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Red kite

TWO VILLAGES, ONE HEART

LACEY GREEN & LOOSLEY ROW

LACEY GREEN & LOOSLEY ROW

Red kite

THE HISTORY of VINE COTTAGE

Some Historical Terms Explained

1messuage - a dwelling with its outbuildings and the surrounding land that is used by the dwelling's occupants
2Indenture - Contract or agreement

144 square inches 1 square foot
9 square feet 1 square yard
30.25 square yards 1 perch/rod/pole
40 perches 1 rood
4 roods 1 acre = 4,840 sq yds
640 acres 1 square mile

Useful information on historical measurement is available at Nottingham University website

 

Pre Enclosure Map

 

 

Vine Cottage 2020

Although not obvious when seen from the outside today, Vine Cottage is believed to be one of the oldest surviving building in the village. For now it is divided into two cottages but this too contradicts its current appearance - see aerial photo' below.

The historical evidence comes from documents and circumstances pertaining at the time, from which inferences can be made.

The earliest reference to Vine Cottage that has been identified dates back to 1775 when the property was sold by a John Anderson, a blacksmith from Downley, to Thomas Dell Snr, a shopkeeper and baker. It had two tenants, John Lacey and John Bowler. Today's occupants may envy the purchase price of £64.

Pre Enclosure Map

 

At that time, the messuage1 comprised arable and meadow land of two acres known as Up Green or Roundabouts, thought to be in the area of today's Roundlands. It was before the enclosures of 1823 when few such cottages existed.

Back then a landowner had no restrictions on building - Town and Country Planning began in the early 20th century following the Industrial revolution - so there's probably no record of when it was actually built.

Situated at the heart of Lacey Green, is was built using traditional bricks and flint with a cellar, an inglenook fireplace, exposed beams and un-prepared timber rafters in the roof. Most of this has been retained throughout alterations over the years.

Vine lobby

Land Ownership

It might be worth remembering that after the Norman conquest King William allocated land to those who had helped him win against Harold. It was probably ever thus that land ownership was at the bequest of the monarch. These landowners would likely in turn divide up the land and share it amongst their children or sell a part to settle debts. Thus land areas were ever changing in size, area and ownership. Boundaries went with rivers and other obvious landmarks or just simply the contours. Some records had to be kept and this is evident from the Doomsday book and more recently the Enclosures. Today we have the Land Registry.

Methods of measuring these odd shaped plots had to be practical at the time. Perhaps a foot is the most obvious and maybe a pole was similar to a yardstick. The language to describe these measures would be unknown to most owners now.

Land today still legally belongs to the Crown - in practice the Government - which allows them to compulsory purchase properties when the need arises - HS2 for example.

 

Some Historical Terms Explained

1messuage - a dwelling with its outbuildings and the surrounding land that is used by the dwelling's occupants
2Indenture - Contract or agreement

144 square inches 1 square foot
9 square feet 1 square yard
30.25 square yards 1 perch/rod/pole
40 perches 1 rood
4 roods 1 acre = 4,840 sq yds
640 acres 1 square mile

Useful information on historical measurement is available at Nottingham University website

Vine Cottage 2020

 

Enclosure Map 1823

 

An indenture from 1830 talks of the messuage extending to more than four acres and being "insured for £300 against fire at the expense of Thomas Dell" (Likely to have been Enclosures 639-643 on plan).

It is also likely that further buildings were being, or had been, added during this time.

Mortgage documents confirm that the cottage remained in Dell family ownership for several generations. It would seem that modifications were made to make for more tenant income.

ln 1856 Vine Cottage was sold for £315 to Mary Grace of Princes Risborough. The conveyance notes: "All that messuage or tenement formerly used as two messuages or tenements situate at Lacey Green ... in the occupation of John Carter Dell deceased and now occupied as three tenements by Joshua Dell, John Claydon and others."

Evidently alterations continued to the cottages throughout their lives with new walls going up and others down at this time to include more tenants.

The extensions to Vine Cottage

Vine & White Cottages as they are today. In the 1850's some or all of the rear extensions must have been added to the original cottage.

