Smaller Properties in Itchington

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Itchington

 

Elmington Villa

Emletts Farm

Feoff Cottage

Freemans

Gate Farm

Hopyard Cottage

Little Scratch

Millards

Ramsoak

The Villa

 

Click thumbnail photos to enlarge.


Elmington Villa, built about 1852 on the site of a previous building (though the plot had been vacant for at least 100 years), was the property of James Smith, a retired farmer from Hallam, whose daughter Eleanor married Samuel Cox Pullen at The Laurels across the road. His son William lived in the house until his death in 1918, when Herbert Pearce of Lower Farm bought it from Huntley Pullen. It was subsequently used by farm employees of the Pearces, notably Fred Alway, ploughman and carter to the family for 60 years.

Elmington Villa Standing stone at Elmington Villa from a local field, possibly of prehistoric origin


Emletts Farm was a six acre freehold farm owned and occupied by Luke Meredith until 1850 when the freehold was bought, probably by William Pullen at The Laurels, and a tenant, James Pitman, put in. In 1862 James Smith of Elmington Villa bought the property from William Pullen's estate and put it in trust for his daughter who was later to marry into the Pullens. The Pitmans remained until about 1880 when Arthur Clements and his young family moved in. A carpenter and wheelwright when young, he had married Caroline Lyons from Ramsoak and turned to farming, moving later to Manor Farm and Webb's Close. His descendants have been prominent in the community's life.


Feoffee Cottages the original farmhouse of the feoffees (trustees) of the Attwell Charity for Thornbury School. In origin, the building is probably a 17th century longhouse.

Feoffee Cottage c 1985 Feoffee Cottage c 1995 after renovations

Freemans, within living memory known as 'Freemasons' and in the 18th century as Hockleys, was not part of the Itchington Lord of the Manor's estate; by 1839 it was owned by John Salmon and occupied by William Nelmes. There was no farm land attached to it. By 1850 George Moxham was installed and over the years built up an associated farm, with 45 acres in 1881. Charles Vowles was the tenant up to the first World War; the vicar, the Rev. Mr Arkell used to fetch Vowles for communion every Sunday in his horse and trap. Lewis Bryant, a tenant only briefly, was followed up to 1931 by Harry White who married Miss Camery from Hill Farm across the road. The house was much altered in the '70s.

Gate Farm at the south of the parish was another of the small freeholdings; George Champion and then his son Henry farmed here from 1850 to 1924, the freehold being sold when George died. In their later years, they kept a grocer's shop in the premises. It is recounted that George aged 85 was taken short one bitterly cold night, and when he did not return to the house, his wife Mary Ann also 85 went to look for him. Next morning, both were found in the privy, dead.  The newspaper report of this incident can be found here.


Hopyard Cottage with two small fields, freehold in 1839, was owned by James Matthews, a bachelor of 59. His widowed sister Martha Bedggood, living with him and six years older, was the mother of John Bedggood, a true pioneer in the very early days of New Zealand. Martha sent an interesting letter full of local and family news to John in 1837 which fortunately has been preserved. 'We have had a glorious Autumn, abundant crops of Hay, Corn, Fruit, etc , all well got in, we can hardly find casks for the Cyder'. By coincidence, the earliest existing postal communication with the village is a letter of 1815 from the Stamp Office in London to 'Mr Matthews, Tytherington, Gloucester' about the estate of William Matthews, brother of Martha and James. For many years of this century, farm workers at Lower Farm lived here.


Little Scratch was built around 1800 on freehold land, probably by a member of the well-known Tytherington family of Moxham. James was a thatcher of hayricks not houses married to Hester Drew and with a young family living here in 1839 with seven acres of land. He died in 1859 but his son John, also a thatcher, was married by then to Fanny Lyons (of Ramoaks) and no doubt was glad to take over the Moxham house where he lived for many years. The Electoral Roll of 1910 shows that John Moxham still possessed the freehold house.

