A History of Preston in Hertfordshire
Preston’s cottages: Chequers Lane: North-east side
The buildings on the north-east side of Chequers Lane were in the parish of Ippollitts. As a comparison of the maps from 1816 (left) and 1898 shows below, they were virtually unchanged during the nineteenth century.
Notes: Chequers Inn, ‘Sadleirs End’ and the property immediately to the north- west were part of the Temple Dinsley estate. In the nineteenth century there were no houses on the south-west side of Chequers Lane.
Above, Chequers Lane circa 1913. The bank of trees in the background reveals the location of this photograph -they grow between the Hitchin Road and the Temple Dinsley estate. So this photograph is the view downthe Lane towards the junction with the Hitchin Road with the north-east side of the lane on the left as viewed.The barn in the foreground and the thatched house must be shown as A on the map above, right.
Occupants of Chequers Lane from 1841
1851 Census One uninhabited house BROWN, William and Catharine. Wheelwright SHARP, James and Hannah. Ag lab PALMER, William and Elizabeth. Ag lab BOSTON, Thomas and Sarah. Ag lab JOYNER, William and Mary. Ag lab PALMER, Thomas and Mary. Pauper JENKINS, Richard and Sarah. MORGAN, James and Sarah Ag lab DAY, William. Ag lab BRADDEN, Henry and Rebecca. Publican Note: The enumerator probably followed the same route in 1841 and 1851 starting at the northern-most end of the lane.
1861 Census BROWN, John and Mary Ann. Wheelwright BROWN, William and Catharine. Wheelwright SHARP, James and Sarah. Ag lab PALMER, William. Ag lab BOSTON, Thomas and Sarah. Ag lab JOYNER, Thomas and Sarah. Ag lab JENKINS, John and Charlotte. Ag lab CREW, William and Sophia. Ag lab SMITH, Thomas and Mary. Ag lab DAY, William and Betsey. Ag lab BRADDEN, Henry and Rebecca. Publican
1871 Census BROWN, John and Mary Ann. Grocer SLIGHT, William and Sarah. Farm Bailiff. Wheelwright SHARP, James and Sarah. Ag lab SHARP, George and Sarah. Ag lab SHARP, John and Mary. Ag lab SHARP, Thomas. Ag lab JENKINS, John and Charlotte. Ag lab (At cottages on Hitchen Road) SHARP, James and Sarah. Ag lab (7 and 8 in 1873) SMITH, Thomas and Mary. Ag lab DAY, William and Betsey. Ag lab BRADDEN, Henry and Rebecca. Publican
1841 Census BROWN, James and Louisa. Ag lab BROWN, William and Catharine. Carpenter SHARP, James and Hannah. Ag lab HARVEY, Thomas and Ann. Ag lab FARR, William and Martha. Ag lab JOYNER, William and Mary. Ag lab PALMER, Thomas and Mary. Ag lab JENKINS, Richard and Sarah. MORGAN, Daniel and Elizabeth. Woodman YOUNG, John and Ann. Gamekeeper and Innkeeper of ‘The Chequers Inn’. Note: One of these families was probably living in ‘Spindle Cottage on the Hitchin Road.
1881 Census BROWN, John and Mary Ann Merritt. Grocer FROST, David and Hannah. Butler SHARP, James and Mary. Ag lab SHARP, George and Sarah. Ag lab REED, George and Mary. Ag lab 1 house unoccupied SHARP, John and Mary Ag lab JENKINS, John and Charlotte. Ag lab BROWN, Frank and Lydia. Farmer DAY, William and Betsey. Ag lab JEEVES, William. Publican
A sketch map from 1884 is reproduced above to illustrate the activity associated with the lane at the time
1891 Census FROST, David and Hannah. Butler. Preston Castle Lodge. 5+ rooms MERRITT, Mary. Grocer. 5+ rooms SHARP, James and Mary (with Arthur Ayres) Ag lab. 4 rooms BURTON, Joseph and Catherine. Ag lab. 4 rooms EWINGTON, William and Caroline. Ag lab. 4 rooms JENKINS, Job and Lucy. Ag lab. 3 rooms JENKINS, John and Charlotte. Ag lab. 4 rooms JENKINS, William and Ann. Ag lab. 5+ rooms BROWN, Frank and Hannah. Hay Dealer 5+ rooms JEEVES, William. Publican. Chequers Inn.
