Building in the 20th and 21st Century



`Squire' Hardwicke came to the village in 1881, at the age of 24, to assume responsibility for the Hardwicke estate. Quite soon he seems to have taken control of the quarry up West Street which had been started commercially by J H Tyler, by then deceased. Cottages further up West Street stood in the way of the quarry's expansion and their demolition would require new houses elsewhere. So first came the erection of two pairs (including a shop) and a terrace of four cottages along the Itchington road beyond the recently built Chapel and bakery, followed by four pairs of houses up Stow Hill - locally known for a while as The Town. One of the cottages up West Street, however, posed a problem for Hardwicke, for it was freehold and the owner, Giles Powell, would not sell. The story is told that he gave way only when promised a superior freehold house elsewhere. The new house, with faggot-fired bread oven included, was built for him up Stow Hill (now named Callicot) and surviving within living memory is Grannie Powell, his daughter, whose bread was acclaimed as the best ever. The late Bill Poole as a boy used to deliver her bread round the village, and George Pearce recollected fetching 'huge round loaves' to cope with the farm workers' staple diet of bread with cheese and cider.
With the railway in 1872 had come the station master's house and the school in 1877, and the school house.    Photograph right shows the station master's house pictured in 1990.

The Larches was built in 1900, for Robert Hay, estate manager to the Hardwicke properties, and with the opening of Grovesend quarry in 1902, four wooden bungalows (The Huts) were built on the quarry site for workers there. In the early '20s the four families were Lambert, Pitt, Hobby and Fowler. The last Hut was demolished soon after the Second War.

The construction of New Road early in the century cutting through Hill Covert to the top of the hill, gave access to land on which two detached and two semi-detached houses were built. Perhaps the provocative Liberty House (1900) was the most conspicuous accession to the buildings of this period.

The between-wars period saw relatively little new building, with the major exception of the Woodlands council estate. 1926 saw the replacement vicarage at the top of Stow Hill, and The Coppice for the quarry manager. Southlands, the second council estate, followed after the Second War, but it was not until 1950 or so that the appearance of the village began to change again quite dramatically. Infilling has been extensive in Duck Street, West Street, Station Road, Itchington Road and especially up Stow Hill. Rocklands, Barn Cottage and The Old Forge are conversions. Many dwellings were extended - Hawkins's, Porch House, Rock Cottage, New House Farm and cottages on Tytherington Hill, among others. Recently three small estates of 'executive' houses have been built at the Jays, on the Goat Field now called The Orchard in early 1990 and the Nurseries. In Itchington and Stidcott, there has been minimal development.
Woodlands 1990 Woodlands 1990 Southlands 1990 Southlands 1990 The Jays viewed from church tower
Arthur Clements working at Grovesend c 1945 with the quarry huts in the background Liberty House 1908 Liberty House c 1950 House on the Orchard Development 1990  

Building the Jays


OS Map 1959 Woodlands OS Map 1966 Southlands OS Map 1959 revised 1989 The Jays