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Streets through time - High Street
No 22 - The Old Bakehouse 
and other parts of what was the Square Yard 


Estate cottages, now house and shop. Dated 1819, incorporating an earlier building, with late C20 alterations. Coursed squared stone and red brick, with pantile roofs. 2 ridge and single side wall and rear wall brick stacks. 2 storeys plus -garrets; 5 window range. Half-H plan.  This building is one of those built or altered c1790-1820 by George de Ligne Gregory.

The Square Yard comprises a group of cottages and a bakery formed around a square area at the front with an archway to access two cottages at the rear . From the road going right to left, the Bakery (No 24) is on the right, the access to the rear cottages and then the cottage on the left which is now the village shop (no 22) 

At one time, this group of buildings had at least four families living here.

In the Estate sale of 1937, the tenancy of the bakery and one of the cottages is that of Mr H. Palmer. Farmer Harry Palmer ( b1896) who has the nearby farm is also the village baker. In the 1939 Register, Harry is married to Ellen (b1895) and their twin daughters Joan M (b1922) and Joyce E (b1922) both work for their father in the shop while their elder son Jeffrey (b1924) works on the farm. Their younger brother Dennis (b1927) is still at school. The Register also records the Palmer family living in the Square Yard. When the left hand cottage was converted to a shop, Joan the confectioner worked in the shop and her sister Joyce did the deliveries with the assistance of Ernie Andrews who lived in Wharf Cottage on the Drift. At the time of writing, it is not clear when the shop came into its current form as Victor Dalglish who lived in the Square Yard as a child recalls the formidable Granny Atkinson lived on the left side of the Yard where the shop is now. She had apple trees in the backyard and woe betide anyone 'scrimping' the apples but if anyone asked for them politely she would give them freely.

The 1939 Register records Joseph (b1873) and Ellenor Atkinson (b1876) living there and Joseph had the tenancy at the time of the 1937 Estate Sale.

Lot 26 The Square Yard.jpg

The other tenancy in 1937 is to a Col. F Spencer but nothing is known of this gentleman at the time of writing or which cottage he relates to although it can be assumed it was one of the rear ones.

Another family living in the Yard is the Sherbourne's. Percy Alfred (known as Alf) Sherbourne (b 1897) and his wife Eliza (b1920 nee Clapton) pictured right are living here in 1939. Alf worked on the village estate and was living in 27 Rectory Lane as a tenant at the time of the 1937 estate sale.


Born in Denton in 1897 to Charles and Alice Sherbourn, Alf enlisted in 1914 at the age of 17 and fought in WW1 as a sniper in the Leicester Regiment. Military service run strong in the family with Alfs uncle also named Alfred enlisting in the militia of  West Riding Yorks Regiment 1893 serving to 1899. Alf's son in law Benjamin Dalglish served in WW2 in Africa.

After WW1, Alf became a cowman and gardener on the Harlaxton estate until the 1937 estate sale. After that he was employed by the Iron works and he and his family lived in the Yard throughout the 1940's and the early 1950's maybe.

Alf and Eliza had two daughters - Daisy (b 1921 in Melton) and Joan (b1923 in Bingham). Daisy married Benjamin Dalglish from Newcastle upon Tyne in 1939. They had five children and for a while they lived with Alf and Eliza in the Yard while Benjamin was away while doing WW2 service in Africa. When Daisy moved to the military camp at Spittlegate, two of her children Arthur (b1940) and Victor Dalglish (b1941) ,pictured right ,lived with their grandparents in the Yard and spent their childhood growing up there. Victor Dalglish recalls that as their cottage backed on to the bakehouse, they didn't have to light a fire until the afternoon as the heat from the bakery oven kept their cottage warm. Joan married twice - Roy Clayton from Yorkshire in 1942 and later to local man Aubrey Aslin from Lenton in 1961. 

Alf had an interesting arrangement with Harry Palmer. Alf was assigned to take any stray sheep that went onto Palmers farmland and could slaughter them and keep the meat. It sounds as if Alf really liked his meat as he raised pigs on his allotment and then would take them to their Rectory Lane cottage where the butcher would slaughter it. This upset his grandson Victor as he used to feed and look after the pig not realizing what the intended fate of the pig would be. 

Alf also showed off his prowess as a keen gardener winning prizes in local flower shows for his prize Chrysanthemums.

Alf's wife Eliza passed away in 1958 and in his latter years he moved in with his daughter Daisy at Heathfield Rd in Grantham. Alf passed away in 1971. Alf's grandson Victor and his great grandaughter Sue Diggle is hoping to visit in the near future where Alf and Victor (Sue's dad) lived in the village.

Alf and Eliza Shelbourne.jpg
Alf Shelbourne at 17 2.jpg

Above left. Alf and Eliza Shelbourne. Above right: Alf in Leicester Reg aged 17

Victor Dalglish Sue Diggles dad.jpg
Victor and Arthur (in uniform) Dalglish.jpg

Above left: a cheeky young Victor              Above right: brothers Victor & Arthur

Below: Alf with one of his grandsons


Pat Hollingsworth recalls the Hardingham family - Ivan, Iris and Charlie -  once lived where the shop is now. 

In the 1950's,  the Yard was sold off for a sum of approx £500. It is not clear of the fate of the cottages to the rear of the main buildings. They may have been  demolished at this time or much later incorporated into the bakehouse renovation and conversion into the current residential home. This left the whole left hand side to become the village shop premises and the right hand side which would continue as a bakery under the management of the Palmer family for some time.

The following images were taken in the late 1960's.


Above taken from Trotters Lane. Are these the two rear cottages of the Square Yard? Nowadays they form part of No 22 the Bakehouse residential property.

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