The White House (Norton Court Estate Cottage No 15)

At the time of the Inclosure Act reaching Norton in October 1807 the property now known as The White House, Norton Green, appears to have been in Plot No 77, but I believe was in Plot No 78 and the plan, below, isn't clear.  There are 2 red blocks in this area and what is now the White House would have been the one furthest from the lane.  The second would have been in Plot No 77.  Plot No 78 was described as being a house, yard and garden, owned by Robert Bompass who held several other plots along the lane nearby, and was 1 rod and 18 perches. 

The ‘terrier and valuation of the messuages, lands, and other hereditaments liable to poor rate in the parish of Norton’ from 1838 records that Plot Nos 75, 76 and 78 were all owned by Hester Hide/Hyde.  Plot Nos 75 and 76 were let to William James and Plot No 78, a house, buildings and garden of 1 rod, 18 perches, was also occupied by William.  William James became a successful businessman in the coming years owning a thriving chair making workshop in the village and employing up to eight men in this trade. William married Ann and they had had a large family.  It seems likely that William continued to live here at the White House until they have moved to Dunsworth Villa, newly built for him in approximately 1854.

By the time of the 1st Edition of the Ordnance Survey 25” map, 1844-1888, the White House could be seen near No 93 on following extract with the grey blocks being the associated outbuildings, the large grey outline at the foot of the map extract is believed to be James' chairmaking workshop, and it is likely that James' occupied the entire area between the two.

In the 1880s Henry Stubbs lived here with his family.  Henry had married Eliza (nee Burrop) at Gloucester in 1864 and they had six children; Fanny, Alfred William, Albert Henry, Frederick, Laura Edith and Harry Arthur.  By 1891 the family had moved nearby to Green Corners. 

Henry and Eliza Stubbs with children Fanny and Alfred William in the garden at the White House.

As the property was not named at this time, at least according to records that I have seen, it is difficult to clearly identify it on documents throughout the nineteenth century.  On 10 October 1892, however, the property was transferred by a conveyance between Ann Hyde “…of power of sale contained in a voluntary settlement … by William Hyde dated 9 May 1861 and William Hyde as beneficial owner to Charles Betteridge Walker of a dwelling house, piece of pasture land and garden situate near the village green Norton together 1a 2r 15p then in the occupation of Edward Thomas James…”  The condition of sale described the property as “…comprising brick built and tiled dwelling house, detached workshop, barn, mill house with cider mill and press and other outbuildings…”.  

Edward James was one of the family of chairmakers in the village and this was also his trade.  It would appear that Edward and wife Harriet were living here in 1891 and 1901 when Harriet was employed as a shopkeeper. 

Albert Henry Stubbs was living at the White House at the time of the Ladyday rental payment in 1908 when the property had been assessed at £6 per annum.   Gooseberries would likely have been grown in the garden to such profusion that Albert took to selling them.  The following advertisement appeared in the Gloucester Citizen newspaper of 30 June 1900; "For Sale. Large gooseberries, 1s per pack; delivered in Gloucester - A Stubbs, The Green, Norton".  Also on 1 July 1903; “Gooseberries, 1s 4d per pack, delivered in Gloucester. – A Stubbs, The Green, Norton”.

He was a builder by trade and later moved to Twigworth from where he was responsible for building a number of the properties along the Tewkesbury Road.  In 1923 the cottage was still in the occupation of Albert Stubbs and the small orchard and arable field associated with the property were being farmed by Jasper Hook of Court Hay Farm.

From 1924 the cottage was occupied by Albert and Leah Giddings and family.  A Norton Court Estate Agreement from this time reads; “Albert Edward and Leah Giddings of Norton, cottage Estate No 15 late in the occupation of Albert Henry Stubbs from 1 December 1928 at a yearly rent of £14”.  In 1939 Albert was recorded as having been a carter but then was an invalid.

The Giddings’ were still resident in the late 1940s and likely till Albert's death in 1951.  The house was put up for auction shortly afterwards, the year previous to the main auction of the Norton Court Estate; 

“Norton, 4 ½ miles from Gloucester, Bruton, Knowles & Co are instructed by Captain George Norton Walker to sell be auction at the Bell Hotel, Gloucester, on Monday, April 9th, 1951 at 3pm punctually the attractive freehold detached cottage known as The White House pleasantly situated on Norton Green with a good bus service and under half a mile from the Gloucester-Tewkesbury Road.  The cottage, which is in good decorative condition, is ubstantially built of brick with a tiled roof and contains; Entrance lobby, sitting room 14ft x 13ft 3ins, kitchen with fireplace, oven and sham, larder, lean-to timber and galvanised wash-house with furnace and store; landing with cupboard and two bedrooms (one with a fireplace).  Coal shed, pigscot, EC shed and a productive garden with fruit trees.  Water is obtained from a good well in the garden with pump.  This supply could at a small expense be laid on to the house.  The Gas Main is laid in the road adjoining the property.  The property is assessed for rates at £5 0s 0d, the current half year’s payment being £1 17s 1d.  Vacant Possession will be given on completion of the purchase.  The property can be inspected upon application to Mr Coles who lives at No 21 The Green.  Particulars of Sale may be obtained from Messrs Taynton & Son, Solicitors, Clarence Street, Gloucester, or from the Auctioneers, Albion Chambers, Gloucester”.

Possibly from the date of the auction but at least from 1955 the property was occupied by Albert J and Violet Bain and between 1959-66 Basil S  and Pearl D Field-Lyons were in residence.  From the mid-1980s through to the early 2000s it was occupied by Evelyn M Ferrington.

In the Spring of 1995, whilst digging her back garden, Mrs Evelyn Ferrington dug up what looked like a dirty old coin.  Upon cleaning the coin it was possible to make out the vague image of a small canon standing at the feet of a man wearing a frock coat and carrying a sword held high in front of him.  [I have highlighted these features on the image below].