By Rosemary Bailey
This article was published in the December 2015 edition of Soul Search, the journal of The Sole Society
In August 2007 member Anne Gould sent us the post card below and asked if any of our members could identify and date it.
Anne thought it was possibly in Westhorpe or Whitecroft in Byfield, Northamptonshire, and wrote ‘The scene is similar to the cottage where I lived with my grandmother in the early 1940s at the courtyard at the back of the Bell Inn, Bell Lane, Byfield. I am descended from Millicent Seawell of William and Elizabeth Suells. The photo was carefully kept by my mother.’
In the following journal we were able to report that Anne’s sister had identified the people in the photo as their Uncle Herbert James Maycock and his wife Roseina nee Hallett who married in 1905 in Byfield, North. Herbert was the x6 grandson of Joseph J Makecock and Millicent Seawell who married in 1718 at Woodford Cum Membris near Byfield. The third person in the picture was their great grandfather Henry Maycock a farmer born 1838 in Byfield. Anne believes the photo was taken at Herbert and Roseina’s marriage, and the cottage is most likely in Westhorpe or Westrop End, Byfield.
At the end of October this year we were emailed by Nick Fitzpatrick who wrote:
I think the photo on your site is Yew Tree Cottage, Westhorpe Lane Byfield. It is still there and I bought it a year and a half ago. You are welcome to take a look if you are in the village. It has changed much since this picture was taken, extended etc. there is a well where the water pump stood on the picture. But the combination of brick and stone is unmistakable, as is the downstairs mullion window. The hand pump was replaced by a well, a porch built over the door, an extension built and new windows put in.
The cottage now identified as Yew Tree Cottage, 29 Westhorpe Lane, Byfield
The British listed Buildings website (www.britishlistedbuildings.co.uk) recorded it in 1887. it is described as late 17th century with late 18th and 20th century alterations. It describes an open fireplace and bread oven projecting to the rear.
We have asked Nick for a photograph of the cottage and will publish it if he sends one.