1893 Electoral Register FROST, David MERRITT, Mary. AYRES, Arthur EWINGTON, William JENKINS, Job JENKINS, John and Charlotte. BROWN, Frank JEFFREYS, Thomas. Chequers Inn JEEVES, William. .Preston Lodge
Map of Chequers Lane 1898
1900 Electoral Register WALKDEN, John Chequers Inn. BROWN, Frank , Sadleirs End WRAY, Alfred 5 (there in 1905) EWINGTON, William 6 THRUSSELL, William AYRES, Arthur 3 JEEVES, William, Preston Lodge 2 MERRITT, Mary Ann. Sadleirs End
1901 Census WALKDEN, John and MAV, Publican Chequers Inn. 5+ rooms BROWN, Frank and Hannah. Hay dealer. 5+ rooms SAUNDERS, Edward and Eliza. Gardener. 5+ rooms 2 WRAY, Alfred and Emily. Hurdlemaker. 3 rooms 5 EWINGTON, William and Mary. Hay tier. 4 rooms 6 THRUSSELL, William and Minnie. Hay tier. 4 rooms 4 AYRES, Arthur and Mary Ann. Shepherd. 4 rooms 3 JEEVES, William, Carpenter. Castle Farm Lodge. 5+ rooms 2 MERRITT, Mary Ann. Grocer. 5+ rooms. 8
Details of Chequers Lane from the Inland Revenue Survey 1910
Plot 1 Vacant - soon ‘pulled down’. Owned by E Curling Plot 2 Brick and slated cottage. Kitchen, scullery, pantry. Three bedrooms. Wood and iron corrugated barn and orchard. Occupied by Herbert Jenkins. Owned by E Curling Plot 3 Brick and tiled cottage. Kitchen and pantry. Two Bedrooms. In poor repair. Barn and garden. Occupied by A Ayres (erased), now Sharp. Owned by E Curling. Plot 4 Brick and tiled cottage. Kitchen and pantry. Two Bedrooms. In poor repair. Barn and garden. Occupied By E Jenkins (previously, vacant). Owned by E Curling. Plot 5 Brick and tiled cottage. Kitchen and pantry. Two Bedrooms. In poor repair. Barn and garden. Occupied by A Wray (erased), now Thrussell. Owned by E Curling. Plot 6 Brick and tiled cottage. Kitchen and pantry. Two Bedrooms. In poor repair. Barn and garden. Occupied by W Ewington (erased), now A Simons. Owned by E Curling. Plot 7 Wood and thatched cottage. Kitchen and pantry. Two Bedrooms. In poor repair. Wood and thatched barn and garden. Occupied by W Jeeves. Owned by R de V Pryor (Shown in photograph above) Plot 8 Brick and tiled cottage. Kitchen and pantry. Two Bedrooms. Old and in poor repair. Wood and thatched barn, stable, cart shed and garden. Occupied by J Jeeves. Owned by R de V Pryor. Sadleirs End House and shop - brick and tiles. Sitting room, kitchen, scullery and pantry. Three bedrooms. Wood and corrugated iron stable. Occupied by T Thrussell. Owned by R de V Pryor. Chequers Inn Brick and tiled house. Cellar, bar, club room, tap room, sitting room, kitchen and scullery. Four bedrooms. Wood and thatch cart shed, brick and tiled stable, brick and slated piggery, rick and slated store. In fair repair. Occupied by J Scott (erased) now Brown. Owned by R de V Pryor.
1911 Census BRAZIER, George, Chequer Inn 6 rooms THRUSSELL, Thomas. Farmer. ‘The Laurels’ 6 rooms JEEVES, John and Ann. Retired Ag lab. 3 rooms 8 JEEVES, Henry. Ag lab. 3 rooms SMITH, Jessie and Emma. Woodman. 3 rooms SYMONDS, Alfred and Dora. Horse keeper. 4 rooms 6 JENKINS, Ernest and Lizzie. Horsekeeper. 4 rooms 4 SHARP, Herbert and Emily. Ag lab. 4 rooms 3 JENKINS, Herbert and Phyllis. Horse keeper. 6 rooms 2 Pulled down 1
1914 Electoral Register THRUSSELL, Thomas. JEEVES, John JEEVES, Henry. SMITH, Jessie SYMONDS, A JENKINS, Ernest SHARP, Herbert JENKINS, Herbert
It is clear that, with the exception of Chequers Inn and ‘Sadleirs End’, the old, tumbledown cottages on the north-east side of Chequers Lane were destined to be demolished. As there were probably only four homes inhabited here in 1920 (see below), probably the process of pulling them down and building new houses had started by then. Many, if not all were council houses and the Preston School records indicate that some had been completed and let by July 1922. By the early 1920s, ten new council houses had been built along this side of Chequers Lane (see map below) and two more were added later (Nos 9 and 10). Right is a photo kindly supplied by Ron Powney which shows No 3 Council Houses, Chequers Lane. The house building appears to be almost complete - only the garden, gate and fence need to be finished.
