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Small building at the end of Furnace Bridge?


Joe Ridley
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35 minutes ago, Joe Ridley said:

Can anyone tell me what the small building was on the end of Furnace Bridge? (see pictures).  I wondered if it had been a small shop? Was the Furnace Bridge ever a toll bridge?

Joe

Joe - quick answer is :- the small building - I will have to dig out the info that other people have posted. The Furnace Bridge was not a Toll bridge -  Info on all the bridges on the river Blyth =  https://www.bridgesonthetyne.co.uk/furnace.html 

On that site there is info on all the bridges over all the bridges in our area.

The Ha'penny (half penny) Woods did have two Toll houses. One just past the Clock House, on the right of the photo you posted, and one at the entrance to the woods from just over the bridge at the bottom of the Bedlington Bank. 

I will dig out some photos.

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@Joe Ridley - a member called @Reedy (no longer comments within this group) created a topic - Bebside Furnace 1940 - 1952 within History Hollow back in 2013. Within that topic were a few photos including one that showed the small building you are asking about and someone did ask if it was the Toll House. Reedy created the topic as his dad used to live in the area and he was documenting what he remembered so reedy asked his dad about that small building and this was his reply :-

 

Boiler House.png

 

This is approximately where the two Toll Houses for the Ha'penny woods were situated :-

1950271929_HapennyTollHouses.thumb.png.0f2d252decc235cd5bb55de2d63fe3d3.png

There are a couple more photos that i will dig out and hopefully post later today.

Edited by Alan Edgar (Eggy1948)
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1 hour ago, Alan Edgar (Eggy1948) said:

@Joe Ridley - a member called @Reedy (no longer comments within this group) created a topic - Bebside Furnace 1940 - 1952 within History Hollow back in 2013. Within that topic were a few photos including one that showed the small building you are asking about and someone did ask if it was the Toll House. Reedy created the topic as his dad used to live in the area and he was documenting what he remembered so reedy asked his dad about that small building and this was his reply :-

 

Boiler House.png

 

This is approximately where the two Toll Houses for the Ha'penny woods were situated :-

1950271929_HapennyTollHouses.thumb.png.0f2d252decc235cd5bb55de2d63fe3d3.png

There are a couple more photos that i will dig out and hopefully post later today.

The ruin you've queried as Toll House in the picture, is Rose Cottage - according to census records.

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So it was the boilerhouse for the iron works and that's were it would draw water from the river.  That's interesting.  I have seen some pictures of the lovely garden next to it.  I believe the house next to it was a shop.

Joe

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2 hours ago, Canny lass said:

The ruin you've queried as Toll House in the picture, is Rose Cottage - according to census records.

Sorry CL I should have also added the names Rose Cottage. The reason why I have put '? Toll House' popinting to Rose Cottage is because there has been images posted on the Facebook group - Past Times History (previously Sixtownships) - by @johndawsonjune1955but they don't look like the images on our group of what we, at the census, call Rose Cottage. This is the image/postcard that John Dawson normally posts and you can see it is a different style to what we would call Rose Cottage :-  

 

1873160035_FurnaceTollHouseRoseCottage.jpg

Edited by Alan Edgar (Eggy1948)
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22 hours ago, Alan Edgar (Eggy1948) said:

Sorry CL I should have also added the names Rose Cottage. The reason why I have put '? Toll House' popinting to Rose Cottage is because there has been images posted on the Facebook group - Past Times History (previously Sixtownships) - by @johndawsonjune1955but they don't look like the images on our group of what we, at the census, call Rose Cottage. This is the image/postcard that John Dawson normally posts and you can see it is a different style to what we would call Rose Cottage :-  

 

1873160035_FurnaceTollHouseRoseCottage.jpg

Eggy, I'm not sure that I agree with John on this one if he is saying this is Rose Cottage on other sites.

January 2, 2013 John posted a picture of what I believe to be the same building but called it Toll Cottage. He also posted the photo of the Toll sign, which you repost above, on the same date - both from his private collection.

bild.thumb.png.8553a9e54813923d8efade4ef8f5624e.png

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Sorry, editing problems again!

continued;

On every census record I've waded through over the years for the riverside area, Rose Cottage is next door and to the east of Clock House. There are no further dwellings recorded in an eastward direction along the river. When the enumerator moves from the Iron Works towards the bridge and hairpin bend he records the dwellings in the order: Bridge House (sometimes called Bridge End House), Clock House and Rose Cottage before goung up the hill to Se View, paradise Row etc.

