Ashburton Pairs





HomeA303MapVillage DiaryLocal BusinessHistoryPhotosNew & NoticesCommentsContact Us
Mill House 
Berwick House 
Gryphon Cottage 
Rose Cottage 
Rose House 
Magna House 
Old School Hse 
Lodge Cot 
Shepherds Cot 
Late Powell's 
Ashburton Pairs 
Keepers Cot 
Old PO Stores 
Parsonage area 
Boot Inn 
Rushton Cot 
1-6 High Street 



Ashburton Pairs - Two pairs of white houses and one pair of Flint Houses




The southern boundary (with Springside) and the northern boundary (with The Cottage) are the old boundaries, the western boundary of these old sites reached right to the field edge including where “The Long Barn” is now. Originally the site was divided, somewhat unequally, into three. This was radically altered in 1874 when the pairs were built, a paddock was made along the back, and the remainder divided equally into six.

In 1796 and earlier they were all owned by Lord Malmesbury, but they belonged to three different old established tenanted small farms, called in 1796 “Westons”, “Late Widow Powell’s” and Late Loaders/Snows” and each had a house, outbuildings, yard, garden and orchard.


This is the southernmost, and largest, site of 2r 19p (approx 2/3rd of acre). In the 1700’s this was tenanted by the Weston family. It had a house and yard on it and also with 31 acres scattered about the parish - a small farm. These were 18 acres of Pasture, 1 ¾ acres of meadow in Church Marsh, 10 acres of Arable in the North Field and about ¼ acre of woods. The Westons were also tenants of another small farm of about the same size, which had a house - “Westons House” on the site of 1 & 2 High St. Mary Parker nee Weston kept that farm and this farm was taken over by Thomas Miles in 1784, although he may have lived here to start with he was living in “Westons House” in 1799 as he also took over the other small farm eventually. Thomas Miles had many leases in Berwick - including the Mill. He was the tenant of this farm and house etc from 1784 to 1813.

The house itself deteriorated and was probably used to house Mr Miles’ farm labourers, as by the time it had returned to the Landlord Lord Malmesbury in 1814 it was no longer a house with outbuilding, yard orchard and garden - it was just a “cot and garden.”

The village was sold to Lord Ashburton and Mr E C Pinckney became the farmer. The house was used for his workers.

In the 1840’s Jonah Blanchard and his family lived here. Jonah was the son of Thomas Blanchard who lived next door at Springside.

Jonah Blanchard and Catherine (Kitty) Kill married 28th March 1839. They had at least 8 children. Mary, Ann, Eliza, George, Robert, who died aged 3 days, Ambrose, who died in 1859 aged 13 years, Fanny and Emily. Catherine died in 1862 aged 44. The family continued to live in Berwick for many years, in the 1880’s Jonah was 78, still a farm labourer and living with him was his son George with his wife Jane (from Winterbourne Stoke) and their children Kate, William, Lizzie, Mary and Emily. But they were not living here, they were at the top end by the Boot. Jonah died  in 1882. In 1891 George and his family were living in Rushton Cottage.




The middle site was the smallest at 1r 29p ( a bit under ½ acre). In the 17th and 18th centuries the Powells were a long established family in Berwick and Stapleford being, variously, vicars, farmers, “yeomen” and “gentlemen,” and leased several houses and much land from the landholder Lord Malmesbury, including this one. Robert Powell the younger married Ann Loader on Oct 12th 1761. Robert died in 1768 and “Widow” Powell took over some of her husbands land and leases including this one. A farm worker would have lived in the house.

In 1795 Thomas  Miles - who farmed a great deal of Berwick - see last month - took on the lease and also used the house for his employees. The house and buildings were allowed to deteriorate much like the house next door, but to such an extent that by 1814 the house was “down” and it was back under the direct control of the landlord Lord Malmesbury.  The orchard was open to those on each side, the cobs walls which had divided the orchards from their neighbours had collapsed due to lack of maintenance. It was stated that it would cost about £2 to £5 to repair.

The house was repaired and by 1843 owned by Lord Ashburton (like the rest of the village) and used by the farmer Mr E C Pinckney (who lived in Berwick House) for his farm labourers.

