Norton Court Estate Cottage - No 18

As can be seen on the following map extract, at the time the Inclosures came to Norton in 1807, cottages No 17 and 18 would have been found in Plot No 73 which was a house and garden of 1 rod, 16 perches, owned by Edward Webb of the Norton Court Estate.  There is no suggestion that the property was split into two residences as it is now.

In 1841 Thomas Townsend was a 20 year old chairmaker living with his parents, Charles and Phoebe, in the thatched cottage at the Green, No 16.

Charles and Phoebe had a son, Thomas, born in approximately 1821 who married Sarah Lyzes in 1845 at Down Hatherley. It appears that they settled at Norton, next door to his parents, at No 18 and were to have at least seven children here; Walter, Arthur, Ellen, Emma, Harriet, Alinda and Albert.  Thomas continued his employment with the James' enterprise working as a fancy chair and cabinet maker.  Thomas died in September 1891.  Widowed, in 1901 Sarah was living at The Sweetshop, No 18, with her daughter Linda and grandson Hubert.  Sarah died in February 1907.

Thomas and Sarah's daughter Alinda married Henry/Harry Crisp in 1907 and in 1908  they were paying the Norton Court Estate £4 4s in Lady Day Rentals for No 18.  Alinda was to remain here for the next 40 years.  The Citizen newspaper of Saturday, 17 April 1948 reported; “Mrs Alinda Crisp, who died at Norton on Sunday, was the village’s oldest inhabitant.  She would have been 92 in a fortnight’s time.  Mrs Crisp, who had been a widow for 20 years and had no family, lived in the same house in Norton all her life.  She was buried in the village on Thursday”.  This suggests that the Townsend family between them lived at No 18 for over 100 years.

In 1947, the year before Alinda Townsend died John Daniel and Margaret Edith Heggs were also recorded at No 18. John and Margaret had married at Twigworth the previous year but were not to be here long as by 1948 Thomas and Sylvia Flutter were briefly in residence before they too were replaced just the following year, in 1949 by Albert Alfred and Nellie Blake who had lived in many of the estate properties in the preceding years.

At the time of the 1952 auction of the Norton Court Estate the house was described as follows; 

“A brick and tiled semi-detached cottage being No 18, containing; Sitting room, larder cupboard, kitchen with fireplace and oven and cupboard, and three bedrooms, two having a fireplace.  Wash-house with furnace, EC, coal shed and garden.  Water is obtained from a pump in the adjoining garden.  In the occupation of Mr A Blake, a service employee”.

In 1954 Edith Hartwell is recorded at No 18, her family living at Benges Farm at this time.  In 1954 Albert Alfred Blake wasn’t listed here but he was back in 1955.  In 1956 Terrence Francis and Rosie Nellie Workman were here, then between 1960-63 James Henry and Nancy Beatrice Stephens, in 1966 Frederick Henry George and Kathleen Waine, and from before 1985, Peter Anthony Hooper.


Duncan M and Rachel K Spiers were living here in 2002.