Oak Cottage, Ashfield Lane

Q. We have recently moved into the above property on Ashfield Lane and have begun to try to find out what we can about its history. What we know so far is that:

  • The property was built sometime between 1844 and 1863 (it doesn’t appear on the Tithe map but does appear on the map dated 1863). The property was part of the Frognal / Scadbury Estate so the owner was Viscount Sydney – although the property was not part of the sale in 1915 – so it was either sold before or after this date.
  • In the 1871 census it was occupied by a Henry Smith (Merchant). By 1891 it was occupied by a Henry Wilkin and his wife . In the 1890’s the Tiark family were interested in renting the property for an ageing Aunt – so it must have been a property of reasonable distinction at the time – it is named incidentally on the local maps of 1863 and 1897.
  • In the early 1900’s Dorothy McCall the author lived in the house – we believe that she may have written a “String of Beads” whilst living here.
  • A couple called Enid and George lived in the house up until around 1996 (at a guess) – we are trying to find out more from the previous owner, the Hedley’s then lived here and enlarged the property to give the appearance that it is today.

We have looked through various books so we know all about Ringer and the timber yard  and the celery beds (although we don’t actually think that Ringer lived in the adjoining property – which would have sat between Oak Cottage and Websters Cottages)

We have so far received help from Ron Hopper and Tony Allen – we are now desperate to try and find out anything else that we can (on the list are more census records / trips to the library etc etc). We have found a photo from 1984 in the Library but we would love to know more about the house, details, photo’s , anything about the owners so we can try to piece together as much as possible. Hopefully you may be able to help – we look forward to hearing from you. James and Kim Griffiths

A. Well James and Kim have done great deal of research, and we have not been able to uncover any more information about the cottage (pictured above in the early 20thC) or its residents. We shall keep an eye out in our researches.