Who lived here?
65 Lower Road
At the time of the 1838 auction this plot contained three cottages with gardens and a small piece of meadow ground. These were replaced in time with the present house known as Meadow View, because of the uninterrupted view across the meadows opposite. The area was still free of trees, which now obscure the view, until the mid-20th century. In 1901 John and Emma Welch, retired grocers, and their granddaughter Gertrude Musselwhite lived in the house along with widow Lydia Philips who provided domestic help. In 1911, the house was occupied by Ethelbert and Edith Hutchence and their four children. Ethelbert was a commercial traveller dealing in coal and the eldest child Muriel was employed as a grocer’s clerk. Mabel Carter, who was only 15 years old, was employed in the house as a domestic servant.
Other occupants: Edith and Mary Hodding (1940s-1950s); Reginald and Barbara Shorney (1960); John (Jack) and Maud Wyatt (1960s-1970s); Michael and Susan Cannon (1980). Later, the property was known for a period as Sigrist House, when it was used as a residential home, and then as a guest house. It now provides residential accommodation for six people with learning disabilities and is once again known as Meadow View.
71 Lower Road
In 1838 the plot contained a dwelling house with yard, stable, good gardens and orchard. Among the first residents of Bemerton House were Mrs Tasker and, at the time of a later auction in 1888, Mr William Beach. This is how the property was advertised in the sales catalogue:
"An attractive villa or family residence with
stables, harness room, coach house, outbuildings,
lawn and gardens. The residence also commands extensive views and stands in its own grounds,
which are well planted with ornamental timber
and shrubs, and is approached by a carriage drive winding round the front lawn.”
The carriage drive, leading up to the front of the property facing Lower Road, has now been removed and access is via the rear of the property. The House appears to have had a self-contained flat in the stable block which was called Rest Harrow - a low-growing creeping plant with clusters of pink flowers - and occupied by Miss Mary Lipscomb at the turn on the 20th century. In 1911 the house was occupied by the Canning family. William Canning was a land agent and lived here with his wife Elizabeth and their two adult daughters Katherine and Everdell. Also living with them were two parlour maids and a cook.
Other occupants: Lady Holmes, Norah, Edith, Robert, Arthur and Jane Holmes (1920s-1950s).
83 Lower Road
The original manor house was located opposite Bemerton Farm and offered for sale in 1838 but lost its identity when the Bemerton Manor and Estate was sold off. When offered for sale in 1888, the Lower Road manor house was described in this way:
“A picturesque old family residence known as
‘The Manor House’, with frontage to the Village
Road and extending back to the railway. The
house is a commodious old-fashioned residence
and is capable of being converted to suit the
purchaser into a thoroughly attractive residence
of the manorial type.”
The house was purchased by Robert Farrant, a Salisbury druggist and entrepreneur. By 1901 the house had been purchased by Miss Mary Lipscomb, who had been living in the stable flat next door in Bemerton House. Mary was a wealthy spinster who purchased at the same time Afton Cottage opposite, and the land on which Barn Orchard now stands, from Mathew Devenish, who was Lord of the Manor of Little Durnford. Later she purchased the old Parish Room, now 84-86 Lower Road, from the estate of Canon Warre for use by the Church on behalf of the village community. Mary had two servants looking after her: Anne Noble was the cook, renowned for her cakes, and Minnie Lucas was the parlour maid. All three were still here in 1911 and, later, Anne and Minnie retired across the road to Elm Cottage, which had been left by Miss Lipscomb in her will for their use. They were described by villagers as two lovely early Victorian ladies and were known affectionately as Nannie Noble and Aunty Minnie. In the image below Nannie Noble is on the right, Aunty Minnie is in the centre, and their friend Alice Henman is on the left.