Securing our history for the future

Church Road (Part 3)

Tithe No. 190

No longer standing but sited between 25 Church Road and Rosemar was a row of 3 cottages lying at 90 degree angles to the road.  In old documents these are listed as being part of the Court Farm holdings.

cliff crane rosemar church rd

Church Road no 5 Ed crane

3 cottages Church Road

In 1841 these properties comprised 2 houses and a shop with tenants Mary Harris, George Rich, butcher, and Robert Pearce, carpenter.  They were owned by John Brice who was farming at Church Farm.[1]

1851 George Rich does not appear on the census, although he does in 1861.  So he just may have been away on the day of the census.   Judith Durston 51, receiving alms, Charlotte her daughter 12 and Ann Jones 17.  Henry Perry 35, Jane 28 his wife

1861 George Rich, wife Ann.  Henry Perry 46, wife Jane 39 and Ann Stone 70, widow.

1871 George Rich, wife Ann.  (George Rich died March 1879) .  Henry Perry 51, labourer, Jane 49.

1881 Henry Perry 61 and his wife Jane 59.

1891 George Sellick 26 and his wife Emily 24.

John Clist 30 farm labourer, Emily 29, wife and children Ann 8 and Beatrice 6.  

Jane Perry 68 widow and pauper, Sarah Ann Belham 31 (nee Perry), James Belham 27, son-in-law, Caroline Arthur 40, daughter and Bessie Arthur 4, grand-daughter.

1901[2] George Sellick 36, Occupation cement labourer, wife Emily 34 and their 5 children Bertie 10, Willie 6, Louisa 8, Lavinia 4, Rosina 6 months

Harriet Stone 73, widow, Frederick Stone 12, grand-son.

Charlotte Combs 67.

8.7.1903 when the holdings of Court Farm were auctioned they were described as “a block of 3 cottage tenements having good gardens and containing altogether about 35 perches, situate in the village and near the Church and being in the occupation of George Sellick at 1s6d per week, Henry Warner 1s0d per week, the third being void and lately let at 10d per week”.

The property was bought by William Conduit for £70.

In 1922 the property was purchased by Clifford Crane, no relation to the Cranes who currently reside in Bawdrip.  Clifford Crane died aged 80 on 3.1.1967.  Over the years the properties gradually declined until they were condemned in 1969 and demolished in 1970.  Mike Hawkins then built the three detached houses using the blue lias from the old cottages.  Mike and his wife Margaret live in the middle house of the three.

On the opposite side of the road, to the south of the Churchyard and to the side of Sunny View is

Church Cottage Tithe Nos. 141a and 142,

church cottage 2003

which has been sympathetically renovated. This building was once two dwellings, one of them occupied in 1650 “lately by William Barnes owned by Richard Millard”.  In a 1650 survey Richard Millard is shown as paying the rental of 1s for a  house, barkside adjoining the Church House and containing ½ yard late in possession of William Barnes. 

In 1730 there is a reversion of the Elizabeth Millard (decs’d) lease.  The tenant at that time was Thomas Symes, a tailor by trade.  A rental document dated 1730 states “lease, Thomas Syme, tailor, on the lives of his sons Richard and Charles.  All that cottage and barkside adjoining the Church House.  ½ rood, fine £12, rent 1s, herriot £1.  Late in the possession of Elizabeth Millard decs’d[3]”.  This lease, we believe relates to the present Church Cottage and ties the cottage back to the Millard family.  The rent rolls indicate that Thomas lives here up until 1751.  On his death the lease passed to his son Charles and remained in his tenure until 1768.

There is mention of the cottage in Mr J C Knott’s notes, recalling his childhood days in Bawdrip in the 1820s, of  “Old Jin Ooder (possibly Woodyear) who lived in the Poorhouse, close to the church wall, on the south wide, was reputed to be a witch and really looked like one (so far as my imagination goes) and I was terribly afraid of her.  It was her habit, and not hers only, to fling all kinds of filth over the churchyard wall into the churchyard”.

In the 1841 Tithe Award Church Cottage is listed as the Poor House.

1858 Revd. Warren proposed paying £20 for the Poor House.  He was met with some opposition from Thomas Hurman of Bradney House, who consider it to be worth £40 and offered that sum for it.  However, Thomas was outvoted (or outmanoeuvred) and the Revd Warren became the owner on the understanding that the premises be made available for a Parochial School.  As far as we can tell it was never used for that purpose.

village from the south

Looking towards old smithy area c. 1860 and Church Cottage/Rose Cottage area

There is further mention in 16th century documents of The Church House Tithe No. 141, which was later used as The Poor House and later referred to as The Old Poor House.  This cottage stood somewhere between the present Church Cottage and the modern house “Woodfield” next door. The first record we can find of the Church House is in the Court Rolls dated May