 


 

Land lots

 

Aerial View
An aerial view of Vine Cottage, with the old village hall on the left and before more modern developments such as Eastlands

 


Nearly 50 years later, in 1905, The Revd. Oliver James Grace, Mary Grace's nephew, sold his land and property in Lacey Green at auction. Lot 3 comprised "A block of four freehold cottages with well-stocked gardens, pigsties, woodsheds and water tank. Enclosure of meadowland, planted with cherry trees; ... one acre, three rods and eighteen perches or thereabouts".

The cottages in lot 3 were described as:
1. Cottage, 6 rooms, bake house and oven - tenant Mr Joseph Briscoe
2. Cottage, 2 Rooms - tenant Mr Rixon
3. Cottage, 4 Rooms - tenant Mr Janes
4. Cottage, 4 rooms - tenant Mr Ginger
At this time probably collectively known as 1, 2, 3 and 4 Vine Cottages. There are several examples of village houses today - Portobello, Currels Row and Bell View to name a few - that are similarly numbered.

Records show the buyer to be Frederick William Floyd, and the cottages remained in the ownership of the Floyd family until after the Second World War.

 

19th September 1920. Wedding party of George Ambrose Wager and Mary Jane Claydon seated behind the vegetable patch at Vine cottage.

 

Vine Cottage 1905

 

Vine Cottage at the turn of the 20th Century when Charlotte BRISCOE, great grandmother of Dennis CLAYDON, our own local historian, was the tenant.

 

 

 

White Cottge
This is the profile of White Cottage In 2022 and includes the flat roof and all four of the seemingly singular buildings behind it.

In 1946 the four dwellings were sold separately with Harold George Janes buying Vine Cottage - number 1 above - described at the time as "consisting a piece of land having a frontage to the road and forming the South West portion thereof together with the messuage erected thereon". A water supply in 1947 closely followed by electricity may have influenced the amalgamation of the remaining dwellings into White cottage.

The second half of the 20th century saw Vine Cottage change hands several times. Those who have lived in Lacey Green for some while may remember Miss Fletcher, who owned the cottage for many years and whose small dog, Victoria, is thought to be buried beside the magnificent apple tree.

Miss Fletcher was an active member of village life and also a painter, using the garden room, that you can see on the left of the photo, as a studio.

In 2004 Sue and David Llewellyn bought Vine Cottage. They extended the property, retaining many of the original features including the cellar and inglenook. It was entirely appropriate that the building work was completed by Dell Brothers whose family played such a key role in the history of Vine Cottage.

Sue suffered a stroke in 2020 and is unlikely to fully recover. Her husband died a few years earlier. Her family decided to sell the property and 2022 brought another change of occupants with a young family.

To be continued...

SUMMARY OF OWNERSHIP OF VINE COTTAGE,

 

1775

19th January INDENTURE - Lease for a year

John Anderson of Downley, West Wycombe, Blacksmith, receives from Thomas Dell (Snr) of Laceys Green, Princes Risborough, Shopkeeper, the sum of five shillings.
John Lacey and John Bowler Tenants, also Arable and Meadow land, two acres, Up Green or Roundabouts.

1775

20th January INDENTURE

The sum of £64 paid to the said John Anderson by the said Thomas Dell (Snr) Freehold for, ''….Cottage now divided into and used as two tenements… wherein John Lacey and John Bowler did then dwell together with the several closes or inclosed pieces or parcels of Arable Meadow or Pasture Ground thereto belonging….containing by estimation two acres….in the tenure or occupation of John Lacey….''

1775

20th January BOND

From said John Anderson to said Thomas Dell (Snr) ''…for quiet enjoyment and against the Dower of Elizabeth, wife of the said John Anderson the penal sum of £130.''

1793

9th November WILL of Thomas Dell (Snr)

By his Will of this date Thomas Dell (Snr) of Laceys Green, Parish of Princes Risborough, Farmer and Chandler, gave and devised all his personal estate to loving wife Ann Dell, after her decease to son, Thomas Dell (Jun). Should his said wife Ann Dell marry again, then everything to son, Thomas Dell (Jun).

