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BWS - House History Project

Bringing the past to the present

St. Peters Street

The cottage forms part of a terrace of three identical houses (1, 2, and 3 St Peter’s Street) built in 1905 by COURAGE & CO, the London-based brewery that owned The Bunch of Grapes public house at the time.

The cottage walls are of brickwork in Flemish bond with blue headers, blind arches with stone keys, containing bands of brick and tile. The tiled roofs of the three cottages are stepped to the slope of St Peter’s Street, each unit identical and consisting of two storeys with one upstairs window under the eaves with their interesting detail of black wrought iron eaves brackets. The doorway has a side window contained within the arch (giving it an asymmetrical look), and a stable door (giving it a somewhat rural look). The three cottages are listed (under English Heritage’s Statutory List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest) as “unaltered examples of the Arts and Crafts style as applied to artisan dwellings in a confined central site”.

The Arts and Crafts Movement

The Arts and Crafts movement, founded by John Ruskin and William Morris, spanned a period of around 50 years in the nineteenth century and spread across much of the UK, reaching its height in the late Victorian and Edwardian era. The look is all about simple, traditional building forms, using natural, vernacular materials and is a celebration of craftsmanship and individuality. The favourite word of the architects who built them was ‘honest’. This meant straightforward and solid construction. Materials were not hauled from factories on the other side of the country but were found as near to the site as possible. Given the brickworks in Bishops Waltham, it is tempting to suggest that these three brick cottages were indeed made from local materials.

Peters Street_edited.jpg

The style can suit almost any location, country or town, as is the case in St Peter’s Street, where the three cottages form an infill development between The Bunch of Grapes and The Grange, i.e. within an existing streetscape.

An Arts & Crafts house would characteristically have an asymmetrical look, as is the case here, although this is counter-balanced in this instance by the identical nature of the three cottages. The low eaves and cottage style windows, with their multiple small panes that are taller than they are wide, are what you would expect to find in an Arts & Crafts house. Details such as a traditional arched brick lintel are also often used. 

Courage & Co.

Courage & Co Ltd was started by John Courage at the Anchor Brewhouse in Bermondsey, London 1787. A hundred years later, Courage had expanded hugely but was looking to acquire a brewery that specialised in “excellent pale ale”. After much search and enquiry, the directors eventually bought Messrs. G. & E. Hall’s brewery at Alton in Hampshire in 1903. Hall’s was an old established concern, purchased by Mr. Henry Hall from Mr. John Hawkins in 1841. The Alton brewery was of respectable size when Courage acquired it; it had 64 freehold and 13 leasehold public houses, of which one was the Bunch of Grapes public house in Bishops Waltham. When the acquisition was made, Major M. R. F. Courage went to Alton as local director, taking Mr. B. W. Peile from London as manager (a name that appears in some of the house documents).

Alton Brewery.JPG

G. & E. Hall’s brewery at Alton, in Hampshire, acquired in 1903

Timeline

  • 1903 - 2nd March – COURAGE Co Ltd acquires G. & E. Hall’s Brewery, including the Bunch of Grapes public house, which stands on what is then known as Church Lane.

  • 1905 – Courage builds three cottages in the Arts & Crafts style on the grounds of the Bunch of Grapes. This required the demolition of “stables and coach-house” and an “old skittles alley” belonging to the pub as well as a loss of part of the pub’s yard and garden. See below.

 

A later map shows the layout of the three cottages (note that the road is now called St Peter’s Street) which shows how the gardens were offset to allow the Bunch of Grapes some remaining garden.

Courage also had to make an undertaking to Caroline Gunner (widow) of Gunner’s Bank and owner of Grange House to provide proper guttering for the junction of the two premises (3, St Peters Street and the southernmost outbuilding of Grange House). Interestingly, this agreement was not followed in detail as the current guttering, dated 1905, does not conform.

(See illustrations below).

Note the original floor plan and the fact that neither the arch over the doorways nor the stable doors were included in these early drawings.