In John's picture there is a gate leading into, or out of the Halfpenny Woods. This suggests to me that it is the Toll house and I believe it to be on the riverside (there were several Toll Houses on Lord Ridley's land, at least one up on the hill), as the ground slopes steeply upwards behind it.

Comparing John's Toll sign photo and his Toll Cottage photo of 2013 suggests to me that the sign was placed at the right corner of the gable end facing away from the photographer in the cottage photo. A very small portion of that gable end is seen on the right of John's sign photo. It has a very, very short eves over-hang and a tree, behind a block stone wall, immediately to its right. Furthermore, there is a down-pipe from the gutter which leans slightly inward towards the bottom. All three are also present in John's cottage photo.

Assuming that the sign is placed to be read by people entering the woods, I believe the Toll Cottage photo to be taken from inside the woods and therefore looking towards Bridge House. Therefore, I think that it may possibly be a dwelling recorded as Bebside gardens in the 1901 and 1911 census. The gardens skirted the river bank on the Bebside side of the river.

 

 

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54 minutes ago, Canny lass said:

Eggy, I'm not sure that I agree with John on this one if he is saying this is Rose Cottage on other sites.

January 2, 2013 John posted a picture of what I believe to be the same building but called it Toll Cottage. He also posted the photo of the Toll sign, which you repost above, on the same date - both from his private collection.

 

Canny lass - I'm with you👍

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On 20/01/2022 at 12:11, Joe Ridley said:

Can anyone tell me what the small building was on the end of Furnace Bridge? (see pictures).  I wondered if it had been a small shop? Was the Furnace Bridge ever a toll bridge?

Joe

Furnace Bridge .3.JPG

Furnace Bridge .1.JPG

The sketch and 2 photos are all looking upstream towards the furnace bridge.

The sketch by C Bergen (presumably Christopher Bergen who wrote the article about the ironworks) shows the chimney and attached buildings are built on the quay, and the 1902 photo shows they have been almost completely demolished, except the chimney. However it does look like there a small building remaining next to the bridge that could be the small building mentioned by Joe.

The sketch shows a ship being unloaded or loaded so the buildings must have been warehouses for storage of goods that have been unloaded or are for loading onto ships berthed at the quay. Even today you can see the steel mooring rings anchored into the side of the quay. 

1316487158_Bedlingtonironworks.thumb.JPG.fe6387ce4c7b2e82e7f18063507d9a8b.JPG1606764226_BedlingtonIronworks3.jpg.fc364b6fca562f5a6773f5f605d45ab7.jpg1456780099_FurnaceBridge3.thumb.jpg.387f0ebf31611ff2eab4c5dea039a87e.jpg

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The river must have been a site to see, dredged and wiidened for the ships to load and unload.  the sketch by C Bergen is great, showing the area as it once was and the coal tubs ready to be unloaded.  You can also see the clock tower, it makes the clock house look more like a church.  Thank goodness there are pictures to show how it looked in the past. A picture is worth worth a thousand words.   Thank you so much for all your great pictures.

Joe

Bedlington Iron Works C Burgen.JPG

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On 21/01/2022 at 21:02, Canny lass said:

Sorry, editing problems again!

continued;

On every census record I've waded through over the years for the riverside area, Rose Cottage is next door and to the east of Clock House. There are no further dwellings recorded in an eastward direction along the river. When the enumerator moves from the Iron Works towards the bridge and hairpin bend he records the dwellings in the order: Bridge House (sometimes called Bridge End House), Clock House and Rose Cottage before goung up the hill to Se View, paradise Row etc.

In John's picture there is a gate leading into, or out of the Halfpenny Woods. This suggests to me that it is the Toll house and I believe it to be on the riverside (there were several Toll Houses on Lord Ridley's land, at least one up on the hill), as the ground slopes steeply upwards behind it.

Comparing John's Toll sign photo and his Toll Cottage photo of 2013 suggests to me that the sign was placed at the right corner of the gable end facing away from the photographer in the cottage photo. A very small portion of that gable end is seen on the right of John's sign photo. It has a very, very short eves over-hang and a tree, behind a block stone wall, immediately to its right. Furthermore, there is a down-pipe from the gutter which leans slightly inward towards the bottom. All three are also present in John's cottage photo.

