Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The Tarry Stone Update.

The Tarry Stone Updated.
I have mentioned this sarsen stone before in an earlier accounting of this blog. I now have further information on its history.
TARRY STONE. A sarsen stone 3 ft. high, by 4 ft. long, and 2.ft. thick. This formerly stood in Cookham village, about two feet from Dodson's fence, where the roads parted to the church and the ferry. It is now in the Mill Garden at Cookham, where it was removed by the late George Venables when he was churchwarden.
This stone was formerly known as Cookham Stone. A.D.1506. The tithing man presents that the Warrener ought to hold sports at Cookham Stone on the day of Assumption; and he has not done so. The stone was originally a boundary stone to the property of the Abbot of Cirencester, whose house was close by, as is shown in the will of John Luffenham, A.D. 1423. Similar boundary stones are yet to be found in the neighbourhood, as in West Mead (at the southeast corner of the piece No. 623 in the Tithe Map), another at south-west corner of No. 624, and another at the south west corner of No. 625.
This accounting was by Stephen Darby in 1900. The stone was returned from the Venables garden down Mill Lane and set at the  head of the High Street for quite a number of years.
The stone has now been relocated in what is thought to be its original position.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Cookham Commons Updated.

Cookham Commons Updated.
I have mentioned the commons of Cookham before in this blog, but now I have some old maps to go with the passage post here below:
The common fields were enclosed in 1852. A fierce controversy waged by the inhabitants in defence of traditional footpaths across these fields was decided in 1847 in their favour. The inhabitants have long enjoyed special benefits in two enclosed commons, Widbrook and Cockmarsh. The Abbot of Cirencester had a right of free pasturage for cattle in Widbrook and for hogs in Cockmarsh, continued after the Dissolution to the possessor of Cannon Court. In the time of Philip and Mary the inhabitants claimed pasturage, and after a long struggle Queen Elizabeth in 1597 granted the commons to trustees for their benefit during the lives of the trustees. Royal grants of the reversion in 1623 and 1675 were strenuously resisted by the inhabitants throughout the reigns of Charles II and James II, and they were finally victorious in 1697. From that time the administration was undertaken by the churchwardens, and has recently, as far as Widbrook is concerned, been transferred to the charity trustees. An attempt by the purchaser of the manor from the Crown to plant these commons and the wastes of the manor and village greens for his own benefit was given up after a suit in 1826. An attempt in 1903 to make a road across Cockmarsh was also defeated and proceedings are now pending for the establishment of conservators under a scheme of the Board of Agriculture.
If you click on the map and look at the top, you will find that a house that I remember as Cliveden View was at that time owned by the Earl of Orkney. In researching I find that he also owned quite a bit of property in Taplow as well.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Cookham Village 160 years later.

Cookham Village 160 years later.
Now we switch to an aerial shot of the village as it is in 2012, you will now be able to make comparison between the two photos. You will be able to notice where the old buildings still exist together with other changes.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

A view of Cookham 160 years ago.

A view of Cookham 160 years ago.
Once again with grateful thanks to the Berkshire Records Office I am able to bring you this Survey Map of 1852 when the enclosures of the parish was completed by order of the government of the day. If you click on the picture you will get a full screen view and find what buildings existed then and still exist today. Two things you will note that there is no Holy Trinity School and that Berries Road did not exist. I am still investigating that there was a third farm in the village, with the farmhouse being East Gate at the top of the High Street.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

New Toll Collector in 1902.

New Toll Collector in 1902.
This photograph was taken as a house-warmer for Arthur and Ethel Sewell. They had just moved from Wimbledon for Arthur to take up work as the new toll collector on Cookham Bridge.
It was summer 1902, and Arthur and Ethel are also showing off their first baby, daughter Christine.
Cookham Bridge was effectively a Victorian PFI initiative. It was run by a private company, who in turn mortgaged the tolls each year to a speculator who employed a toll keeper. The keeper and his family got to live in the toll house, which had been built in 1839 to the designs of a man known only as 'Mr Pratt'.
The toll house is still there today on the Buckinghamshire side of the river, though it has been much restored. When the payment of tolls became increasingly unpopular, the Bridge Company was purchased by Berkshire County Council and the crossing made free.
After Arthur's service as toll keeper the Sewells moved to Warwickshire, where Arthur ran a shop. Baby Christine grew up to work in public service and later received an MBE.
This article is printed by kind permission of the Berkshire Records Office in Reading for which I am truly grateful. For other information please contact the BRO website at:
Remember to enlarge the photo just click on it.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Holy Trinity School 75 years of change.

Holy Trinity School 75 years of change.
The pen and ink sketch above is one I drew in the summer of 1998 when visiting Cookham from my then home in Templecombe in Somerset. I drew in the existing school building, but leaving out any additions that had been made since the 1930’s - 40’s and included those missing items from memory. I remember well the orchard next door, when in season there were wonderful apples, plums and walnuts to be scrumped! One pair of twin boys named David & Tom were the bane of Mrs. Adams life, always in trouble with the police.

Now of course the school has grown like “Topsy.” with the ever expanding village population. Mind you the playground area was all asphalt, both to the north and south of the school. I now observe that what looks like astro-turf has been added to the play area.
Remember to click on the thumbnails to get a full view.


Saturday, November 3, 2012

The Church Choir of 1931.

Holy Trinity Church Choir 1931.
This photo was taken in the then vicarage garden. The vicar of the day was the Rev Canon Bachelor. The lady in the black hat was the relief organist Mrs. Kate Bird. In the back row I can see two choir men, who still members in my day. One is John Fowler and the other is Walter (Simmy) Ing, who was the vicars gardener. Come to think of it even the youngest of those choirboys would be in his middle nineties today. The man in the black cassock on the right of the photo was the Verger and would have been the predecessor to Alfred (Dad) Sexton.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Another Then and Now.

Another Then and Now.
This is another then and now comparison of two photos that are over 100years apart and showing how things have changed over the period, and yet in one instance has not changed. Click on the photo to get an enlargement.
In the first photo by William Bailey is the Cooper’s and later Budgen’s general grocery store and in the second modern day photo it shows that the shop has been divided into two separate shops and the closed gate behind leads to other house expansions.