Friday, 24 December 2010

The Garden

We have a small, walled courtyard garden. In one corner there is a well, underneath which is a large underground cistern with a vaulted stone roof. Water is pumped up from the cistern through a lion's head fountain.


Because the garden faces south and west, and is completely enclosed, it is sunny and sheltered and plants grow well. They need a lot of water, which is provided by the well.


In the centre of the garden is a raised bed with stone walls. It has been planted with a mixture of spring bulbs, summer bedding plants and evergreen shrubs.


Because it is so warm and sheltered, the garden is ideal for barbeques and parties in the summer months. The back door from the kitchen opens directly into the garden, making it easy to carry food and drinks in and out of the house. It is also convenient for picking fresh herbs for cooking.


Saturday, 18 December 2010

House History 1:1690-1790

We are very fortunate to have a complete set of deeds dating back to 1751. The earliest deed gives the name of the man who built the house, Francis Cross, and of the owners and tenants who came after him. In amongst the deeds there are also wills, letters and other documents relating to the ownership of the house.
House front
As a keen genealogist, I have enjoyed researching the people associated with the house. The following is a chronology of the owners and tenants for the period 1690 to 1790:

circa 1690

Francis Cross built the house. He was from the parish of Horton, Gloucestershire. He was born circa 1640 and married Margaret Higgs at Horton on 19 March 1665. They had 5 children baptised at Little Sodbury between 1669 and 1684.

unknown date

Henry Wickham was the tenant. Henry was baptised at Chipping Sodbury on 8 May 1670, the son of John Wickham, a woollen draper, and his wife, Edith.

Unknown date

John Clark bought the house from Francis Cross.

Unknown date

David Clark, a Quaker, bought the house from John Clark. David and his wife, Mary, had the births of 4 children recorded at the Quaker Meeting House, Chipping Sodbury, between 1699 and 1707. David paid 2d in the pound Poor Rate in Chipping Sodbury in 1727 and was one of the town bailiffs in 1731.
Quaker Meeting House, Chipping Sodbury
Quaker Meeting House, Sodbury


Unknown date

Nicholas White bought the house from David and Mary Clark. Nicholas was born circa 1677 and married Jane Hillier at Yate on 18 January 1704. He was a mason at Rodford in the parish of Westerleigh, Gloucestershire. He paid the Poor Rate in Chipping Sodbury in 1727. He died on 28 January 1750 and was buried in the nave of St John the Baptist, Chipping Sodbury.

5 December 1751

John Boddily bought the house for £58 from Nicholas White's widow, Elizabeth. John was born about 1704 and married Elizabeth Roach. He was an Innholder.
The tenant was James Taylor.

20 February 1764

John Boddily died and the house passed to his nephew, Thomas Boddily.

29 September 1764

Elizabeth Boddily, widow of John Boddily, bought the house back from his nephew, Thomas, for  £113. Elizabeth was born about 1710.

15 April 1777

Elizabeth Boddily died and the house passed to her brother, William Roach, and sister, Ann Cornwall. William Roach was a grocer in Chipping Sodbury, with a wife called Elizabeth. He died on 27 August 1798.

Friday, 17 December 2010

All dressed up like a Christmas tree

One of the joys of owning an old house is how beautiful it looks when dressed up for Christmas. I thought I would share some pictures with you.


Our old, stone inglenook fireplace, full of antique copper.


The inglenook looks magical at night, when all the candles are lit.


I decorate every available door with wreaths

Christmas window

And the window with cards, candles and ornaments

Card & candle

Christmas cards look beautiful illuminated with candles


And the finishing touch is the seven foot high Christmas tree