Bryony Cottage (formerly Yew Tree Cottage)
Bryony Cottage - 2021
The cottage is thought to have been built about 1700 to 1720, and a further extension, on the West towards the neighbouring cottage, in about 1800. The cottage was timber framed, but with much smaller timbers than those used on the older cottages which surround it on three sides. By this time the timber frame was enclosed in brickwork. Another difference is the roofing material. Thatch was considered a roofing material for the poorer buildings, and hand made clay tiles with wooden pegs to hold them in position were used in the roof construction.
The blue bricks used to pave the garden path were originally on the main living room floor. The yew hedge which encloses the flower garden from the lane is very old and has a hollow centre.
It is believed the sexton lived here, which was useful as the coffins from East Stratton would pass his cottage at the end of Coffin Walk.
1920 – 1940? The 1939 Register shows that Harry Ball was living here then. He bought the cottage from Francis George, Earl of Northbrook at the Estate Auction. In the 1911 census, Harry & his wife Catherine are living in Church Street, but it could well be this same cottage. Harry was an Estate Thatcher, born in the village. It is mentioned that they had one living child but she is not in these records. At this time, Fred Mitchell, aged 15, was living at 75 Borough with his parents & 10 siblings. He was a shepherd. The Mitchell family was not living in the village in the 1901 census, but the Balls with their daughter Evelyn Jessie are at 64 Church Street, most likely this same cottage Evelyn is 10 years old.
In the 1881 census, Harry is living with his parents, Thomas & Eliza, at Duck Street Cottage, believed to be 116 Duke Street.
1940 ?– 1951 Harry's daughter Evelyn Jessie Mitchell inherited the cottage from her father and lived there.
1951 – 1955 Evelyn's husband, Fred Mitchell, inherited the cottage on the death of his wife.
1955 – 1961 A M G Salmon
1961 – 1986 D M Egerton Swann
1986 – 1997 Miss C Ward
1997 – 2006 John & Lara Robinson
2006 – current Nigel & Sharon Reynolds
Our grateful thanks to Nigel & Sharon Reynolds for the above information.
Map dated 1961
Front view 2020
Map dated 1961