No. 1, ASKETT LANE (now PENN COTTAGE)

 

In, the charter of 1461 there is mention of a cottage belonging to Thomas Eyre, situated just south of the junction between the pathway and the Kings highway. The name does not recur in the parish records of the next century, and natural causes may have occurred. It is on the basis of later evidence that the suggestion can be made that the Bampton family took over the property.

Edmund and 'Goody' Bampton had six children who lived to adulthood, and it is son Robert whose family provide the direct link to the future. He married Elizabeth, and they had a son called Robert born in 1633. There had been sons born earlier, Thomas and John, whose twin William had died as a baby. There is no record of the death of Thomas, John and father Robert, and it can only be a guess that father and elder sons were killed in the Civil War. Elizabeth was left with three young children, Robert, Rebecca and Joseph born last in 1640. On 30th. July 1665 Elizabeth died.

On the 6th. October 1666 there is recorded a 'quit' claim by Robert Hampton of Ascott, cordwainer, Joseph Bampton of Quaynton, husbands man, William Brooks of Ascott, husbandsman, and Sarah his wife and Rebecca Bampton of Ascott, spinster, informing Thomas Bampton of their rights and interests.

This confirms the family line in the parish records, noting that Joseph had moved to Quainton, and that Robert had no living family. Sister Rebecca remained a spinster until she died in 1679, presumably keeping house for her brother. That he was a cordwainer, the village shoemaker and saddler, was of interest to later history. Robert died in 1684 on 16th. August. Whether Thomas Bampton, possibly Joseph's son, inherited the property is not known. Several new families came to the village at this time, but none are mentioned as cordwainer, until 1822 when a child was baptised, the son of Joseph Poulton, cordwainer and his wife Ann, who lived at number one, Water Lane, i.e. Askett Lane. Also living with them

was father John Poulton, born in 1761 who taught his son and grandson the trade of shoemaker. Mrs Ann Poulton was one of the lace makers of the village, and she taught her five daughters to make lace, as well as having five sons and a father-in-law to look after.

By the end of the nineteenth century, Job had married Fanny and had his own family at the end cottage, making shoes for the upper green end of the village in the evening and bricklaying by day. Fanny was one of the 'duck pluckers' at Crocketts farm, where hundreds of ducks were kept for- sending to London for 2s.2d. each, but the ducks were a nuisance wandering all over the village.

Albert and Cyril, born in 1893, grew up at the cottage, and one of Cyril's earliest memories is of going to church to join the choir, at five years old, taken there by the curate who lived at Meadowcroft. That curate got him into trouble on more than one occasion - like challenging him to jump over the stream as they went across the fields to church, and Cyril falling in. Brother Bert got him into trouble too, as he remembered when Bert was four years old, he fell into the pond behind Chiltern Cottage and Cyril jumped in to save him - but - as he had on his new sailors outfit with its white collar and hat, they both got sent to bed on their return - such is the reward for valour!

Job Poulton died in 1904, and his younger brother Tom, came back to live with the family, until 1928 when Fanny died. The rent on the cottage was put up to fifteen shillings by landlord Frost, and so Cyril left the district, first to go as dairyman at Stocklake and then into the Artillery in the 1914-18 war.

He returned to the area to plough the fields, and on special days to drive the brougham for special events, borrowing a top hat from Mr East at Monks Risborough, who owned horses, and was saddler and horse slaughterer. Cyril used to lend friend Bert Batty that hat for 6d. a time!

Eventually he became gardener to Mr Moores at the school and at the Rectory when Rev. Roberts was there.

It was here he also met his second wife Stella who left London to work in the country for her health! They bought a bungalow for £530 in Mill Lane, and to both of whom I am grateful for the many photographs they contributed to this paper

After the Poulton family left, Charlie Collins, farm labourer, lived in one part of the cottage, and rode his bike to the farm at Longwick.

Ted Baker, road constructor for David Whey lived in the other part of the cottage. Later, George Copcutt, the gardener lived there.

In the late 1930's, Dame Edith Evans was filmed outside this cottage as part of the film 'David Copperfield', and the horse and trap trotted down Askett Lane into the sunset!

At this time Mr Chambers connected the two cottages together and renovated the property.

Mr Cyril Taylor, who used to own The Grange at Kimble, came to live in the cottage, but renamed it Chymebelle as a reminder of his links with Kimble. He added a new kitchen and an extension was added to the property in 1983.

Footnote: Emma got the “duck pluckers” working at the wrong farm, they worked at Poultons Farm, not Crocketts Farm.

Also it was David Way, not Mr Chambers who connected and renovated the property.

 

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