Little Scratch, Itchington

Millards, an example unique in the area of a two-roomed gable-entry house was wantonly destroyed a few years ago. Some details, observed before its demolition, are in Linda Hall's book on South Gloucestershire Farmhouses, with more in her unpublished notes. A small 17th century stone house, it was occupied by the family Millard in the 18th century. 'Millards House' in the Tithe Award is an indication of its importance, for few dwellings were described as 'House'. George Moxham, the sitting tenant, may have bought the property from John Salmon in 1843 but soon moved to Freemans, his son later living in Millards; so by 1881 there were Moxhams at Little Scratch, Freemans and Millards. George died in 1889, at the age of 77, but Charles continued the association and he and his brother John at Little Scratch were joint tenants of Feoffee Farm. The rent was 60 pa for 35 acres.

The name `marlease' occurs in a document of 1592, a marshy pasture, but not until about 1800 was there a dwelling here at Moorleaze. On the Estate Map of Lord Willoughby de Broke's lands in Itchington, 1769, one field is shown as belonging to G Hardwicke Esq. The boundaries of this field exactly coincide with those of the fields owned by James Shield in the Tithe Award Map of 1839. G Hardwicke died about 1800, and it is a reasonable assumption that the 91/2 acres of land were bought by James Shield, and the house built. James Shield (c.1781 1856) lived at Moorleaze until he died, a pauper. As he grew older, it seems that he let his land to John Sainsbury at Edwards Farm. Later, James Sansum, who owned Wistaria Cottage, worked the land, leaving the cottage empty; but by 1871, the house, perhaps rebuilt, was again occupied. John Smith, son of James Smith at Elmington Villa, Itchington, had married in 1869 and lost his father in 1871. The Census shows that in that year John was living at Moorleaze, and farming 98 acres, employing 2 men. By 1881, he was farming 142 acres, employing 3 men. He is recorded in Kelly's Directory of 1910, and died in 1911. His grandson, Roy Edgell (pictured below), still lived on the site for a number of years, though the house was derelict.    The house was of interest because of its low profile and the courses of Pennant Sandstone slabs at the eaves. It is now a complete ruin.

Moorleaze in ruins c 1985 Roy Edgell with father George at Moorleaze June 1926 Moorleaze in ruins c 1985

OS Map 1966 showing position of Moorleaze  

Roy Edgell at Moorleaze 1978


Ramsoak, high on the limestone plateau, was built around 1800, a cottage with garden, flanked by two small nursery plots. Part of the manor's estate, it was occupied for many years by Charles Lyons, whose descendants were associated with many other well-known village families, such as the Moxhams, Eacotts, Boyts, Clements and Kingscotts. For forty years from 1900, market gardener Frederick Thorne used to take his produce to Bristol in his horse and cart. Elsie Bryant moved to Ramsoak from Woodleaze Farm in a house 'swap' with Eric and Frances Bryant.  Since the war, Glyn Goulden (daughter of Elsie) occupied the house. The name goes back many centuries: `Ramoxwoode' and `Ramoxefylde' in a 1592 document, Romox Wood on a map of 1823, Ram Oaks Wood in 1839, Ramsoak in 1989. The hill was wooded until at least 1840

                                                            

OS Map  1878 revised 1936 showing Ramsoak Cottage, now demolished to make way for the Quarry.


 

The Villa (formerly Webb's Close), another small stone house, freehold in the 18th century, was owned by the Hobbs family. George Pinnell moved in as a young married man in 1840 and stayed until his death in 1883. Arthur Clements moved here on retirement from the Manor Farm, and his descendants live in The Villa to this day.
Between The Villa and The Laurels, in the 18th century, was a small house with a carpenter's shop and an acre of land. This was the home of the Bedggoods, who served the community as carpenters through the 17th and 18th centuries. A memorial on the walls of the church movingly records the lingering death of a young Bedggood; exceptionally, it is made of wood.

 

 

   

At the very south of the parish is a house, Meadow View in which, early in the century, lived Dr Phelps, a partner of the cricketer Dr W G Grace who practised in Thornbury. He used to demonstrate to visitors his fitness at the age of 90 by performing somersaults!

Meadow View, Itchington

Itchington Common or Itchington Field is remembered with affection by some older parishioners. Indeed my (Allan Baddeley) younger son used to ride his bicycle there, and remembers it as somewhere quite different from the surrounding area. High, secluded, full of wild flowers and with beautiful views, it has now been violated by the M5 motorway. Up here were a small farm, a quarry and one of the parish's important limekilns.
Itchington Common old quarry c 1986 Old Itchington Quarry viw from River Itchen