Stoke St Gregory History Pages
In 1840, Lot Watts, who was a blacksmith in The Square, owned a cottage on the corner of Pincombe and Pound Droves. In 1908 it was up for auction at the Rose & Crown: “Lot 12 - All that brick built and tiled Cottage, Garden and Premises situate at Woodhill at the juncture of Pound and Pincombe Droves with Woodhill Road, now occupied by Mrs Thornhill Boobyer, as a yearly tenant thereof at the annual rent of £7”. It was bought by George Lockyer Bobbett, who owned Woodhill Farm, for £576. Although we were already into the 2nd Edition of the Ordnance Survey maps by then, with their own field numbering, Stoke at least was still using the Tithe Map numbering of 1840, as the sale referred to the: “Cottage, garden and premises numbered 581 on the Tithe Map”.
3rd February 1920 saw a farm sale at the Royal Oak. This was the property then known as Windmill Farm. The local newspaper reported that: “Farmland Fetches Over £200 Per Acre!” Just over a hundred years ago Windmill Farm, then owned by Mr R H Parker Jnr, was the centrepiece of an auction held in a packed Royal Oak on 3rd February, 1920. The papers reported that “Biddings were brisk, the property attracting much attention and competition, with the result that every lot was sold at exceptionally high prices, some of the land realising over £200 per acre.”
Windmill farmhouse, along with the garden, and the orchard of 3 roods 27 perches, was sold to Samuel Barnett (Hazel Patten’s father) for £735. The adjoining meadow, 3 acres 2 roods 23perches, was bought by Joseph Patten, carter, horse breeder and farmer at Willments, for £450. The Home Field pasture went to S House at £455 for 3a 0r 18p. William House bought Pine’s Orchard, 3r, for £165. Another meadow, Woodhouse Mead, 5a 2r 16p, was bought by Tommy Lee of Plâs Newydd (the house opposite Windmill that burnt down in the 1970s). Pinkey Mead, a willow bed 2a 3r 36p, was bought by H Haskins for £375. The sale also included various cottages in Churley and Meare Green. One was bought by Arthur Squire, the baker at Ash Grove, for £180 pounds, but the annual rent was only £5 a year. How prices have changed. Windmill farmhouse was sold for little more than the price of three acres of farmland.
On Friday 27th November 1931, the property now known as Woodbine Cottage in Woodhill was for sale at the Rose & Crown. It would be fascinating to know whether prices had changed much in the intervening years . . .
In 1980, another, maybe the last, village property auction took place at the Rose & Crown. Dave & Sarah Evans were bidding against Phil & Margaret Quantock for Rosedale in Windmill. Sid (Fishy) Chedzoy had died the previous year and his daughter May had moved out - down the road to look after Frank Woodland. No electric, no sewerage, and just one cold tap in the back kitchen, but what a lovely property. The sale was in the bar, not long before Ron & Irene started making major alterations to the layout of the pub and the bids were made by raising a beermat.
Below is the rear of the original cottage and a photo of May standing in the doorway with her father, not long before he died. Photos courtesy of Phil Quantock.
There must be so much more out there - property details, photos of houses before alterations took place, memories, and much more. Please look them out and share them. Get in touch with Dave Evans gregorystoke @aol.com