It is likely that Thomas Tuffin and his family lived here in the 1840’s. Thomas and his wife Rachel both came from Winterbourne Stoke but came to Berwick to live and raise their family, Mary Ann born 1823, John born 1827, died aged 6 mths, William born 1832, Thomas 1834 and Ann 1837. In 1843 Mary Ann was a 20 year old servant and was unmarried but she had a daughter Elizabeth White. Mary Ann married John White, a farm labourer aged 21 from Wylye on 2nd December 1843 and had a large family -Elizabeth, Frank, Albert, George, Arthur and Mary Ann - so hopefully everything ended happily.



 This is the northern section. This was sometimes called late Snows and sometimes late Loaders.

It is the northernmost site with the same boundary as today with The Cottage. It was 2r 1p (approx ½ acre). The Snow family were the Lords of the Manor in the 17th century and the Loaders were wealthy leaseholders,

It was leased by Richard Dawkins in 1795 from Lord Malmesbury, included with the house, garden and orchard was land amounting to 24 acres being; 1a 1r pasture in Upmarsh, arable 2a 2r 36p in the north field, further 12a 3r 21p also in the north field and 7 a 1r 24p on The Down. Arable land in 1792 produced a far better return than downland as Richard Dawkins paid £2 19s 0d per year for 15 years to the landowner Lord Malmesbury for “breaking up of the Down.” ie ploughing it.

The Dawkins did not live in Berwick, Richard died shortly after taking on the lease, it passed to his wife Jane, who died 3rd June 1814, and then to his son, also Richard. Richard Dawkins the younger had the lease well into the middle of the 19th century. It reverted back to the landowner, by then Lord Ashburton, on his death.

The Dawkins sub-let this small farm to the Bowns family.

Thomas Bowns and his wife Rebecca had at least 9 children. Robert Bowns, born 1795, never married, died aged 76 in 1868, continued to farm the same land living with his unmarried sister and brothers until his death. Sarah, born 1796, remained unmarried and became housekeeper to Robert, and died in 1868 aged 75. John born in 1797, died in 1869 aged 71. Elizabeth born 1799 married James Stanmore, a farm labourer, on 19th December 1831. Philip born 1801 died in 1877 aged 77, Stephen born and died 1804. Grace born 1805, and unfortunately sent to a “Licensed House” as a “dangerous lunatic” in 1847, and died the same year. James born 1809, married Dinah and had several children. And Susannah who was born and died in 1810. Thomas died in 1823, and Rebecca, who was possibly “deranged” by 1841, died in 1842.

By 1843 this house was divided into two cottages, Robert living with his brothers and sister in one, and James and his family in the other. This continued well into the middle of the 19th century. It seems likely that Robert was still here at the time of his death in 1868.


These are the three pairs of cottages, with Springside to the south and The Cottage to the north. The area was originally three separate, different sized plots, but the cottages on them were demolished, the area re-divided and six cottages built.

The cottages were built in 1874 by Lord Ashburton for his tenant Mr E C Pinckney’s employees. Two pairs were built of rendered brick, and the other with flint and stone. They all had five rooms and slate roofs. There used to be walls or fences with gates between the cottages, but these have been removed to give drives and garages.


In the late 1800’s Philip  and Susan Blanchard and their family moved here from Rushton Cottage. Philip (56)was an agricultural labourer. Of their 8 children, four, William 18, Earnest 16, Frank 14, and Walter 12, were all employed on the farm. The first three having been born at Gosport as Philip was in the Royal Marines. 10 years later Philip and Susan were still here with Alexander 15, and Harold 13, both carters on the farm.  


The Keel family lived in Katia Cottage in the late Victorian times. Richard Keel (a carter) and his wife Elizabeth had at least six children including William, George, Robert, Herbert, Alfred and Arthur. Elizabeth died in July 1883 aged 57 Richard re-married aged 59 in January 1885 to Sarah Whatley aged 60 of Sutton Mandevillle, daughter of Thomas Whatley. Richard died in June 1900, but his son Herbert continued to live here. Herbert Keel married Mary Whatley on April 26th 1900, she also came from Sutton Mandeville, and her father was also called Thomas Whatley. Sarah nee Whatley continued to live with her step son and his wife, she died in January 1903. Herbert died in January 1916. The other Keel children did well - Arthur was a sergeant in the 1st Battalion Wilts Regiment. William a sergeant in the 69th foot, and George was the publican of The Boot Inn for many years.

