeft – Sunnyview c.1935 boy Phillip Porter                         

Right -Sunnyview c. 1925 as seen from Church with the small house in the distance

Constructed of blue lias stone which has been rendered.  In 2000 this cottage boasted a traditional Devon Hat thatched porch.

Built by Jacob Crocker during the period 1776-1787.  Jacob Crocker also built the house next door Rose Cottage (see below).  Jacob was married to Martha Nickliss 13.4.1769 and their family consisted of William, John, Alice, Joanna, Elizabeth Crossman, Elijah, James, Benjamin, Sarah, Joseph, Mary and Charles.

On Jacob’s death the cottage would, it seems, have been left to his wife and sons and, at that time, used as two separate dwellings.  Shown on the 1841 Tithe Award as Tithe Nos. 140a and 140b.

 Tithe No. 140a

1841 census lists Charles Crocker, aged 45, farm labourer, youngest son of Jacob and Martha.   Ann aged 27, Lydia 19.  Owner Charles Crocker (born 1795 died 1867). 

1851 census Charles Crocker 58, shoemaker.  Nieces Ann and Lydia both receiving alms.

1861 census Charles Crocker, aged 68, boot and shoemaker.

1871 census Lydia Crocker aged 43, unmarried.  Ann Clark 55, widow, sister of Lydia.  Ann Clark, nee Crocker had married Francis Clark in 1859.  Both Lydia and Ann had been born in Bawdrip and were the daughters of Elijah Crocker, who was residing at Rose Cottage.

1881 census no listing

1891 census Lydia Crocker aged 69, Ann Clark (nee Crocker) 78 widow and pauper, Jane Crocker aged 72, another sister.  All born in Bawdrip.

By 1897 only Lydia is shown as occupying the property.

Post 1897 Charles Dowden and his mother Mrs Phillips (who had remarried)

1924 William Shorney.  The Shorney’s did have a connection to the Crockers through the marriage of Jane Crocker (daughter of William[1] and Lydia)  to Samuel Shorney in 1853.

Tithe 140b

1841 census John Crocker[2], thatcher, aged 69.  Hannah (nee Brice) aged 64, wife.  Richard, son, a shoemaker, aged 40, Charlotte, daughter, aged 30.  Owner John Crocker.

1851 census John Crocker, thatcher, aged 79, a widower.  Richard 50, his son, a shoemaker.

1861 Richard Crocker, letter receiver, boot and shoe maker.  As Richard was “letter receiver” this may indicate that the house was used as a small post office.

1871 census Richard Crocker 76, boot and shoemaker.

1897 Ann Clark (nee Crocker) sister to Lydia who was living in the other part of the cottage.  Ann, herself, had lived in 140a 1871-1891.

1924 Thomas and Edith Lynham

It then appears that the cottage reverted to one dwelling and the inhabitants were as follows:-

c. 1939 Thomas Porter and his wife Nancy (nee Lynham)

1947 Fred Cox and his wife Gladys (nee Lynham)

22,2,1975 sold to Freda Charmain Smith of Nether Stowey

2001 Len Baker with his partner Roz


c1864 view towards Rose Cottage from field where newer houses now stand

Rose Cottage, Tithe 140


Rose Cottage, last building on the left c. 1959.  Old Smithy on the right, demolished 1976

A pretty small blue lias cottage which has been rendered.  Extract from the original deed:

”In 1775 Jacob Crocker enclosed a small part of waste land and there erected a cottage”

Jacob died in 1798 and the cottage was left to his widow, Martha (nee Nicklis), and their sons.

12 April 1810 James Crocker bought the cottage for £10 from his elder brother William

In 1827 James died and left the property to his daughter Jane, although it was occupied by her Uncle Charles.

1841Tithe Award, the 3rd son of Jacob and Martha, Elijah Crocker was resident

1841 census Elijah Crocker, 65 a farm labourer

c. 1845-1885 Elizabeth and Jane Crocker (sisters) lived there “upwards of 40 years” according to some notes with the original Deeds.  However, according to the census returns Jacob Crocker 51, a thatcher, and his wife Ann 46 (born Cossington) lived there from the time of the 1851 census.  They had previously lived at Tithe 141 the Poor House in 1841ousH.  Elizabeth and Jane were their daughters and appear on the census returns for 1851 only when they were aged 8 and 12 respectively, so although their parents lived there upwards of 40 years, they themselves did not.  Also on the 1851 census return were their siblings Edwin 10, Jacob 6, Charles 4, Sarah 1, Ann 1 month.

1861 census Jacob, thatcher.  Ann 53, wife. Children Edwin 20, Jacob 17, Ann 11, Joseph 6.

1871 census Jacob 69, Ann 66.

1881 census Jacob 80, pauper.  Ann 77, pauper.

In 1897 Elizabeth Crocker, who was then living in Bristol, her sister, Jane, having died earlier that year, sold the property to William Conduit.  He had a mortgage from Mary Petheram, widow, of the Knowle Inn to purchase Rose Cottage and the two other cottages which made up Sunnyview (see above). 

1901 census William Conduit, aged 37, born in Wembdon.  Occupation Limestone Quarry worker.  Wife Mary, aged 33, born in Moorlynch.  Children Bessie 13, Frank 12, George 10, Bertha 8, Gertrude 2

Bill lived there from 1897 until his death in 1951 when he left it to his grand-daughter Cissy, whom he had raised from a very early age.

Cissy lived in the cottage for the rest of her life until she died in 1993.  The cottage originally included the land opposite (now the site of Kingsmoor House) and this was Cissy’s garden, her pride and joy.  The property was then renovated and the two original outhouses were incorporated into the main structure.

[1] William Crocker born 1803 married Lydia and had 4 daughter and 1 son.  Mary and Jane christened 1834, Sarah christened 1836, John christened 1840, Emma christened 1848 (later married to Robert Harris)

[2] John Crocker , second eldest son of Jacob Crocker and Martha Nicklis,  married Hannah Brice 5.4.1794.  Children, Richard, Thomas, Sarah, Joseph, William, Charlotte, Edna and James.

The History Articles reproduced are owned and were researched and produced by Suzie Lewis and her father (now deceased), John Jenkins.