1.2.11

Who lived in my house?


A while ago I asked my building society for a copy of my house deeds. I was wanting to find out when it was built. They said there would be a charge, but that they had a whole lot of other stuff I could have for free. I said yes please and a few days later a huge Jiffy bag full of ancient documents arrived. It was every single mortgage that applied to this address. It's now in a safe at my solicitor's but I took some notes first.

The land was once owned by the toffs who lived at Preston Manor, the Stanfords. It was fields of sheep with the odd windmill. Then the railway viaduct was built in 1846. Amongst the documents was an act of parliament that was all about a Stanford hieress, who to inherit the pile had to get any husband to change his name to Stanford. It may well have been Lady Ellen Thomas-Stanford, who eventually left the Manor to Brighton council.

On 3 June 1878, a Joshua Yardley (Yardley Street is the next street up the hill) sold a parcel of land comprising Nos 18 and 20 to Sidcup builder Josiah Roome for £180. I don't know if he bought any other plots.

Elizabeth Dipple took out a £400 mortgage on the property on 6 July 1878, but on 2 October innkeeper Charles Delmon bought the house from J Roome for £320. It's not clear when the house was actually built! On 24 June 1890, Henry Burnham - an army pensioner and hotel porter of 24 Gerard Street, bought it and on 19 December 1892 William Thomas Hale, a police detective, bought the house for £250. So much for inflation! On 17 October 1893 a jeweller called Robert Morse Younger took it off his hands. Another jeweller called James Henry Wellings paid £300 for it 5 June 1906. He lived here a while, because it wasn't until 9 November 1936 that Lily Hewetson, a clerk, bought it for £475 from Ernest Albert Hopkins and Geo Herbert Fowler. Who are they, you might ask? Possibly the people handling probate? Lily died 15 January 1939.

On 18 March 1939, James Wllm Hopkins and Elizabeth Mayo Hopkins paid £500 to vendor Simpson Hewetson for my house. We then leap to 20 April 1953 when J W Hopkins sold it on to Iris Goldsmith. A couple of months later and on 5 August 1953 Mrs Goldsmith sold it to Winifred Bunney. On 24 December 1968 it was owned (or rented?) by the delightfully named Aileen Beatrice Henville Chappell and Gwendoline Maud Henville de Graaff-Hunter. Sisters perhaps? 9 May 1974 it was acquired by Alfred Douglas Greene, the administrator of Win Bunney and, by 9 November 1977, Paul Nigel Abraham and Pamela Anne were living here. On 29 May 1980 it was bought by Raymond Barry Bisson and Elizabeth Ann Bisson for £9,950. When I viewed the house Liz was living with Dave Wilshire, the signwriter. They both now live in Australia. Liz's previous partner became a Buddhist monk and presided over a funeral I attended at the Crem. I moved in May 1987, and the rest they say is history!

One day, I'll try to fill in some details from census records and Kelly's Directory information but that's enough for now.
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