Assuming that the sign is placed to be read by people entering the woods, I believe the Toll Cottage photo to be taken from inside the woods and therefore looking towards Bridge House. Therefore, I think that it may possibly be a dwelling recorded as Bebside gardens in the 1901 and 1911 census. The gardens skirted the river bank on the Bebside side of the river.

 

 

Canny Lass.

Your comments have got me interested enough to investigate the toll house a bit further. In the 1950’s I walked through the Ha’Penny woods a number of times so I must of passed the Toll House but I cannot remember ever seeing it. In the 1901 census, there are on 4 properties around furnace bridge on the Cowpen side of the river, recorded in the following sequence- Bridge End House with 4 families; Bebside Gardens with only 1 resident; Clock Tower with 2 families; Rose Cottage with 1 family.

These 4 properties are shown in old maps from this period. The toll house has to be one of these buildings and it can only be Rose Cottage. Comparing the old photo of Rose Cottage with the toll house in the newspaper cutting , the windows, chimneys and gable ends are the same, the only difference being the fancy roof above the entrance door which could easily have been modified. The location is exactly where the toll house was situated  - at the entrance to the woods on the footpath and there were no other building where a toll could have been as can be seen on the old map. Bebside gardens is the only house that is unclear but I believe it was the building that Joe asked about that started off this topic i.e the building next to the bridge opposite Bridge End house. The single occupant of Bebside Gardens in the 1901 census was a ‘gardener’ and next to the building is a huge garden. A gardener living in Bebside Gardens alongside a large garden!1358520996_Hapennywoods2.thumb.jpg.847267e1c67e47fd772cfe77930e76cd.jpg1173941855_1952map.JPG.00d74860e027928716882cfb8d58ef38.JPG873524724_RoseCottage2.jpg.9ae8421653a8c4af67dfb8e09f7a06be.jpg1416981181_FurnaceBridge3.thumb.jpg.e785f578727357edfdb70a440d5037f0.jpg

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Thanks for the input @James! This area is extremely important to me as my parents lived in Clock House and I had sisters who were born and died there. I've researched it backwards, forwards and inside out but I'm still not 100% sure of my findings. Bridge House, I'm 100% certain so I try to guage everything from there but I've had several theories along the way and haven't ruled any of them out yet. My own personal childhood memories of the immediate area are limited to taking the bus across the bridge to visit family in one of the rows at the top of the hairpin bend, Stone Row, and nothing more. It would help me enormously to know exactly where the entrance to the woods was. I don't suppose you could point it out on a map for me?

I fully agree with you about the gardener's cottage. I feel it seems a bit on the small side for a boiler room or any other sort of power house for industry of these dimensions and it seems reasonable that the gardener had his dwelling near at hand. This was the case at the top of the bend where Cowpen gardens lay..

Getting back to Rose Cottage, I can't agree with you that Rose Cottage, as I call it, and Toll House, as John calls it, are one and the same thing. Here are the differences that I see. for the sake of easy comparison, I am posting these two photos once again but this time side by side:

bild.thumb.png.d231cc15c1de12253db98474df6ef358.png

bild.thumb.png.f8aae8572637d2c2ed16e5dfce6168fd.png

First of all, forget whatever you've been told about size not being important! It really is, at least when it comes to comparing buildings.

Toll House shows:

max 2 stones width between door and window

max 2 stones width between window and gable end

Windows 2 panes wide

full width lintel stone above and below the window frame

No stone surround on windows

 

Rose Cottage shows:

At least 6 stones width between door and 'porch' plus further 2 stones width to door

At least 6 stones width between  window and gable end

Windows  4 panes wide

No lintel stone above the window

Windows have full stone surround

Apart from these details the obvious thing that's missing in John's photo of Toll Cottage is Clock house - which would be seen in a photo taken from that angle as there was very little space between them.  What do you think?

I have a couple of other possibilities for Toll House in mind but it depends on where the entrance to the woods was located. There are several instances in census records of "cottage(s) in the woods" that might fit the bill if their location is right in relation to the entrance. Grateful for any help you can give me here.

