The Cottage on Elder Lane was built sometime between 1806 and 1830 and thought to be over 200 years old
Indendures from the mid 1800s to mid 1900s are still in possession of the current owners and illustrate how the property changed hands over this period.
An indenture dated 1830 refers to the sale of the ‘piece, plot, parcel of land with messuage or tenement buildings’ by Joseph, William and Thomas Kidger to Robert Artless of Worthington (Griffydam) a ‘Jersey Comber’.
The following year an 1831 indenture dated 9th November was then made between Robert Artless and John Taylor of Worthington (Griffydam) a ‘hardware dealer’. Robert Artless sold the plot to John Taylor for £11 14s. John Taylor died in 1843 in the ‘Nottingham Union Workhouse’, but we believe he occupied the cottage for a period of time before going into the workhouse.
On Aug 1st 1843, Thomas Taylor, the brother and heir of John Taylor sold it to William Hollaway, a Yeoman from Coleorton for £6. It appears that William Holloway may have occupied the premises after John Taylor. William then converted the dwelling into 2 tenaments which were occupied by Richard Stacey and William Ball.
William Holloway borrowed £22 with interest from Thomas Barber, a cordwainer (boot & shoe maker) from Melbourne to purchase the property. However, William Holloway defaulted on the mortgage still owing Thomas £22 and a large arrears of interest. As a result, the property was transferred into Thomas’s name on the 16th September 1844.
On the 21st Sept 1867 Thomas Barber sold the estate to Joseph Bailey, a Yeoman living on Breedon Brand. Executor’s of Joseph Bailey’s will were his friend Price Kidger of Thringstone (Pegg’s Green) who was a butcher and his Son in Law John Harteshorne, a respected "Family of Farmers and Butchers”. His instructions were to divide the proceeds of the estate equally between his 4 children Sam Bailey, Eliza (wife of George Wright), Mary (wife of William Gadesby), Jane (wife of John Harteshorne). The property at the time of indenture was occupied by John Smith.
In 1877, the estate was sold by Joseph Bailey to Samuel Eagle Esq., who ran a Bakery and Grocery business in Rotten Row, Coleorton (then part of Thringstone). In the 1891 census, Samuel was listed as being retired. He was clearly a man of some standing, as Kelly's 1891 trade directory includes him as a member of the court list. However, the estate was presumably acquired on a buy to let basis as an investment as Samuel and his wife Elizabeth never lived there. The receipts shown are for work carried out on the property by Samuel Eagle Esq, presumably prior to letting out the property.
There is a land tax receipt paid in 1897 by Elizabeth Eagle (now widowed) showing that Mrs. Elizabeth Radford was the tenant at that time. Later Elizabeth remarried and continued to live in Rotten Row Coleorton with her new husband John J Ayre and her son Samuel M Eagle from her marriage to Samuel Eagle.
Elizabeth Ayre of Coleorton who died in 1938 and Ethel Annie Eagle who married Albert Robinson in 1949 was appointed executor following Elizabeth Ayre's death. Ethel died in 1950 and the estate was passed to Elizabeth Dorothy Irons of Blaby and Annie Joan Brenita Foster of Hugglescote in 1953. The property at this time was occupied by Mrs Francis.
It is not known when the Francis family moved into the cottage but Mrs Gertude Francis (nee Crabtree) lived there with her husband Frederick James Francis. They had 4 children, 3 boys; John Frederick, Tom, James Edgar, and a girl Esther. Photographs of their son James Edgar, born in 1921, can be found in the Photo Gallery
Their grandson Jimmy Francis (son of James Edgar) recalls visiting his grandparents at The Cottage... "it was a two up two down property as you entered through the door the stairs were there and with really steep stairs, the best room was on the left nearest to Elder Lane (which I cannot remember much about because I never spent any time in there). The room to the right was where the table and kitchen was with uneven slate floors with a black stove. There was a door that led down a few steps to a cold storage room where they kept meat, vegetables etc. The toilet was down the far end of the garden which ran parallel to Elder lane, it was a wooden shed (almost next to the next door neighbours)"
An illustration of how The Cottage may have looked in the late 19th century. It possibly had a thatched rather than tiled roof at that time
An aerial photograph of The Cottage taken after it was extended to the front in the 1970’s. It was extended again in the 1980’s after the owner acquired additional land to the east
The 3 receipts are for goods and works carried out for Samuel Eagle who purchased the property in 1877