6 High Street
These six cottages are on the site of two old
houses and outbuildings. Some of the cottages may have part of these old houses
incorporated in them.
1 and 2, next to The Old Post Office Stores, are on the
site of Westons House. George Weston, whose young son George, and wife
Margaret, were both buried in March 1711, lived here. He left his leased
properties to his daughter Mary, who continued to lease them from the landowner
Lord Malmesbury in 1743. She married, and as Mary Parker held the “House,
Outbuildings, Yard, Garden and Orchard” in 1796, being just over ˝ acre. Mary
Parker died and the lease went to Thomas Miles on 11thJune 1799. Thomas Miles
held several leases in Berwick including several houses, which he re-let, and a
considerable amount of land, which he farmed, and the Mill. He probably lived
in this house. Thomas Miles died in
August 1812. Amongst the other things in his will he left; “to my servant Eliz
Rolfe now living with me 2 houses gardens now occupied by John Sansbury and
Chrs Munday”. He was also the guardian of Thomas Miles Godwin, who inherited
many of the leases and became a major landholder, but lived in Salisbury.
By 1815 Mr Pinckney at Berwick House used this
house for his farm workers. The “House
Garden and Orchard” were
still here in 1843, but it was soon demolished and two cottages built. The
gardens were reduced to their present size.
1. In late Victorian times the Cable family lived
here. John Cable died in 1885 aged 54,
his widow Emily who came from Winterbourne Stoke, and Henry their son, who
was 19 in 1891 and worked on the farm.
After 1900 Druids Lodge Racing Stables used thsis cottage for their foreman.
However on the day of the census in 1901 Alice Hiscott aged 40, wife of the
foreman, from Portsmouth, the children Lilly,
Connie, Stanley and Alexander (all born in Sussex) were in
the cottage. Her Husband appears in the census at Druid’s Lodge in Stapleford
parish - he must have had to stay overnight for some reason - a sick racehorse?
In the 1930’s Mr Micky Martin and his daughter Freda lived here. He used to
thatch all the farm ricks for Mr Collins.
2 Primrose Cottage. In the late 1800’s Henry Treble and his
wife lived here, with their three children William George and Ann. In April
1891 when the census was taken, William was 29 with no employment given(very
unusual)he must have died only a few days later, he was buried on April 20th
1891.Eliza, nee Marshall,
died in July 1909. Henry was a shoemaker all his life, he had retired by 1901
due to ill health and died five years later aged 72.
3, 4, 5 and 6. “BURBAGES”.
These four cottages are on the site of Burbages
Adam Snow, the then Lord of the Manor, let this
site to Matthew Burbage on 25th March 1650 for forty forty and 19
years [ie 99 years]. Then it had “..barns, stables…tenement..”
By 1669 Matthew Burbage had ..” a mansion or
dwelling house … lately built upon part …” The land owner was now Nicholas
Snowe, Adam’s son.
Nearly 100 years later John Gilbert took a lease
on the house and land on 18th Sept 1750 and in 1796 it was called “a cottage, garden
and orchard, and was still held by John Gilbert. It was necessary for new
family members to take out new leases so in 1805 John Gilbert took out a further lease on the “House and garden and Orchard called
Burbages” for 99 years “..if said lessees shall so long live..”
Unfortunately John Gilbert died aged 69 in April 1807, and the
property “fell in hand” -reverted to the
land owner- then Lord Malmesbury. But he granted a lease of 10th
October 1807 to Thomas Gilbert, John Gilbert and Solomon Gilbert.
Between 1807 and 1843 the house was
converted/demolished and four cottages replaced it. It seems likely that 3 and
4 were new, and that 5 and 6 are
converted from Burbages House.
In the 1840’s Solomon Gilbert (aged 20 in 1841)
was living in one of these, with his mother Jane and younger brother Stephen.
Solomon Gilbert (see lease 1807 above) and his wife Jane had at least 9
children, including young Solomon and Stephen. Jane Gilbert ran a grocery and
linen draper from the mid 1840’s to at least 1860 from one of these
Frances Gilbert ran a grocery shop next door (I
don’t know which way!) in the 1840’s and 1850’s until she was in her 70’s. Her
sister and brother in law lived with her, and her niece’s husband took over the
business. He was Mr George Windsor, she
was also called Frances,
and their elderly Aunt Frances Gilbert lived with them.