1811

1822

November DEATH of Thomas Dell (Snr) Aged 75

25th March INDENTURE

1. Ann Dell Widow of the said Thomas Dell (Snr) deceased
2. Thomas Dell (Jun) of Speen, Farmer, & Mary his wife
3. Joseph Burrough of the Borough of Chipping Wycombe, Draper
4. John Rumsey of the Borough of Chipping Wycombe, Gentleman
Agreed to levy a fine. ''....Cottage….wherein Joseph Floyd dwelt wherein the said Thomas Dell (Snr) deceased afterwards dwelt and wherein John Dell then dwelt….also that close or parcel of land to the said Cottage….by estimation one acre and a half….purchased by the said Thomas Dell (Snr) deceased of and from Daniel Russell & Anna Maria Cordelia his wife formerly Anna Maria Cordelia Aldridge….said premises known as Up Green.

1822

25th March INDENTURE (continued)
Also…Cottage formerly two Cottages…wherein Jonathan Lacey and John Stone formerly dwelt…together with several closes or inclosed pieces or parcels of Arable Meadow or Pasture ground thereto belonging….by estimation two acres….formerly in the occupation of John Lacey….known as Up Green….purchased by the said Thomas Dell (Snr) deceased of and from one John Anderson. And also of all…the tithes & tenths of Corn grain & hay & all other tithes and tenths whatsoever yearly….''

Hilary Term 3d Geo 4 - CHIROGRAPH OF FINE
Between said Joseph Burrough & said Anne Dell, Thomas Dell and Mary, his wife.
''One messuage, six cottages, four barns, four stables, eight gardens, six orchards, 150 acres of land, 30 acres of meadow, 30 acres of pasture, & 30 acres of wood…in Princes Risborough, Speen and Lacey Green….
And also all and all manner of tithes….''

1823

Enclosure of Princes Risborough Parish

Plot numbers - 639 John Grubb
640 John Parslow
641 Ann Dell
642 Sarah Shard
643 Ann Dell

1827

February DEATH of Ann Dell Aged 84 years

1830

1st and 2nd January INDENTURES
1. Thomas Dell (Jun) (Mortgager)
2. Thomas Brown, of Dorchester, Oxfordshire, Gent. (Mortgagee)
£500 Mortgage with interest at 5% per annum
''…All that messuage or tenement formerly used as two Messuages….for some time past in the occupation of John Dell, son of the said Thomas Dell….also four acres & thirty three poles of Meadow or Orchard Ground adjoining….also….that messuage or tenement erected* by the Father or Mother of the said Thomas Dell on or adjoining the said four acres and thirty three poles of Meadow or Orchard Ground then in the occupation of William Saunders….insure for £300 against fire at the expense of said Thomas Dell…''.

(*Note: Lawyers copied old Deeds and continued to call houses 'new' for decades)

1830

23rd March and 27th and 28th May INDENTURES
1. Thomas Dell (Jun) (Mortgager)
2. Henry Wingrove (Mortgagee)
£1500 and £300 total £1800 with Interest (On other premises?)

1831

28th and 29th March INDENTURES
1. Thomas Dell (Jun) (Mortgager)
2. Thomas Brown (Mortgagee)
3. Henry Wingrove (Mortgagee)

1831

28th and 29th March INDENTURES (continued)
Henry Wingrove paid off Thomas Brown £500
Henry Wingrove loans Thomas Dell a further £100
£2400 Mortgage consolidation Henry Wingrove (Mortgagee)
''Thomas Dell…. should not in any one year…. fell or cut down more timber growing on the land than would amount in value to the sum of £100.''

1834

28th July AFFIDAVIT of Mr. Samuel Smith of Speen as to possession of Up Green and Roundabout
''….believes that a small portion of the said piece of land was many years since enclosed from the waste or common land there….that such piece of land must have been so enclosed for a longer period than fifty years since for during the said period of fifty years last past the said piece of land hath been of the same shape and size that it is at present….''
Affidavit also refers to Pettiphers and Newells, also in the possession of Thomas Dell (Jun) (Lacey Green Farm)

1834

30th July and 1st August INDENTURES
1. Henry Wingrove (Mortgagee)
2. Thomas Dell (Jun) (Mortgager)
3. Henry Batt Mason of Iver Common, Bucks, Gent. (Mortgagee)
4. Archibald White
5. Thomas Wills Walford of Uxbridge, Middlesex, Gent.
Henry Batt Mason loans Thomas Dell £3200 with Interest
Henry Batt Mason paid off Henry Wingrove £2400 (part of said £3200)
Henry Batt Mason loans Thomas Dell £800 (residue of said £3200)

1834

DEATH of Mary Dell, Wife of Thomas Dell (Jun) Aged 52(?)

