Patchwork Cottage and the Old Forge, Stowell Hill Road



A date in the second half of the 18th century has been suggested for the building of this simple house. By 1813 Peter Cullimore, carpenter, was living in the house, working in the wheelwright's shop which stood on the corner of the cross-roads, opposite the church. The Cullimore family had lived in the parish for a long time; at least four `Colymers' were tenants of the Lord of the Manor in 1554, six Cullimores were listed in the survey 'Men and Armour for Gloucestershire' in 1608, and through the years they could be found at Baden Hill and Stidcote as well as in Tytherington and Itchington. None lives in the parish now, though several live in the neighbourhood. Peter, born in 1781, continued to live at Patchwork Cottage after he retired, and died there in 1862. His son Matthew followed his father in the craft and, married with a growing family for which there was little room in father's house, built accommodation on to the wheelwright's shop on the corner where he continued to live and work, adding a grocer's shop no doubt for his wife Matilda to run and taking on an apprentice. He was blessed with six daughters but no son, and by 1890 he seems to have retired, age 70, and is recorded as the owner of a freehold house at Cutts Heath.

The workshop was owned by H L Hardwicke, the young Lord of the Manor, who was building new houses along the road to Itchington and up Stow Hill to replace many of the older dwellings he owned. It is likely that the wheelwright's workshop was demolished at this period, as farming in its very depressed state could scarcely support two wheelwrights in Tytherington and George Winstone, another wheelwright, had taken over Patchwork Cottage and was flourishing. There had been a wheelwright's shop at the head of West Street for two or three hundred years in the middle of a wide roadway opposite Brook Farm (now quarried away). George Winstone and his father before him had worked at this workshop which may well have been rambling and rickety by now. Peter Cullimore's death gave George the opportunity to move into the centre of Tytherington. He took over Patchwork Cottage, built a carpenter's shop on to it, with workshop on the first floor and store underneath, and after twenty years was able to describe himself as 'Master Wheelwright, employing two boys'. He also had a lodger, a Londoner, Miss Louisa Pullen, a teacher at the newly opened Board School. But he had no children, and when he died in 1893, nobody succeeded him.

The photo above (right) is the view from Conygre (near where Neathwood in New Road is today) looking south west towards Patchwork Cottage and the Old Forge on the left

 Patchwork Cottage was one of very few small freehold dwellings in the parish. Lawford Pullen of Yew Tree Farm adjacent owned it in 1849; when he moved away, Yew Tree Farm was sold, and Patchwork Cottage in all probability was bought by Peter Cullimore. Peter and then George Winstone had it until 1893, when it seems that H L Hardwicke or his company working the near-by quarry bought the house and the adjoining carpenter's shop. At this same time, Hardwicke brought in a new farm bailiff, John Creed. He lived at Barmersland Farm and four of his sons became involved in the quarry: Alfred was manager, William was clerk, Thomas the engine driver, and James the blacksmith (a fifth son was a builder). Alfred was enterprising - later he left to manage his own quarry in Warwickshire and became rich - and he quickly saw the benefits of adding a smithy to the carpenter's shop next to Patchwork where his brother James could work as blacksmith, thus forming a centralised workshop for the quarry company.  James was blacksmith until 1902 when the whole family moved away from the village. From 1903 Charles Poole was the chief blacksmith, dealing with intricate work on quarry machinery, while an assistant (Woodward from Cromhall, among others) worked on routine shoeing of horses and other less skilled jobs. Poole came from Oldbury and had been apprenticed to Savery (known for the Savery Plough) in Thornbury. At this same time, Fred Powell worked in the carpenter's shop. Both men took on other work, Poole with farm machinery, Powell with carts. George Pearce  that he remembered (1975) being taken by his older brother Reg, early in the century, to collect a new cart from Powell, who lived on Tytherington Hill.
Patchwork Cottage Old Forge (L) and Patchwork Cottage      

OS Map 1959 revised 1989 showing Patchwork Cottage and the Old Forge