Other buildings – by address
64 Billing Road
There are several stone buildings in the village which have origins before the 19th century which are not listed. The process of listing was very superficial. It involved only a brief tour of the village and examination of the outside of the buildings. Consequently, some of the buildings today have quite ancient roots, often concealed by later extensions and restoration.
64 Billing Road is a case in point. From the outside it may seem simply to be a set of 19th and 20th century buildings. However, the core of the main house has much earlier origins. This is evident from examining the end wall at the south end which has now been concealed by the construction of the new cottage right next to it. In this wall we can see the outline in the stonework of the earlier steeply pitched roof which existed before the restoration and rebuilding of the upper part of the house.
Before the rebuilding work, which replaced the thatched roof with a much shallower pitched roof over a new upper storey with two windows, it is clear that it resembled the building next door (62 Billing Road). It was thatched and had a single ‘eyelet’ dormer window peeping out of the roof thatch in the upper storey. This is likely to have been built as far back as the early 18th century or even, possibly, the late 17th century.
Even at the time of the photograph, it appears to have been a mainly single storey building with a partially lit upper floor, perhaps mainly used as attic or loft space.
Deeds survive for this house back to 1843 and include interesting evidence for other cottages nearby which were demolished in 1936.
In front, on the wide area of tarmacced land between the garden fence of 64 and the Billing Road today, there used to be a row of 9 cottages (which were developed in the 19th century from 3 cottages on the site in 1850) which can be seen on the 1884 century Ordnance Survey map.
The line on which these were built is still visible today. These are called ‘Site 2’ below and the land they used to occupy is shaded on a 1937 plan and stated as having an area of 2976 square feet. The end wall of the row of cottages is visible (to the left) in the early photograph of the cottage now known as 64 Billing Road. It shows the outline shape of an earlier structure which has been built out to the back and upwards to create a bigger building. This was presumably the result of the 19th century extensions and changes.
In the 1843 deed the main house today known as 64 Billing Road is described as a cottage with ‘the cellar, brewhouse, barn and outbuildings’. Clearly the main building, as shown in the old photograph, was the main house on the site but, as now, with other buildings. Some of these exist today and have been extended and restored. William Warner was the occupier in 1843 and the previous tenant is recorded as Richard Whiting. Warner was a tailor and he was buying the site, with other land, from the owner James Billingham of Brafield, who is described as having yeoman status. The purchase price was £90. Billingham also owned the other cottages in front which shared a yard with the cottage sold to Warner. Indeed he may well have occupied the most southerly of these i.e. the one whose end wall is shown on the old photograph. The 1843 deed also mentions the owners of land to the south (now 62 Billing Road) as William Gayton and Thomas Gayton and land to the north and east (probably farmland to the east) as Thomas Morris who is described as a farmer and maltster of Brafield and also had a life interest in the cottage.
The 1843 deed mentions earlier records relating to the land – with other land (not described) - but without including the descriptions of the land and buildings given in those documents which are dated 1804, 1806 and 1825. The earliest (1804) was a conveyance of land from Charles Watson and his wife Mary to William Eagleton Radford and John Wooding. The 1806 deed involved Radford and Wooding and a James Wedding. Radford and Wooding then appear to have sold it to John Alliston (the younger) in 1825 in a transaction which was followed by another in the same year involving the same parties and also James Billingham with Daniel Todd, and William Sawbridge.
In his will of 1881 Warner appointed his wife Elizabeth (Warner) and Henry Harrison Warner of Earls Barton, tailor, as trustees and executors. This included the cottage where he lived and other property he owned. The income from the latter was to go to Elizabeth for the remainder of her life and then to Henry Thomas Albert Warner. William died in 1894 and Elizabeth in 1896. By a deed of that year their son Henry sold the cottage with ‘barns’ for £325 to Messrs. J. Manning and Co. Ltd. Henry was described in this deed as a warehouseman living in All Saints Road in Leicester. Site 2 is mentioned as adjoining the land sold and at this date as now belonging to Henry Billson, and formerly of James Billingham. The other adjoining land was described as follows – the land to the north and east as formerly occupied by Thomas Morris, but now of Thomas Marriott; the land to the south (62 Billing Road) as occupied by Mr. Battison, and formerly of William Gayton and Thomas Gayton. This deed includes the seal of the Company and indicates that it was witnessed by the Managing Director J. Manning and his Secretary William P. Freeman.
Site 2. The history of the 3 cottages on this land is also recorded in the deeds relating to 64 Billing Road. In 1850 this land was sold, with other land, by James Billingham of Brafield, yeoman, for £200, to Thomas Barber of Brafield who is described as a carpenter. The land is described as having 3 cottages with barns, yarns and gardens belonging to them. One is recorded as having lately been ‘erected or converted’ out of a barn by Billingham. One of the other two is described as late in the tenure of William Barker. The tenant of the other is not recorded, The cottages can be seen on a the plan of c.1828 which records Billingham as the owner.
In 1850 the occupiers were George Barker, widow Elizabeth Billingham and James Billingham. A note on the back records that James was to occupy his cottage rent free for the rest of his life which ended in 1856.
In 1857 Barber mortgaged the land he had bought in 1850, with other land, to Mary Burnham of Ravensthorpe (spinster) to secure a loan of £300 and with a power of sale to her as the mortgagee. By this date, the 3 cottages had become 5. The occupiers then were Joseph Barker, Elizabeth Billingham (as in 1850), Charles Robinson. The other 2 were ‘at present unfinished’. Mary died in 1880 and her executors and trustees, Thomas George West (of St, James’ End, Duston, yeoman) and Frederick Cowley (of 129 Wood St., Cheapside, warehouseman) were involved in transferring the mortgaged land, to which an additional loan of £200 had been added, to Thomas Scriven of Northampton. Barber had been busy building. By this deed of 1880, he had converted the 5 cottages into 9.
In 1895 Scriven exercised the right of sale attached to the mortgage and transferred the 9 cottages, with their yards and outbuildings, for £135 to Henry Billson of Brafield who is described as a rate collector. The surnames of the occupiers at this date are recorded as Nichols, Brown, Boyes, Rainbow and White. The other 4 were unoccupied. Billson and his tenants acquired the right, as part of the purchase, to use a pump and well at the north east corner of ‘a close of ground called Bouveries Leys’ which was near to the cottages and which Scriven had recently sold to a Thomas Beckley who, with Billson, was responsible for paying half of the costs of keeping the pump and well in repair.
In 1936 Billson, then retired, sold the 9 cottages for £30 to Percy Plackett of Brafield whose occupation is given as bricklayer. It is not clear how many were occupied at that date but a note with the deeds records that all of the cottages, which clearly had lost much of their value, were demolished in 1936. In 1937 Plackett sold this land to T. Manning and Co. Ltd. of Gold St., Northampton for £55. As a result both this land, now cleared of buildings, and the cottage and buildings today numbered 64 Billing Road both came to the Manning Company.
Date last updated: 11 Feb 2007 Valid until: 31 Dec 2007