1838

April ABSTRACT OF THE TITLE
Henry Batt Mason to hereditaments called Up Green or the Roundabout…..
as Mortgagee thereof with Power of Sale.

1838

22nd May INDENTURE Lease for a year
1. Henry Batt Mason, of Iver, Buckinghamshire, Gentleman
2. Thomas Dell, of Princes Risborough, Buckinghamshire, Farmer
3. Joshua Dell, of Princes Risborough, Buckinghamshire, Yeoman
Henry Batt Mason and Thomas Dell receive five shillings each from Joshua Dell

1838

23rd May INDENTURE Conveyance to Joshua Dell
1. Henry Batt Mason of Iver, Buckinghamshire, Gentleman (Mortgagee)
2. Thomas Dell of Princes Risborough, Buckinghamshire, Farmer
3. John Carter Dell of Princes Risborough, Buckinghamshire, Yeoman
4. Sir William Lawrence Young of North Dean, Buckinghamshire, Baronet
5. Anne Gray of Princes Risborough, Buckinghamshire, Spinster
6. Joshua Dell of Princes Risborough, Buckinghamshire, Yeoman
7. John Weedon of Little Hillingdon, Middlesex, Yeoman (Mortgagee)

1838

23rd May INDENTURE Conveyance of Joshua Dell (continued)
Henry Batt Mason (as Mortgagee to Thomas Dell) agrees to sell two tenements with adjoining 4 acres and 33 poles to John Carter Dell for £250. (Property already in the occupation of John Carter Dell). John Carter Dell agrees to relinquish Contract to Joshua Dell. Joshua Dell to pay Henry Batt Mason £250 & to John Carter Dell £51.14s.10d in consideration of relinquishing Contract, a total of £301.14s.10d.
John Weedon (Mortgagee) loans mortgage of £200 to Joshua Dell.
Sir William Lawrence Young & Anne Gray not party to sale, but covenant to produce related Deeds.

1843

DEATH of Thomas Dell (Jun), Aged 78 (?)

1855

15th June DEATH of John Weedon (Mortgagee)
Mrs Elizabeth Weedon takes over mortgage.

1855

20th July WILL of John Weedon
Will of John Weedon proved by Executrix and Executors.

1856

ABSTRACT OF THE TITLE
Joshua Dell and his Mortgagee to premises situate at Princes Risborough.

1856

4th February CONVEYANCE
1. Elizabeth Weedon, of Uxbridge, Middlesex, Widow
Henry Grimsdale Cosier, of Uxbridge, Middlesex, Bookseller
Charles Weedon, of Ickenham. Farmer (Mortgagees)
2. Joshua Dell, of Princes Risborough, Buckinghamshire, Yeoman (Vendor)
3. Mary Grace, of Princes Risborough, Buckinghamshire, Spinster (Purchaser)
Mary Grace to pay £200 to above Mortgagees & £115 to Joshua Dell.
''All that messuage or tenement formerly used as two messuages or tenements situate at Lacey Green in the said Parish of Princes Risborough heretofore in the occupation of John Carter Dell deceased and now occupied as three tenements by the said Joshua Dell John Claydon and others. And also all those Four acres and thirty three poles of meadow or orchard adjoining….now in the occupation of the said Joshua Dell''.

1859

29th September WILL of Mary Grace
By her Will of this date Mary Grace after making sundry bequests gave and devised all her real and residuary personal estate to her Nephew the Revd Olive James Grace, Curate of Bledlow, Buckinghamshire (Son of her eldest Brother then deceased late of Wardrobes in the Parish of Princes Risborough) for his own absolute use and benefit.