 

 

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On 24/01/2022 at 18:36, Canny lass said:

Thanks for the input @James! This area is extremely important to me as my parents lived in Clock House and I had sisters who were born and died there. I've researched it backwards, forwards and inside out but I'm still not 100% sure of my findings. Bridge House, I'm 100% certain so I try to guage everything from there but I've had several theories along the way and haven't ruled any of them out yet. My own personal childhood memories of the immediate area are limited to taking the bus across the bridge to visit family in one of the rows at the top of the hairpin bend, Stone Row, and nothing more. It would help me enormously to know exactly where the entrance to the woods was. I don't suppose you could point it out on a map for me?

I fully agree with you about the gardener's cottage. I feel it seems a bit on the small side for a boiler room or any other sort of power house for industry of these dimensions and it seems reasonable that the gardener had his dwelling near at hand. This was the case at the top of the bend where Cowpen gardens lay..

Getting back to Rose Cottage, I can't agree with you that Rose Cottage, as I call it, and Toll House, as John calls it, are one and the same thing. Here are the differences that I see. for the sake of easy comparison, I am posting these two photos once again but this time side by side:

bild.thumb.png.d231cc15c1de12253db98474df6ef358.png

bild.thumb.png.f8aae8572637d2c2ed16e5dfce6168fd.png

First of all, forget whatever you've been told about size not being important! It really is, at least when it comes to comparing buildings.

Toll House shows:

max 2 stones width between door and window

max 2 stones width between window and gable end

Windows 2 panes wide

full width lintel stone above and below the window frame

No stone surround on windows

 

Rose Cottage shows:

At least 6 stones width between door and 'porch' plus further 2 stones width to door

At least 6 stones width between  window and gable end

Windows  4 panes wide

No lintel stone above the window

Windows have full stone surround

Apart from these details the obvious thing that's missing in John's photo of Toll Cottage is Clock house - which would be seen in a photo taken from that angle as there was very little space between them.  What do you think?

I have a couple of other possibilities for Toll House in mind but it depends on where the entrance to the woods was located. There are several instances in census records of "cottage(s) in the woods" that might fit the bill if their location is right in relation to the entrance. Grateful for any help you can give me here.

 

 

Canny Lass

After seeing your message I searched a bit more to confirm my view that Rose Cottage and the Toll House was the same building and have to admit I was wrong! Toll Cottage was about 300 yards from Rose Cottage.

I looked at the 1939 census and it records the residents in Bebside wood (i.e. the Ha’penny wood); starting at Bedlington Bridge following the river through the woods down to Furnace Bridge.

It starts with Bridge Cottage, followed by Mill Cottage, Toll Cottage, Rose Cottage and Clock House. Bridge Cottage is the only building still there today. It is the house on the bend after crossing Bedlington Bridge on the way to Blyth. If you want to see the relevant page of the census search for Adam Gray, born 1 May 1908. Lived in: Toll Cottage, Bebside Woods, Blyth. To prove that I was completely wrong with my assumption, I came across the attached photo showing Rose Cottage in such a dilapidated state that it was beyond repair.

All the buildings in the census can be seen in the old map in the link show below. Toll Cottage is about 300 yards from the furnace bank entrance into Ha’penny woods.

I am not sure about copyright laws regarding the posting of information from Old Maps and the 1939 census. Anyone know if it is allowed?

https://maps.nls.uk/view/132267629

1319643996_RoseCottage5.thumb.png.4508b9354994660e7bb3ad3b921d7e04.png

 27970833_RoseCottage6.png.jpg.74d69eedbb67c8f6f22fd07049c18e73.jpg

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@James there's nothing wrong with drawing the wrong conclusions from research. Even the wrong conclusions can be very helpful in enabling the research to move forward. Your last post gave me a whole new angle on the area. Previously in my research, I've followed the family from Crofton through Cowpen, Bebside, Bebside Furnace, across the river to Walker Road then up to Glebe Road and eventually to Netherton where I was born. Until now I haven't thought about looking at Bebside Furnace area from Bedlington and moving along the riverside as you did in your last post. Now I can see it clearly. As I've moved along the riverside from the furnace area towards Bedlington, the last house on the riverside has always been Rose Cottage - next door to Clock House. Had I gone further, into the next parish I  could have been  certain that I was correct in my conclusion much earlier. I've been using the census for Cowpen and Bebside which 1891 enumerates "all that part of the township of Cowpen west of the railway (...) and houses along the riverside as far as the Bebside Township boundary". Had I just stepped over the boundary I would have found Toll Cottage. For a while I considered it also as Rose Cottage but thanks to your input I see clearly that it is not, because Toll Cottage lies exactly on the parish boundary but not in the Bebside Parish I've researched.