1920 Electoral Register CLAXTON, William and Edith. Chequers Inn’ THRUSSELL, Thomas. ‘Sadleirs End’ DAY, Walter and Jemima NASH Frederick JENKINS, Ernest and Elizabeth PALMER, James 1925 Electoral Register ANDREWS, Frederick and Daisy, ‘Chequers Inn’ THRUSSELL, Thomas and Charlotte, ‘Sadleirs End’ CRAWLEY, Robert and Louisa, Arthur 1 ROLFE, Thomas and Ethel 2 PALMER, Arthur James and Alice Maud 4 HALL, Samuel and Lily 5 ARLIDGE, Albert Thomas and Cecilia GARNER, Sidney James and May Elizabeth PETERS, Walter SHARP, Herbert and Emily SMITH, Louisa Jane WEBSTER, Laura
The Council Houses - from a postcard dated around the mid-to-late 1920s
Chequers Lane Nos.1 & 2
Chequers Lane Nos.3 & 4
Chequers Lane Nos. 5 to 8
Chequers Lane Nos. 9 & 10
Chequers Lane Nos. 11 & 12
1931 Electoral Register ANDREWS, Frederick and Daisy, ‘Chequers Inn’ THRUSSELL, Thomas and Charlotte, ‘Sadleirs End’ ? PALMER, Arthur James (roadman) and Alice Maud (nee Thrussell) 4 HALL, Samuel and Lily 5 GARNER, Sidney James and May Elizabeth PETERS, Walter (traveller) and ‘Delphie (nee Heathorn) FREEMAN, Reuben George and Bessie with Elizabeth and Eva Tristram 10 ? SHARP, Herbert and Emily, with Walter and Lawrence Herbert 11 SMITH, Louisa Jane WEBSTER, Laura LONGLEY, Alfred and Caroline PASSINGHAM, Margaret Helen FITZJOHN, Elizabeth Known occupants of Chequers Lane Nos 1 - 12 from 1931 - 1950 MARDELL, Francis and Leslie (1948 to c1966) 1 STONE, Charles (1942) 2 SHARP, Leonard (1943) 3 PALMER, Arthur and Alice 4 LONGLEY, Caroline (1939 - 5 WALKER, Frederick and Alice (1940 - 6 HAMMOND, Monica (1944) 7 JENKINS, Dick and Kathleen (1948 - 2011) 8 WRAY, Frank and Margaret (1932 - 1937) 9 WOODHAMS, Bill and Mary (1940 - 9 FREEMAN, Reuben George and Bessie 10 PETERS, Walter (1932)
Occupants of Chequers Lane Nos 1 - 12 from 1951 (All dates are approximate) 1 1951 MARDELL, Francis and Leslie 1971 WOODHAMS, Brian, Gillian and Rachel. 1995 WOODWARD, Stephen and Lynda 2 1951 PETERS, William and Florence 1995, YELLAND, John and Kim 2001 BEAMON, Ivor and Patricia 3 1951 SHARP, Percy and Lily. 1981 - 2001 CHRISTMAS, Sidney and Jessie 4 1951 PALMER, Arthur and Alice. 1991 BLAIR, Graeme and GRANVILLE, Claire 5 1951 LONGLEY, Caroline and BRYAN, Clarice. 1955 BRYAN, Clarice and ROBINSON, Dennis 6 1951 WALKER, Frederick and Alice 1966 WALKER, Frederick and FRIEL, Lorna 1971 FRIEL, Lorna 7 1951 HAMMOND, Kenneth and Evelyn 1981 WELCH, Robert and Rosalind 8 1951 JENKINS, Richard and Kathleen 9 1951 WOODHAMS, Bill and Mary 1991 HILL, Colin and Mary 10 1951 FREEMAN, Reuben and Joyce 11 1951 SHARP, Herbert 1966 CURRELL, Alec and Sylvia 1987 EPHGRAVE, Alan Martin and Barbara 2001 RAFFE, Anthony and LOWREY, Catherine 12 1951 CRAWLEY, George and Lilian 1966 PALMER, Reuben and Maureen 1995 MARTIN, Geoffrey & Arline.
New houses built on the north side of Chequers Lane after 1970
‘Chequers End’
‘Chequers End’ has a Reception Hall, Cloakroom, Drawing Room, Dining Room, Study, Kitchen/Breakfast Room, Utility Room, 5 Bedrooms and a Playroom/Bedroom.
‘Wickets’
‘Wickets’ was built in the late 1990s. Its first occupants were BROUGHTON, Nicholas and Annita.
‘Boundary House’
‘Boundary House’ was built in around 2000. Its first occupant was Tony RAFFE.
Sadleirs End’ (aka ‘The Laurels’ in 1911)
‘Sadleirs End’ was built in the early sixteenth century and a chimney and floor were inserted in the seventeenth century. By 1873, ‘Sadleirs End’ was part of the Temple Dinsley Estate. An extension to the rear was added in the 1970s. In 1910, it was described as a brick and tiled house with a sitting room, kitchen, scullery, pantry and three bedrooms. On its land was a wood and corrugated iron stable.
Occupants of ‘Sadleirs End’ from 1881 1881 BROWN, Frank (hay dealer) and Lydia 1910 THRUSSELL, Thomas and Charlotte 1930c FREEMAN, Reubin and Eva Tristram 1949 HADFIELD, John and Phyllis 1954 BRIGGS, Harold Fawsell (retired tea planter) and Shirley Monica 1966 KERR, Philip R N and Patricia I 2001 CONSTANTINIDI, Paul and Hannah
Reuben and Joyce Freeman
Reuben Freeman (born 1905) was the son of farm labourer, George Freeman, who lived at Sootfield Green. Reuben married Eva Tristram Tuley in 1929. The couple had four children: Joyce E M Freeman born 1930, Robin G Freeman born 1938, Doris E Freeman born 1943, Peter R Freeman born 1945.
Reuben was buried at St Martins, Preston on 10 April 1976.
2 June 1939
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