Written Winter 2002
Through Your Keyhole
Have you ever wondered who lived in the houses of the village many years ago? Many houses, including our own, have been extensively rebuilt over the years but some are little altered or still retain some part of the earlier structure. It was quite usual to retain a small part of an old building and incorporate it into the new construction. The oldest bit of our house is one corner of the kitchen.
Rebuilding and enlargement have enabled houses to stand on the same plot of land over centuries. The deeds to many of these properties tell of a succession of owners. It is from this source and from the Inclosure documents that we know the names and houses of some of the people who lived in Goxhill. I am most grateful to those people who have allowed me to see deeds and other documents.
Two hundred and twenty five years ago Robert Cavill lived where our house now is in Willow Lane and he also owned a large paddock at the back upon which now stand the houses of Meadow Close. His father Thomas lived at Manor Farm. On the corner of Manor Lane and North End Mr John Plummer lived with his wife Elizabeth and their daughter Hannah in the house that he had recently purchased from George Harrison. On the opposite side of Manor Lane lived Jane Wildmore and her next door neighbour was Jane Holmes. Next to her was Thomas Harrison.
A little further along North End three houses stood where Jasmine cottage and Kathallen are now. These were the homes of Thomas Watson the Younger, John Pickhill and John Dent. The father of Thomas Watson, Thomas Watson the Elder lived in the cottage which used to stand where the Church car park is now. He was a draper. John Jobson owned the remaining area between Church Street, King Street, and Howe Lane upon which stood several houses. On the West Side of the Churchyard where the footpath is now lived Robert Gooseman Orby Winter and Francis Beedham.
At the end of Howe Lane where it becomes Horsegate Field Road lived the vicar The Rev. J Skelton. Beyond that on the other side of a small track in an enclosure in the Horse Field lived Mr W Canty. On the opposite side of the road Mr Christopher Day had his home. A small public way separated him from an enclosure owned by Mr Thomas Faulding, which is now the site of the Keigar Homes estate.
This place was called Point Nook and is remembered by the present house of that name. The last house on the left-hand side of the road in Littleworth was the home of Robert England. Returning towards Chapelfield Road there were nine houses where six bungalows now stand but I do not know the names of the people who lived there. On the opposite side lived Widow Wills. Further towards Soff Lane lived William Sergeant then Thomas Stephenson and on the corner Richard Walker. Miss Hannah Hildyard Lady of the Manor lived at the hall.
William Markham lived in Thorn Lane Where the Elms and The Goathouse are now. Mr William Hardy lived on the opposite side of the road. The north end of the village was probably the most heavily populated area. Mr Thomas Fulstow lived in North End at the corner of Willow Lane and was thee copyholder of the land from Willow Lane up to where Linrick is now. In addition to his own home there were several “Tenements” which were let for rent and also a blacksmiths shop. Thus we have one name but many other residents.
Further along North End on the north side of Ruards Lane lived Thomas Faulding. On the south side was John Border. A narrow path separated him from Thomas Stothard at the Croft and then William Arnold, Ann Smith, John Brown, George Uppleby; Elizabeth Teanby, a tenant of Mr Markham, William Easton, and Richard Border lived along the street.. I do not know the names of the other residents on that side of the road. John Stagg lived where Iris Cottage and Owl Lodge now stand. Arbut Allison had his home on the corner of North End and Elm Lane and John Neelson lived a little further along the lane At the north end of the village on the West Side of Ferry Road from Springfield to The Lilacs lived Widow Raby, Richard Newton John Luty, George Mills, John Cavill, a tenant of W Markham, Charles Marris, William Stephenson, a tenant of John Neelson, Mr Mills and Thomas Hardy labourer. Thomas Hardy gentleman lived at the end of Westfield Road on the left.
These are just a few of the people who lived in a house like yours. Although there are probably none for whom a blue plaque will be placed over the door their very existence made Goxhill the village in which we live.