This first map from 1866 has  a lot of damage but it shows the boundary clearly with Toll House (Green) immediately to the left. I've marked Clock house (Blue) and Rose Cottage (Red). All can be seen clearly on the second map from 1897. (same colour marking). Now i'm happy! The location of Rose Cottage is decided!

 

 

Bebside Furnace 1866, map (2)_LI.jpg

Bebside Furnace 1897_LI.jpg

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@Canny lass & @James

This is the photop/postcard that @johndawsonjune1955 posted a few years back on the Facebook group Sixtownships History (now the Past Times History group). 

808231382_TollHouseHappenyWoods.jpg.238b1e383b9d3f007703467f91cdb947.jpg

On the Bygone Bedlington Facebook group a member - Janet Ward posted the following two photos.

934365849_TollHouse.thumb.jpg.1f889c0386037bd0cf7a850a97df2468.jpg

 

And I asked her if she had any names.

1760968946_possibleTollHousefamalies.png.a4dbc71563ee2014f8d180ee7e5062af.png

I have enlarged Janet's two photos.

2084492370_JenniferWard2.jpg.d0d056cf79d80a580703a57222d88abb.jpg

1999331369_photofromJenniferWard.jpg.f25db2f9796adde4928587ad0dda2618.jpg

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21 hours ago, Canny lass said:

It would be interesting with a date of birth, approximate year would do, so that I can find them on the census and see what the adress was.

The names of Fredericks parents could be useful if it was before 1911.

Np reply back from Jennifer ward re her grandparents so I don't know which one lived in the Toll House.

I used a broad search on the FreeBMD site around the years I expected her grandparents to be married and found the marriage registrations, both granda's birth registration but didn't get any matches for their wives.

Ward.jpg

Miller.png

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I haven't been able to find a marriage entry for either couple and I've searched 1880 -1920. Of course, it wasn't uncommon to 'live over the brush' as the saying went at that time. I haven't found them on any census yet either but if they weren't born before 1911 it would be impossible. I'm working on the photos at the minute and might have something to report back on tomorrow.

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On 31/01/2022 at 14:59, Canny lass said:

I haven't been able to find a marriage entry for either couple and I've searched 1880 -1920. Of course, it wasn't uncommon to 'live over the brush' as the saying went at that time. I haven't found them on any census yet either but if they weren't born before 1911 it would be impossible. I'm working on the photos at the minute and might have something to report back on tomorrow.

@Canny lass - the two marriages I posted above on the FreeBMD pages are for registrations in 1921, Miller, and 1922, Ward. Rather than upload 4 pages I clagged the marriage & birth registrations into one page.:) 

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Make a cuppa, this is long but I hope you find it as interesting as I did.

If I had paid the ½d toll everytime I’ve gone through Bebside Woods the past couple of days, I’d now be 2/- out of pocket! However, I’d have considered it money well spent as I’ve managed not only to make aquaintance with the occupants of the ’Hapenny Woods’ and witness its change from agricultural to industrial but also to plot the development of Bebside from it becoming a civil parish in its own right,1866, to its abolishment and incorporaton in Blyth 1920 – long overdue in my research but I won't bore you with that bit.

 

Unfortunately, I have not been able to find Toll Cottage recorded by this name in any public record. Neither have I been able to find any occupation recorded which relates to the collection of toll money. Presumably, like so many other addresses at that time, it was a familiar name given by the locals to aid identification.

 

Census records from 1841 to 1911show only 4 dwellings in the woods between Bedlington bridge and Rose Cottage. In earlier years they are simply referred to as ” cottages in the woods” but since 1861 they are named. The names of these dwellings have, however, changed a few times. The properties are never the less identifiable because of similarities in their names, their location on the route of the enumerator, their occupants, who don’t appear to have moved much and, in later census records, by the number of rooms in each dwelling. Starting at the Bedlington end and working along the river Blyth towards Bebside we find:

 

Bridge End Cottage (4 rooms), formerly called Bedlington Bridge and occupied 1871-1911 by Thomas Weighell, occupation winding engineman.