1862

19th June DEATH of Mary Grace

1862

22 August WILL of Mary Grace proved
Revd Henry Thomas Grace and Revd Oliver James Grace Executors

1888

3rd August INDENTURE Mortgage
1. Oliver James Grace, of Saunderton Rectory, Princes Risborough,
Buckinghamshire, Clerk in Holy Orders (Mortgager)
2. Edith Isabel Chapman of 1, Hyde Park Mansions, Marylebone Road,
Middlesex, Spinster (Mortgagee)
Edith Isabel Chapman loans Oliver James Grace £200 Mortgage
(May also include land at 'Gracefield'?)

1892

26th September Part repayment of Mortgage
£100 paid this day on account of the principal monies

1895

10 August INDENTURE Reconveyance
1. Edith Isabel Thompson, wife of Henry Mortimer Thompson, of 51
Blenheim Gardens, Willesden Green, Middlesex
2. Oliver James Grace of Saunderton Rectory, Princes Risborough,
Buckinghamshire, Clerk in Holy Orders
Oliver James Grace pays off Mortgage to Edith Isabel Thompson (formerly Edith Isabel Chapman)

1905

12th September AUCTION at Spread Eagle Hotel, Thame, Oxfordshire.
Revd Oliver James Grace of Saunderton Rectory, Princes Risborough, Clerk in Holy Orders (Vendor)

Lot 3. Block of four freehold cottages, with well-stocked gardens, pigsties, woodsheds and water tank. Enclosure of meadowland, planted with cherry trees, 1a 3r 18p or thereabouts.
1. Cottage - Six rooms, bake house and oven - Tenant Mr. Joseph Briscoe.
[Vine Cottage]
2. Cottage - Two rooms -Tenant Mr. Rixon
3. Cottage - Four rooms -Tenant Mr. Janes
4. Cottage - Four rooms -Tenant Mr. Ginger

Lot 4. Freehold meadowland known as 'Roundabouts', 2a 1r 16p or thereabouts. Tenant - Mrs Floyd.

1905

20 October ABSTRACT OF TITLE
Lot.3. Abstract of Title of the Revd. Oliver James Grace to freehold cottages and land situate at Lacey Green, Princes Risborough, Buckinghamshire.

1905

20 October INDENTURE OF CONVEYANCE
1. Revd. Oliver James Grace (Vendor)
2. Frederick William Floyd (Purchaser)

1939

13 July DEATH of Frederick William Floyd

1939

1st August WILL of Frederick William Floyd proved
Richard Montague West and Frederick Thomas Crook - Executors

1939

2nd October VESTING ASSENT
Richard Montague West and Frederick Thomas Crook, both of Stocken Farm, Lacey Green, Buckinghamshire, Farmers, as Personal Representatives of Frederick William Floyd, late of Lacey Green aforesaid deceased, ASSENT to the vesting in Harry George Floyd of Lacey Green aforesaid of all the property described in the Schedule hereto for an estate in fee simple….
''ALL THOSE four messuages or tenements with the gardens and appurtenances thereto belonging situate at Lacey Green in the Parish of Princes Risborough in the County of Buckingham now in the respective occupations of Oakford and Turney and Mrs. C. Ginger and G. Ginger AND SECONDLY ALL THAT piece of meadow land containing one acre three roods and eighteen perches or thereabouts adjoining the said cottages….''

1946

6th December CONVEYANCE
1. Harry George Floyd
2. Harold George Janes
''….a portion of the within described property consisting of a piece of land having a frontage to the road and forming the south west portion thereof Together with the messuage erected thereon was conveyed to the said Harold George Janes in fee simple.'' [Vine Cottage]

1946

6th December CONVEYANCE
1. Harry George Floyd
2. Henry John Turney
''….a portion of the within mentioned property comprising two cottages and a detached piece of garden ground was conveyed to the said Henry John Turney in fee simple.''

1946

6th December CONVEYANCE
1. Harry George Floyd
2. Leslie Jonah Ginger
''….a portion of the within mentioned property consisting of a cottage and garden Together with a right of way thereto from the road was conveyed to the said Leslie Jonah Ginger in fee simple.''

1957

27th September CONVEYANCE
1. Harry George Floyd
2. Margaret Bateman, 'Grymsdyke', Lacey Green, Buckinghamshire, Married Woman
''….All that piece of meadow land containing 1a. 3r. 18 p or thereabouts….''

End of Summary

 

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