  • 1918 - 2nd September – Osmond BLACKMAN of Pheasant House, St Peter’s Street purchases 1, 2 and 3 St Peter’s Street (so the street name changes sometime between 1905 and 1918) from Courage & Co Ltd for a total of £575 for the three cottages. He covenanted with the Company that “the Purchaser, his heirs, executors, administrators will not carry on or suffer to be carried on upon the said hereditaments hereby conveyed or any part thereof or any building to be erected thereon, the trade or business of a Licensed Victualler or seller or manufacturer of wine, beer, spirituous or malt or other intoxicating liquor”. This covenant on the three cottages still stands (in perpetuity!).

  • 1930 - 24th February – Osmond BLACKMAN dies at his home, Pheasant House, leaving all his property to his unmarried daughter Elizabeth BLACKMAN.

  • 1959 - 3rd June – Elizabeth BLACKMAN dies at Pheasant House. The cottage has thus been owned by the Blackman family for just over 40 years.

  • 1960 - 27th February – Eight months later Mary JONES (widow) of The Gables, St Peter’s Street (Elizabeth Blackman’s next-door neighbour) buys 1 St Peter’s Street for £175 from Elizabeth’s executors. The cottage is described as having a frontage on the street of approx 16’4” and a width at the rear of approx 12’6”. It is then “in the occupation of A. ASHFORD as tenant".

  • 1960 - 31st December – Ten months later Mary Jones, still living at The Gables, sells the cottage to Frank Raymond KNIGHT, a nurseryman from Southampton, for £575 (making her a profit of £400 in less than a year!). At the time of the purchase, he was living at the same address as his son Ronald Knight (see below). It’s worth noting that up until at least this date the cottage has been rented out rather than being occupied by its owner but clearly at some stage Frank Knight did come and live in the cottage he owned. 

  • 1975 - 27th October – Frank Raymond Knight, otherwise Michael Hammond, otherwise Aloysius Michael Hamond [sic] of 1 St Peter’s Street dies intestate and his property goes to his sons, Harold Anthony KNIGHT of Salisbury and Ronald Edwin KNIGHT, shop assistant, of Southampton. 

  • 1977 - 27th April – Pauline COLENSO of Laurel Cottage, Winchester Road, Botley, buys the cottage from the Knight brothers for £7500. It is interesting to note the huge rise in the value of houses in the 17 years between 1960 and 1977, up from £575 to £7500, in other words a rise of 1,304%! 

  • 1987 - 5th January – Some 10 years later James Allen DOUGLAS and Christopher Michael SCHOFIELD, both of 30 Waller Road, London SE14, buy 1 St Peter’s Street from Pauline Colenso for £58,750. This equates to a further rise in value of 783%.

  • 1994 - 25th March – Seven years later Alexander Demetrius WALTERS of Curdridge buys the cottage for £95,000.

 

  • 2000 - September – Elizabeth WATT buys 1 St Peter Street 

 

  • 2014 - The cottage, currently owned by Elizabeth Watt, is on the market for £279,950

Church Lane Map.JPG
St Peters Map.JPG
St. Peters Street drawings.JPG

References:

  1. Clive Aslet in The Daily Telegraph 30 Nov 2011 (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/property/periodproperty/8920546/Arts-and-Crafts-houses-stand-the-test-of-time.html)

  2.  www.homebuilding.co.uk/design/design-guides/design-style/arts-crafts

  3.  www.takecourage.info/Chapter3.html

  4.  In addition to the three cottages adjacent to the Bunch of Grapes, Osmond Blackman’s property included: a large parcel of land lying near Barbers Gutter, Waltham Chase, together with five cottages with outbuildings; and land in Swanmore.

Opportunities:

On this project we are looking for volunteers to confirm the following:

1) The bricks used on the cottages were made for the local Bishop Waltham Brickworks - The Brickworks Museum may have more information about this. 

2) Try to find the electoral role to confirm the names of the tenants who were living in the cottage over its first 55 years and to confirm with Frank Knight moved in.

3) Review Census for more information about the cottages.

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