Saturday, 18 January 2014

Two Green Farm Cottages

This was a pair of cottages butting right up to the churchyard fence, in fact the one facing the church had its front wicket opening into the churchyard and a footpath through the grave stones to the lych gate, and that was the main way to and from that house. (see the bottom picture).

The second house faced away from the church and over looked the Church Farm rickyard and was lived in by a very old lady who's husband had died some years ago. She was loosing her eye sight and also going deaf, she had always fetched her milk from the farm. It got to a stage where it was not safe for her to be walking out, so we would take her milk across the road to her. The house had no mod com's the loo being in the small brick and tiled toilet bottom right in the picture, and only one cold water tap over the sink in the scullery. Prior to 1952 water had to be fetched from the village green pump opposite the school.
 When old Mrs B died, the house was never used again, the same as with the other thatched houses, it wanted re-thatching, the thatch had started to rot around the chimney. In the bedroom above the living room with its wide inglenook fire place was the main wide chimney part of which was faced with wattle and daub and a part timber frame, this collect the smoke from the wide inglenook below. The cast iron range that all these old house had was framed in bricks and a brick main chimney, a long oak beam formed the inglenook.   
When it was pulled down it revealed some old ships timbers that formed the main frame of the house, they were old very hard black oak, when cut with a chain saw, sparks came off the blade. Holes and joints were carved into the timber where they had been fitted together in a ship, now they were used  in a house they were assembled bottom up, inverted and reached up to beneath the ridge of the roof.
The stairs to these old house were formed around a central pole, the steps doing a half turn round it to reach the bedroom above which was little more than a hole in the floor of the bedroom with a hand rail, the second bedroom was accessed through the first.  

Two Green Farm Cottages.
The cottage on the right had only one bedroom window, a front door and window below that and a small scullery window on the far side

The same pair of cottages, the one facing the church had a wicket from its front door through the church yard and out the lych  gate

The second cottage facing the church had two rooms downstairs, a fire place in each, hence the chimney at the end if the house and two bedrooms. This is a much older picture than the top one, the houses appears in very good condition, and looking at the old grave stones in the picture, you can see exactly where the old front wicket used to be and the position of the houses themselves prior to being demolished. The new house built on that site was positioned some thirty feet further away from the church fence.

These old houses disappeared around the time the new Council houses were built, mains water had already been brought in and a new sewage system to cater for the new houses.