The beginning of Griffydam Methodism has been attributed to William Garner.
By trade, William Garner was a bricklayer. He moved from Long Whatton to Worthington and, in July 1776, he and Ralph Pope, who appears to have been his labourer, bought part of a close comprising one acre in Griffydam for £57 15s.
William built a cottage on this piece of land and he and Ralph Pope subsequently built the Griffydam Wesleyan Methodist chapel on the remainder of the land in 1778.
William resided at the cottage for many years. After he died or moved elsewhere, the cottage was used as a preachers house and finally as the Chapel caretaker's house.
One of the caretaker's was Mr Thomas Witham and in the photograph you can see his wife Sarah Witham sitting outside the cottage having a rest from the cleaning as you can see from the carpets outside.
The 1939 register records Sarah Hannah Witham (unpaid domestic duties) aged 65 living on the Tentas with her daughter Doris, aged 22 a domestic servant. From this we can deduce that they were still living in the cottage at this time. Her husband Thomas Witham who was a coal miner is not listed, so presumably he had passed away.
The cottage was eventually demolished, probably in the 1950s.
A Corner Of William Garner's Cottage Can Be Seen In The Chapel Gounds Just On The Right Of The Photograph
Caretaker's Wife Sarah Witham Outside The Cottage
The above 1881 surveyed O/S map shows two adjoined properties (marked in red) on the corner of where the Tentas joins the Top Road Griffydam. It is not known when they became two properties from the original three properties referred to in the Indenture of sale document and the 1806 enclosure documents.