Reed Cottage

Reed Cottage

According to documentation Reed Cottage has been in existence at least since 1528 AD, probably as a lodge to a manor house which no longer is in evidence but which was known as The Grimling. Only three families have owned the property, although it was leased and mortgaged as security for debt quite a few times, each time reconveyed on payment of the debt in time. The present owners are the fourth.

The first recorded family was the Greenstreets or Groon Stroots, depending on the ability of the particular scribe working on the day of writing. Wheelwrighting was their trade. Yeoman farmers followed, along with many other country trades, and in 1912 one end was a baker's shop.

 

Originally a single storey dwelling with very spartan living accommodation and animal fodder stored above, the subsequent centuries brought modernisation of the particular fashions. It is probable the first structure was timber-framed, later bricked, the bricks being Dutch, and the internal walls lathe and plaster, dung, hair and clay mixtures. At one time there were three front doorways and three staircases. Herringbone brick paths lead from each door to the well. These paths are many inches below the surface level of today, giving evidence of centuries of humus and debris. The roof is constructed of rough hewn cherry, (not surprising when the surrounding land was approximately 260 acres of cherry orchard). This was thatched with water reed brought from Elmstone. Beams and studding show evidence of old ships' timbers. Some have the attempt of decorative carvings, simple and naïve. Work undertaken some years ago uncovered a 1600 era, overhanging external wall in the middle of the dwelling, leading to supposition that the building was L-shaped at some time. The foundations were flint and chalk, now underpinned.

 

Originally a single storey dwelling with very spartan living accommodation and animal fodder stored above, the subsequent centuries brought modernisation of the particular fashions. It is probable the first structure was timber-framed, later bricked, the bricks being Dutch, and the internal walls lathe and plaster, dung, hair and clay mixtures. At one time there were three front doorways and three staircases. Herringbone rick paths lead from each door to the well. These paths are many inches below the surface level of today, giving evidence of centuries of humus and debris. The roof is constructed of rough hewn cherry, (not surprising when the surrounding land was approximately 260 acres of cherry orchard). This was thatched with water reed brought from Elmstone. Beams and studding show evidence of old ships' timbers. Some have the attempt of decorative carvings, simple and naïve. Work undertaken some years ago uncovered a 1600 era, overhanging external wall in the middle of the dwelling, leading to supposition that the building was L-shaped at some time. The foundations were flint and chalk, now underpinned!

 

The property was not situated on the road-side as it is today: Buckland Lane followed a watercourse, (which is still in evidence today when it rains) to the west side of Durlock Road, where it fed the large gaming lake of the Grove estate. (A lake which Henry VIII enjoyed). By the late 1700s only ten dwellings are recorded with The Groves, the judicial seat of the Mayor of Staple. Perhaps this is an indication of depopulation through plague and the declining wool trade.