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Twin Pillars

Twin Pillars

Twin Pillars 1920

Thanks to Hugh Sandars for this information.


According to the surveyor who looked at it in 1974, the cottage was built about 1780 - 1800, judging by the half timber framing of the gable ends: later designs were brick from bottom to top. He thought the blocked off window openings to be original features, not alteration; and the house not to be early enough for Window Tax. According to a talk at the Micheldever Archaeological and History Society in 1999, this new design of cottage, actually from 1801, is a typical local design.

In November 1920, No 90 Church Street (Part 281 on the Ordnance map 1910 2nd edition, Part 236 on Stratton Estate plan) was sold by Rt Hon Francis George, Earl of Northbrook, of Stratton 'in the County of Southampton' to Alfred Thomas Day. This was likely to be part of the first of the big Baring sales, when they sold off land roughly west of the A33. (The second sale was in 1930 after the financial crash, when they sold off more land broadly east of the A33).

Occupants of Twin Pillars

The Days were the village carpenters, with their workshop being in what is now the garage. Historically, coffins were made there for the village and nearby hamlets,  as well as cart wheels and other wooden goods.

Alfred Thomas Day died in 1935. His wife Alice Mary Day renounced Probate and passed the cottage on by Letters of Administration to her son Bertie Reginald Day. Her Will appoints her grandson Geoffrey Harold Collins of Waterloo Cottages as Executor and Trustee.

When in 1956 Alice Day died, Geoffrey sold No 90 to Joseph Arthur, Lord Rank for £1500: '1 rood 5 perches; workshop, dwelling house, and other buildings'.  The Days were permitted to occupy No 90 as licensees until 1 Waterloo Cottages was ready, having owned both; and their daughter Hazel lived there for many years married to Barry Collins, plumbing and heating engineer, (no relation of Geoffrey Collins). Barry's father Reg Collins ran Iddiolls and Collins, the village butchers whose shop is now Haig House.

Bill Lansley (who had lost a leg in the Second World War) became the Rank Estate foreman carpenter, using the property, according to Search documents, as estate carpenter's shop, timber store, garages etc. In 1962 the west, and later the east, interior chimney breasts and stacks were removed and replaced by the present outside ones: traces of the old ones can be seen on the ceilings. Also internal ground floor partition walls were removed and the ceiling supported by rolled steel joists. No 90 was given the name 'Twin Pillars Cottage'.

On 29 Mar 1972 Lord Rank died. The Estate had a policy of allowing their employees to keep their cottages, and selling them when no longer needed. So in 1975, after the retirement of Bill Lansley, the Estate sold the cottage, freehold to Hugh and Susan Sandars.

Lord Rank's Estate told Bill Lansley and his wife Ruby to find a property that they liked. They chose a bungalow at 33 Oak Hill, Alresford. The Rank Estate bought the bungalow for them to live in for the rest of their lives, rent free. Bill died in RHCH Winchester on 30 September 1995. Ruby died in RHCH Winchester in 2007. The Bungalow then went back into the Rank Estate and was sold on.

Incidentally Ruby always believed Twin Pillars was haunted as she saw the ghost of an old lady in the upstairs bathroom in old fashioned clothing and always referred to her as Old Mrs Day.

The new owners needed to do extensive renovation and modernisation and general repairs. The corrugated iron sawing and vehicle sheds were cleared and extensive planting done. Later, in 1982 the single storey kitchen was demolished, replaced by a new kitchen, etc downstairs, and adding a bedroom upstairs. In 1996 Bert Day's attached greenhouse was replaced by a Conservatory.

After owning Twin Pillars for many years, in 2014 Sue and Hugh Sanders moved to another house in Micheldever and the Masons moved into Twin Pillars.

During 2015 Twin Pillars was remodelled: the carpenters barn was rebuilt and joined to the main house, the work was performed by local builder Steve Hunt. Whilst renovating a waistcoat was found in the rafters, plugging a hole in the roof, surprisingly the waistcoat was still in reasonable condition and had an invoice for builders material in a front pocket. It was dated 1928 and addressed to Mr Day so presumably was his own waistcoat. An old photograph shows Mr Day wearing a waistcoat, possibly the same one.

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