The Cottage, The Green

This is one of the earliest photographs of a cottage on the south side of the Village Green with Cranes Green pond in front of it. The cottage was situated where Ross Villas are now, across The Green from the Co-op. The pond was filled in, or dried up, c1914.

The cottage is so tiny it hardly features in any records of the time but it can be recognised in the 1842 Martham Tithe Award when it was owned by James Braddock who was a thatcher and lived next door at what we now know as Chapman’s Butchers. Note the hay, or thatch, next to the cottage which may have been his stock in trade. Below is a copy of the 1842 Tithe Award map which shows the plot, No172, owned by James which is listed as ‘land and pightle’ which is a small piece of enclosed land with a house.

Note tiny cottage shown in pink at the top left of plot No172

Even though James Braddock owned the cottage it was occupied from around 1841 until 1866 by Mary Beaton and her daughter Ellen. Ellen married James Hill in 1866 and Mary continued to live at the cottage alone until at least 1871. She moved to Somerton Road sometime between 1871 and 1889 when she died. She was a dressmaker all her life so living at the cottage must have been very convenient for ladies seeking her services.

The photograph below shows the same cottage but improved. The white picket fencing has gone and the front window has been enlarged making it look much more like a shop window. This is supported with a trade sign over the front door. The sign seems to read G E or perhaps G L Rose but I can find no reference to anyone with that name living on the Green. The cottage was demolished and replaced by Ross Villas in 1899.

I am indebted to Gladys Moore for information about the houses to the right of the cottage which were called Laurel Cottages where she was born in 1921. Laurel Cottages were later demolished and a new property was built there as the doctor’s surgery which has since become Murrant Family Funeral Services.

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