ASKETT HOUSE

On old maps the green lane through this property was an important trackway. It is thought to be the original thoroughfare to the Lower Icknield and would have been used in the Middle Ages as a direct route, passed what became known as Hatchmead Farm, across Smokey Row and on to Aylesbury. There used to be a line of trees through and along the path, where the village pigs used to 'grub' for kernals, hence it was known as "Grubbin Lane" for years.

In 1844 the will of John Eggelton of Askett House Farm was read, leaving his land to his son Stephen - but what happened at that time is not recorded.

He left other land to his daughter Elizabeth, who married John East, and at the end of the nineteenth century that John East built a small cottage along the grubbin lane through the Home Close land. Their son, Horace, lived there, later moving to Lower Icknield to raise ducks for the London market.

Horace East, aged 26, in 1881 was the “civil messenger" for Askett -ie the postman. (Lower lcknield Farm is now a flourishing garden centre mainly supplying local needs). Then Albert Pursell, a gentleman farmer, used the cottage at the weekends, buying Jersey cows at local markets, but only for a short time.

In the 1920's Mr and Mrs Lavington used it as their country cottage, returning to London to carry on his building business, but he spent much time at the weekends on his favourite hobby - cricket. Famous cricket matches are remembered by many inhabitants, particularly when the famous Bedser twins played there when they were sixteen. Sometimes the boys of the village were involved, as when Mr Lavington moved the cricket pitch from behind the Three Crowns to the new land up Cadsden Hill, and the boys pushed the milk float up the hill with the refreshments for the team. (One of the boys was Mr Leonard Foster).

There were other happy events celebrated in the gardens and barns at the House, such as the Jubilee and Coronation parties in the 1930's, enjoyed by all the village. The ladies got involved in the usual and traditional way, and set up tables outside the house or in the large barn, for the team and friends, ready in the summer evenings for the wonderful dinner provided when the large joint was cooked at the bakery in Monks Risborough by the Eggletons.

Mr & Mrs Lavington had four daughters, Victoria (Vie) the eldest, Elizabeth (Betty), Joan (Jinx) who later lived in Lilac Cottage, and Minnie (Molly) who later lived in one of the Manor cottages. As young girls they all went to the Dame School in Monks Risborough (called Chiltern School, at the Old Rectory in Mill Lane).

Mrs Lavington lived at Askett House until 1945, when new owners acquired the property.

 

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