Victoria Cottage - Terry Adams, April 2008

Walking down Willington road, a familiar sight (and sound) is the Kennels.

 Three fields go to make up the Kennels as we see them. They are, according to the Tithe Award of 1849 and the Ordnance Survey map of 1923,

                        Tithe Award                                                   OS Map


No 342 Grass Close

1 acre 2 roods and 36 perches

No 336

I acre 3 roods and 12 perches

No 343 House and Garden

2 roods and 10 perches

No 337

2 roods and 3 perches

No 344 Common Close

3 acres and 15 perches

No 338

3 acres 3 roods and 12 perches

In 1849 Field No 342 was owned by Rev. William Heacock, and was occupied by Thomas Gilbert.

Field 343, the house and garden, was occupied by Henry Myring, who was Parish Clerk in 1847, and Branch Secretary of the Order of Oddfellows. In 1854 The Oddfellows paid 8/4d for 20 leeches to save his life. Unfortunately on the 10th November the same year  the widow Myring was paid 5.0.0  The property passed to  Thomas, son of Henry Myring, who set up the brick makers on Egginton Road.

This document is an attempt to follow the history of the  three separate fields which came together on Tuesday 14th day July 1891, when Francis

Camp purchased a field called Common Close at a sale of Sir John Port Charity properties, held at the Wardwick Derby.

Lot 5 “A very valuable of AccommodationArableLand, situate on the main road from Etwall to the Spread Eagle Inn on the Derby Burton road.”

Francis Camp was listed as the occupier, the Impropriate Tithe rent charge was set at 1 1s 6d, Vicarial Tithe rent charge at 2s 6d and the Apportioned Land Tax was 1s 4d.   Timber is given as 3. 0.0.   For this field Mr Camp paid 282.0.0 ,including the 3.0.0 for timber.

The Mortgage documents of 1986 show the year built as 1880.  As we have seen, there was a cottage on this site at the time the Tithe Awards Map was drawn up in 1849. Was an existing house pulled down, or did the mortgage company get it wrong? 

The earliest date I have found so far for Victoria Cottage is 1895, when “Bulmans History & Directory” listed Mr James Hodgkins as living in Victoria Cottage.

In the 1901 census Thomas Oliver (46) his wife Catherine (45) and daughters Lizzie (20) Kate (10) and Winnie (5) were shown as living there.  Thomas is listed as Signalman GNR originally from Yaxley in Huntingdon, Catherine was from Bulwell Notts, the three children were all natives of Etwall.  Ten years earlier the 1891 census shows the family living in Milton Terrace.

Mr George Kennerly (Broker) sold the cottage and land to James Tipper for 750.

In 1921 Francis Camp and Sarah Alice Camp widow of the Francis Camp who bought the property in 1891, sold to James Tipper of Etwall (Farmer) “that piece or parcel of land situate in the parish of Etwall …called the Common Close …Three acres one rood and thirty eight perches or there about” for 163.0.0. This is now (OS338). Francis was a cattle dealer, farmer and father of the vendor of Blenheim House Etwall

The size of most herds in Etwall at this time was given as between 12 and 30 cows and heifers. Poor old James had 2 cows. Hobson’s directory of 1921 shows James as “Retired Farmer”.  Whipple Sons and Martin directory of 1935 lists James as smallholder of Victoria Cottage.

On the19th of July 1946 Victoria Cottage was sold to Cyril Wood of Willington for 900. For his money came Victoria Cottage with the yard, stabling together and other outbuildings with the croft of land adjoining the dwelling house, together with “The grass close” and also “The common Close”. Grassy Close carried a perpetual rent charge of 2/9 payable to the vicar of Etwall annually.

In May 1947, Cyril Wood of Victoria Cottage Willington Road and William Herbert Thompson of Highfields Farm, Finden, applied for an official search for “Victoria Cottage and adjoining closes of land”, which Thompson subsequently purchased for 1425. The official report confirmed that “Willington road is a country road and as such repairable by the inhabitants at large”.

In the October of 1948, the property again changed hands, this time to Walter tThomas Mee and his wife Constance Mercia for 2750. Walter is described as Forman Checker 95 Henhurst Hill Burton. The property had by now changed its name to ‘Highfields’.

The Mr & Mrs Mee lasted a bit longer than the previous owners, but not much,

On the 31 Oct 1951 Arthur Meakin, a Photogravure Printer of 4 Rykneld Road Littleover purchased the property for 3250.

By 1957 the property again changed hands on the 17th of June that year. Florence Boyle (the wife of Thomas Boyle) and Alan Albert Hazell Electrician, both of 14 Park Street and 18 Park Street, Kings Cliffe, Peterborough became joint tenants at the price of 2000.  Ether property prices had dropped through the floor, a quick sale was needed.  

In 1963 again the cottage was to have new inhabitants, this time a George Hill of 114 Station Road Mickleover (Farmer) and his wife, Joyce Edith, were the new owners, paying 2800 for the privilege.

In October 1964 planning permission was given to erect 16 Kennels. In February the following year permission was granted for the extension for a bedroom and sitting room.

A Draft conveyance was drawn up in September 1978 between The Hills and Dennis William Ruth and Gillian his wife for 10000.  For this the Ruths got a parcel of land having about 110ft of frontage on Willington Road and 110ft deep on field 336 (OS1923edition)  The land was to be used for the building of a bungalow and three dog breeding pens. I take it that this is the bungalow now known as Field View.

On the 12th June 1979 a new conveyance is drawn up between Mr G Hill and Mrs J E Hill and Mr  J N Watson & Mrs B E Watson. The conveyance is for a half share of “Highfields”.  George Hill is called “the vendor,” George (Vendor) and his wife Joyce Edith  are now together called the “trustees” while Neville Watson and Brenda Elizabeth Watson of Elmdene  Burnaston become the purchasers. The sum of 20000 is to be provided in Equal shares.

 In September 1979 George Hill (Now of 20 Uttoxeter road Foston) and Joyce Hill still at Highfields sold to David Kemps of 3 Milton Terrace  for 150 all that parcel of land fronting Willington Road on field no 336,(this amounted to a narrow strip which run down the side of Milton Terrace)   It may be of some interest that David Kemp still lives at No 3 Milton Terrace and has just this year (2007) had an extension built. This is, of course not the original David, but his nephew. This transaction was witnessed by J.N. Watson, who gave his address as “Glowhill Kennels”.

A further parcel of land was sold off by Mr and Mrs Hill, this time for 800 to Jantea Ann Marsden of 1 Milton terrace, who purchased 8ft of frontage on Willington Road part of field 336 in October 1979.

Land Charges act certificate L6534157 shows George William Hill Junior, unemployed of Sheffield as holding the property with Joyce Hill.

In April 1983 Joyce Edith Goodall – this is Joyce Hill, her previous marriage having been annulled - was living at Old Park Farm Brailsford and Mr & Mrs Watson sold Highfields to John Neville Watson and Breda Elizabeth Watson for 16000.

In February 1986 Malcolm Barker and Dorothea Katherine Barker purchased the property.

The property continues, at the time of writing in 2007, to be used as boarding kennels, now under the name of “Westmead Kennels and Cattery”.