All the “Ashburton” Cottages were bought by Druid’s Lodge Estate at the 1921 farm sale. In the 1930’s Mr George White and his daughter Maud lived in Godwins Cottage. Mr and Mrs Harrison and their daughter Fran lived in Katia Cottage. Mr Hurst lodged with the Harrisons, he and Mr Harrison worked at Druid’s Lodge Stables. Eventually both houses were sold and are now private houses.


Robert Keel, son of Richard and Elizabeth Keel who lived near by in Katia Cottage, lived here in the late 1800’s. He was a carter, in 1891 he (31) his wife  Kate(30) and Florance 8, Percy 6, Rose 4, Mabel 7mths. They also had two lodgers, George Marshal a carter and James Marshall a farm servant, who probably worked at The House as a groom or under coachman. Robert and Kate married in 1880, aged only 20 and 19. They lived here for many years.

In the 1930’s Mr and Mrs Scott, and Monty Miles her father lived here. Mr Miles was the blacksmith, who worked in the Forge, where the Farm shop is now.


In late Victorian times Jacob Rolfe and his family lived here. His mother and father, Richard and Jane, and his brother Samuel were living here too. Richard and Jane Rolfe and their family moved to Somerset in about 1860 but returned only 3 or 4 years later. Richard was a farm worker all his life. Jane died in 1876 aged 76.

For a time Jacob Rolfe was the miller here, but he also did farm work. His wife Kate died in May 1900 aged 35. He was left with two children Harry (born 1890) and Ernest born 1893. They had also had a child Alfred Emmanuel who was privately baptized in February 1899 and died  in the same month.

In the 1930’s it was the Post Office, run by Mr and Mrs Adlam-Eyers. William Adlam-Eyers took over as sub post master on 1st May 1929 when Tom Kitley retired. He remained as subpostmaster until 31st August 1946.  Then the Post Office moved to The Old Post Office Stores when Oakey Edwards became subpostmaster on 20th September 1946.

Mrs Eyers was the headmistress of Berwick School for 27 years. Mr and Mrs Eyers used to live at The Old School House, but moved when the village was sold in 1921. Mrs Louisa Adlam-Eyers died in May 1944, and Mr Eyers in August 1946.

The most northerly pair of these cottages, although built in 1874 and of the same internal design as the other two pairs, are built of stone and flint, and are not rendered. They also passed with the farm through various owners until bought by Druids Lodge in 1921. They are now privately owned.


In the late Victorian times the Witchell family lived here. John Witchell was 64 in 1901, his wife Leah 50, and their children Charles, 22, an agricultural labourer, Arthur 16 a carter, Alfred 14, and Ada 10. John had lived all his life in Berwick, he was born in 1838 to William and Jane Witchell, married on July18th 1874 to Leah Elliot a servant from Stapleford, and died in March 1929 aged 91 years, Leah Witchell died in June 1930.  They had a tragedy in their family. Their son Charles died suddenly in November 1910, and it was reported in the Salisbury Journal. Charles Witchell was a shepherd for the Berwick farmer Mr Stephen Furness. He was at work as usual on Tuesday, went home for tea at four then went to the Reading Room. he came home for supper of bread and cheese and went to bed at 9 0’clock. He had a bad headache at midnight and died about 2am. The verdict was death from natural causes. 

In the 1930’s Mr and Mrs Freddie Keel lived here, he worked for Mouldings.


At the end of the 19th century modern life had come to Berwick, for living in this house was Arthur Sanger, a Traction Engine Driver.

He, and his wife Jane, had lived in Compton Chamberlayne, then moved to Winterbourne Stoke. they left there in about 1890 to come to Berwick. They had two children, Gilbert (aged 15 in 1901) who was a carter, and Ralph 11.

In the 1930’s Tommy Keel lived her. He worked for Mouldings and cycled to work every day. He was a bachelor for many years, then married his evacuee, she survived him for many years.

Researched and written by Nicky Street.





















Copyright(c) 200 Berwick Saint James. All rights reserved.