 

Mill House (more than 5 rooms), even called Bebside Mill and occupied 1861 by horse dealer Samuel Gardner. The property was clearly well suited to horse dealng as it is occupied 1871 and 1881 by another horse dealer, John Henderson. In 1891 Mill House does not appear by name and instead is named as a second Bebside Mill Cottage. The occupant then is Joseph Thompson (former occupant of the smaller, two-room Bebside Mill Cottage) his wife, 5 children, mother-in-law and horse dealer John Henderson, the former Mill House occupant, who is now a lodger. Joseph Thompson remains in residence 1901 and 1911.

 

Bebside Mill Cottage (2 rooms), also called Bebside Cottage, is unoccupied in 1861 but in 1871 the occupier is agricultural labourer, David Rutherford but 1881 sees coal miner Joseph Thompson in residence. Ten years later, 1891, he has moved into the next-door,larger, four-room Mill House together with his family and the 2 room Bebside Mill Cottage is occupied by steam-ploughman, George Summers, his wife and 3 children. 1901 Bebside Mill Cottage is recorded as unoccupied but the enumerator makes a marginal note that one person, a man, ”slept in house on night of 31 March but is entered on 200 schedule 3 Brick Row where he stays during day”. Thrown out by the wife perhaps or indulging in a bit of hankey-pankey? I’m sure there’s a story there somewhere and all the more interesting because he is a relative of mine! By 1911 the cottage is again occupied and coal miner Herbert Wilkie, son-in-law of neighbour Joseph Thompson, has moved in.

 

Wood Cottage (2 rooms), in 1861 called ’Woodmans Cottage', lies on the parish boundary and as such is the last dwelling before Rose Cottage, Bebside Furnace. The name has changed many times: Bebside Woods Cottage (1871), Bedlington Cottage (1881) and Bedlington Woods Cottage in 1891 before becoming Wood Cottage in 1901. For more than 30 years, from 1861 to and including 1891, Wood Cottage was the home of Mathew Cairns and his family. He was a woodsman by occupation until 1881, possibly looking after the Halfpenny Woods. In 1891, aged 54 years, Mathew was still in residence but now living alone and his occupation is given as ’gardener’. In 1901, even Wood Cottage is occupied by a miner Thomas Aisbitt but in 1911 it has been taken over by his son, Richard, former ”pit heap lad” now market gardener.

 

Wood Cottage is, I believe, the so-called ’Toll House’. It seems appropriate, because of its location at the boundary and that Mathew, being a woodsman, should have included in his duties the collection of toll money for the landowner – perhaps his employer. Why his occupation changes to gardener may be due to a change of land ownership or he may be working at Bebside gardens by the old Iron Works or at Cowpen gardens at the top of the hill. It could be interesting to know when the toll was abolished.

 

But, is Wood Cottage the building in the previous photos?

Edited by Canny lass
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3 hours ago, Canny lass said:

Unfortunately, I have not been able to find Toll Cottage recorded by this name in any public record

It is recorded as Toll Cottage in the 1939 census and called toll cottage in the newspaper cutting. 

 

 

2017537560_TollCottage1939census.JPG.0c6c65fc615aacdadd4a527c3586deda.JPG1321119126_TollCottage.thumb.jpg.815efc3c30f7f6839d339fc1f7932b1f.jpg 

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Thanks James! i didn't go further than 1911 because I'd already received the birth dates of the Ward and Godsmark families that may have been connected with the cottage. Nice to see that it eventually got the name 'officially'. However, the newspaper cutting doesn't give the name of the building, only its former use as a toll cottage. This is evident in the lack of capitalisation, should it be a proper noun, the use of the determiner this and the adjectival attributes picturesque and old which couldn't be applied to an address. Compare:

this picturesque old 48 Green Street

this picturesque old 14 Town Square

I've been trying to find the picture in the newspaper archives but it's not easy. The building looks neglected and the word 'old' suggests that it's no longer in use at the time. Were there any signs/ruins from any of these buildings when you were a boy?

It was, never the less,a lovely area to wander around for me knowing that my brothers and sisters must have played in those woods almost on a daily basis. I doubt if they ever had the ½d to enter by the official entry but boys being boys I'm sure they found a way round that.

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