THE SHACK BLOSSOM COTTAGE (NOW WELL END)

 

Bartholomew of the Pond was one of the witnesses to the first Askett Charter in the thirteenth century, and Henry of the Pond, presumably his son, was witness to the second, thirty five years later. It can be speculated that the family who lived at Pond Meadow was an important one in the history of the village, for the pond was fed by the streams from the hills, and fish and fowl would be kept for food, particularly in the winter.

From 1598 there are registered births and deaths, such as when in 1619 Widow Ponde of Ascott died on November 2nd. In 1673 William Pond was taxed 2s.6d., one of the few charged in the hamlet.

The house was obviously lived in by one of the many groups of families listed in the Parish Registers, but there is no information that could say which. In the 1841 census there are several who lived in Water Lane, the main contender for habitation being the Langston family, on the basis that the grandson of the family was a Rogers. At the end of the nineteenth century, Henry Rogers, who had been to the United States, returned to Askett to work as a dairy farmer and to live at the Shack in Ponds Meadow, which he bought for £160, and where he and his wife had thirteen children. By 1910 he moved with his family to Meadowcroft, leaving his widowed sister, Mary Groom, to live on one side of the cottage. Around this time, the thatch caught fire and the roof was then tiled.

One of the sons John, who married Annie Green from Longwick, went to live at Owlswick and they had three children. Henry John (called Jack) married Ivy Stiff from Chiltern Cottage and went to live in Letter Box Lane. The daughter Dorothy became a nurse and the other daughter Ellen married Fred Bowler, and went to live in Longwick. From 1922 to 1938 Jack and Ivy lived at the Shack and then moved to Crowbrook Road, so John and Annie returned to the old cottage, where John died in 1944. Ellen (Nellie) and Fred Bowler moved from their home in 1946 to live with Mother, until Annie died in 1953. They stayed there until the new bungalow was built down the lane on Shack land, until 1982. (Now called 'Foxes').

In 1954 Mr and Mrs Woods bought the Shack and re-modelled and then re-named it 'Blossom Cottage'.

In 1977 new owners, moved in and continued the re-construction of the cottage, renaming it 'Well End.'

 

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