Mr and Mrs Windsor continued running the Grocer
and General Shop until at least 1875, and Mrs Windsor continued it alone into
the 1880’s when she was 75 years old. - 130 years since the first Gilbert lived
on the site.
In 1898 the middle pair was thatched with 3
rooms each. New kitchens and bathrooms were added in 1977.
John White lived here in the late 1880’s. He had
lived in Berwick ever since his marriage to local girl Mary Ann Tuffin on 2nd
Dec 1843. They had at least 7 children and Mary Ann died January 1872 aged 49.
For a while he and his son Arthur lived together, then his daughter Elizabeth (still single in
her forties) came to live with him. She was a housekeeper for someone in the
village and was therefore also able to look after her elderly father. He died
in March 1895 aged 75 in Wilton Union Workhouse.
After them, James Dyer and Mary his daughter
lived here. They moved from The Row (by Langford Way) - see there for their
In the 1930’s Mr and Mrs Marshall lived here,
Mrs Marshall worked for the Saundersons at Godwin House. I have also been told
that she made the most beautiful crochet and used to sit outside her house to
In the last 60 years there have been eight
changes of the people living here, some of the people are still living
elsewhere in the village now.
Jesse Light, who had been born in Stoke in the
1840’s, and his family lived here in the 1890’s. Jesse, a carter, and his wife
Elizabeth had four boys Ernest (17), James (14) and Arthur(12) all employed on
the farm. Walter was 9 (and presumably at school). They had moved around,
including South Newton and Wimborne in Dorset
- they moved again and I have lost track of them.
In the early 1900’s Ann Humphries, a widow in her 60’s, and her
son Frank, aged 30, a shepherd lived here. He had been living with his brother
William in one of the Asserton Cottages but appears to have moved to live with
his mother after the death of his father Henry in 1895. Mr Hobbs lived here in
In 1898 these each had 5 rooms, a garden,
closet, wood house and pigsty. They remained thatched for many years after 1 and
2 were tiled, and were still thatched in the late 1930’s. Does anyone remember
when the thatch was taken off? There used to rose plants by each door of all
these cottages. They were supposed to
have been given by Mr E T Hooley who owned the village between 1896 and 1898.
Mr Hooley also provided the pavement which runs up the village, it used to
finish by the Reading Room, supposed to be as far as it had been built when Mr
Hooley went bankrupt.
5 Drakes Cottage
The Dyer family lived here for many years. They
do not seem to have been closely related to the blacksmith Dyers living
elsewhere in the village. In late Victorian times George Dyer, the son of James
and Mary Ann Dyer, an agricultural worker, lived here with his wife Mary, they
married on 20th May 1850 and had at least 9 children. In July 1864
they had twin boys Joseph and John, Joseph died at 5 weeks old, but John
survived into adulthood. Near the end of the 19th century George
Dyer was 65, Mary the same age, and living with them here, was Harriet their
daughter, a labouress aged 36, and son Enos aged 21, a farm worker. George had
retired in 1901(aged 75 and “infirm”), Harriet and Enos still living with them.
Unfortunately Harriet died aged 63 in 1918 in Wilts County Asylum. Enos Dyer continued
to live in the same house after his parents deaths, and married Annie Lodge in
1920. He died in 1947 having lived in the same house for well over 50 years.
Giles Pothecary, Mary his wife and their son
George - a farm labourer aged 12 - lived here in 1891. Giles came from Wishford
and Mary from Wilton.
He was a shepherd who died in October 1925 aged 83. Mary Pothecary was called
in the middle of the night by Leah Witchell when her son Charles collapsed in
the night. Was Mary the local “doctor” or just a good friend? In the 1930’s Mr
Charles and Mrs Ethel Hardwick lived here. Mr Hardwick worked a Druids Lodge
Stables as a groom.
Written and researched by Nicky Street