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Streets through time - Church Street
No 2 Woodbine Cottage


Woodbine Cottage is a mid 18th century estate cottage, now a house, built of coursed squared stone with red brick front and attached stone wall and steps. The cottage was altered in 1789 and remodeled c. 1820-1840, and is one of the buildings built or altered in the late 18th century by George de Ligne Gregory and later remodeled in a picturesque style by Gregory Gregory.

In the 1937 estate sale, William Cragg was the registered tenant. It is known from the census records that from and most likely before 1891 to 1921 William and Hannah Cragg (nee Tinkler) and their family were living in Woodbine Cottage. William was a woodman on the estate.


William (born 1856) and Hannah (born 1858) have two sons George W (born 1880) and Charles (born 1882) who became a cattleman, and eight daughters - Sarah (born 1884), Alice (born 1889), Ellen E known as Nell (born 1886),  Beatrice (born 1892) who would marry James Victor Barton and move to London, Bertha (born 1894) who would move to New Zealand, Lilly (born 1897), Rose (born 1900) and Violet (born 1903) who would marry Alfred Scoble. Hannah passed away in 1931 aged 73 and William in 1937 aged 81. It is not known if William himself or his daughter Violet purchased the property in the 1937 Sale.


In 1939, Alfred (born 1902) and Violet are living in Woodbine Cottage with their son Allan (born 1930) and daughter Fay (born 1934) and Alfred's widowed mother Eliza (born 1870). 


Alfred was from South Witham and worked at Aveling Barford as a painter and signwriter.

Violet was a well liked lady and used to let out one of her rooms as a doctor's surgery to a Dr Wallis so that locals could see the doctor without having to travel out of the village. Violet was also the village layer out. When anyone died, her services would be called upon to lay out the deceased.
The undertaker was normally Mr Collins who lived at Cornridge in Pond St or people would use Geeson's in Denton.

In the 1870’s, Woodbine Cottage was a small grocer’s shop, doubling up as the village Post Office a few years later.  

Trade Directories such as White’s Directory 1842 and 1856, and Kellys Directory 1868 and 1885 show that William Fife (or Fyfe) was running the village Shop and Post Office and it is believed that he ran it from Woodbine Cottage. William Fife who was born in Perth, Scotland in 1812. He was married to Mary who was born in Harlaxton in 1821.  The couple had three sons James, John and Fred. 

In the 1891 census William’s occupation is still listed as Postmaster and he is still living at Woodbine Cottage with Mary, their son Fred aged 30, their granddaughter Elizabeth aged 17 and Jane Willimer, aged 54, who was lodging with them.

The Fyfe family lived in the cottage for many years before George Atkins, the head teacher at the village school, moved in.


Above: The hunt by the obelisk. Note the telephone kiosk now installed.

Above image taken late 1960's

Images above and below taken at same time approx 1914-15 showing Ivy Cottage on the left Woodbine Cottage on the right.

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