1591[4] when the wall and gate between it and the Church was in decay and needed to be repaired.  An early document dated 1634 states “the poor were housed in The Church House”.  Rent was paid for it by the Parish until 1760.  On 2nd October 1763 the parish registers record a Susannah Lyd being buried out of the Church House.  The Vestry Minutes dated July 11th 1849 state that they wish “to consider a letter from the Poor Law Commissioners relative to the sale of the Poor House, frontage and garden.  A proposal was made by the Revd. John Warren, curate of the Parish, to the effect that he would become the purchaser of the said property, at the sum of £50.  The Revd. William Allen consenting to withdraw any claim or title he may have had to the said property.  Upon which it was unanimously resolved that the above proposal be accepted”.  At a subsequent meeting in October 1849 “attended by owners of property in the parish, legally entitled to vote, and of the ratepayers therein, held at the Vestryroom in the said Parish.  It was resolved by a majority of such owners present in person and of such ratepayers at such meeting, that they do consent to the Guardians of the Poor of the Bridgwater Union, selling the dwelling house known as the old Poor House with frontage and garden, situated near the Church in the Parish of Bawdrip, under the provision of an Act lapsed in the 6th year of the reign of his late Majesty King William IV, an Act to facilitate the conveyance of workhouses and other property of Parishes and of incorporation, or unions of Parishes in England and Wales in such manner and subject to such regulations, rules and orders”.  We assume from this that Revd Warren came into possession of the building for the £50 agreed.  The Old Poorhouse/Workhouse had disappeared by 1882, as documents of that date refer to land where “the former Old Poorhouse stood”.

The 1841 Tithe Ward shows the Old Poorhouse, Tithe 143 being referred to as The Workhouse, inhabited by paupers and run by the Parish Overseer.

Millstone Cottage (formerly known as The Retreat) Tithe No. 192


Part of Millstone Cottage rhs

This dwelling used to be a creamery.  It was occupied in 1841 by Jane England, aged 55, of independent means, and owned by John Bellringer, who resided at Crandon House (known as The Silver Fish and no longer standing).

Auction details advertised in the Bridgwater Mercury of 2 July 1874 refer to the accommodation as follows “capital messuage or dwelling house, garden, stable, coach house, turf-house, piggeries, herediments and premises, situate in the centre of the village of Bawdrip, now in the occupancy of Mr Edwin Gould, dairyman, as tenant, containing by measurement 29 perches (more or less), and numbered 192 on the tithe apportionment.   The dwelling house is stone and brick-built and tiled and contains parlour, best and second kitchen, pump and wash-house, cellar, four bedrooms, a newly erected brick-built dairy and cheese-room and the usual domestic other outbuildings thereon will be found extremely convenient.  The premises are in good repair and well supplied with water”.

1881 census lists James Pople aged 37, farmer.  Wife Annie aged 40.  Children Henry 12 and Maggie 4.

By 1885-1902 James Pople was the owner/occupier and he was still there in 1919 when his wife died.

Alfred Wensley lived here prior to moving to Greenfield Cottage in 1939.


4 Church Road and Corner Cottage

Next door is 4 Church Road, Tithe 195

Constructed of old red brick, with blue lias stone gable end.  On the side of the property fronting Church Path you will notice and old buttress and in the stone wall a wooden lintel indicating where a doorway used to be.  We believe this indicates the origins of a much older house.  One half of the house was previously used as the village bakery.

1841 James Darch (baker) was the owner/occupier.  The census tells us that he was aged 40 and lived here with his wife Charlotte aged 35 and daughter Sophia aged 7.

1847 John Durston.

1861 census Lewis Durston aged 28, a labourer.  Mary aged 26 wife.  Children Elizabeth 3, Sarah Ann 1

1871 census Lewis Jones Durston born Catcot aged 38, Mary Nation born Goathurst aged 32.  Children Elizabeth 13, Sarah Ann 11, Charles 6, William 10 months.

1881 census Lewis Jones Durston born Catcot aged 47, clergyman’s secretary, Mary National, born Goathurst aged 43.  Children Charles aged 16, born Bawdrip clergyman’s secretary and William Lewis aged 10.

1891 census Lewis Jones Durston aged 57 gardener, wife Mary aged 51, William aged 22 carpenter.

1902 Lewis Durston, owner Mrs Godfrey.  Lewis Durston died March 1910.

1926-1939 William Durston

1939 Thomas Godfrey of Westonzoyland (owner)

26.1.1939 Purchased at auction by Thomas Henry Porter, whose descendants, Jeffrey and Phillip still live there.

[2] The cottages are now being referred to as Allen’s cottages

[3] Elizabeth Millard was the daughter of Richard Millard and had died in 1672, as recorded in Pawlett Parish Records.

[4] PRO SC 2/198/8

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