preserving the past for the future
74-88 Lower Road
74 Lower Road
Built around the turn of the 21st century, this property was built on land which previously formed part of the garden of Belvedere House.
76 Lower Road
This property was originally one storey and has cob walls with a thatched roof, probably built at the beginning of the 18th century. Although now a single property, the layout suggests it was originally a pair of dwellings set end-to-end with a common chimney stack in the middle. The end walls are rounded, and the cottage contains a window facing west, said to have been used during the English Civil War to warn villagers of approaching soldiers. In 1911 Henry Mitchell and his wife Eliza operated a dairy business from the cottage, when it was known as The Old Dairy. In the 1930s the cottage was an outbuilding of Belvedere House and used as staff accommodation, when it was known as Gardener’s. Baffy Smith, who was also a sidesman at St John’s, was Belvedere's head gardener and he and his family were collectively known as the Baffies. Their only child, Monty, kept fantail pigeons and when the old-fashioned metal bell of the cottage door was pulled, the pigeons would flutter up in the air and circle the village. Currently, the property is known as Dairy Cottage.
Nadder House, Lower Road (between 76 and 78)
Built in 2002, this modern-style house was built on land previously known as Feltham’s Yard. A large barn, removed in 1987, occupied the site and was used as a storage facility for Feltham the builder. During the Second World War the barn was used as the motor transport depot of HQ Southern Command, based at Wilton.
78-82 Lower Road
This piece of ground was the home of The Hut built in 1919 and subsequently renamed Church Hall. Details of the Hut can be found in a separate publication produced by the Bemerton Local History Society.
Following the demolition of the Hut in 1973, the aim of the builder, John Wilkins, was to make this spot a second entrance and exit for Hadrians Close but the cost of gaining permission was prohibitive. Instead, he built these three terraced houses, to a design identical to those built elsewhere in the village.
78 Lower Road
The first occupants of this house in 1976 were Clifford and Angela Lever. They remained here until 1984 when they sold the house to recently-widowed Netta Cochrane. Netta had previously lived at 95 Lower Road and died in 1998. Her son Chris moved into the property in 2001. Chris, like his father before him, served in the Technical Branch of the RAF. Chris, who specialized in communications, was involved in the development of the Skynet satellite system and was present at Cape Canaveral when one of the Skynet sattelites was launched on a US rocket. After returning to Bemerton, Chris became actively engaged in local matters and served as a Conservative councillor for the Fisherton and Bemerton ward.
80 Lower Road
June and Anna Crabb were the first occupants of this house in the 1970s. Mary Pritty, who had previously lived opposite, occupied the property in 1989 and was still here in 1999. Mary was unmarried and had been the secretary to the head of Wooley and Wallis and continued to display an assertive demeanour in retirement!
82 Lower Road
In 1979 Donella and Denys Green lived in the house but, by 1989, Gwen Pye, a spinster, had taken up residence and was still here in 1999.
84-86 Lower Road
Formerly known as the Parish Room, and probably the oldest building in the village, the building was a medieval hall with private accommodation at the rear.
84 Lower Road
Eliza Mitchell, who lived here in 1911, was the parish nurse.
Other occupants: Mrs Offer (1935); Mrs Gertrude White (1940s-1960s).
86 Lower Road
Joseph and Agnes Olding and their three sons lived here in 1911. Joseph was a railway platelayer and their eldest son Edward was employed as an errand boy for a wine and spirit merchant.
Other occupants: Arthur and Amelia Gurd (1940); Dorothy Bucknall (1950).
88 Lower Road
This property is known as Red House Cottage and was initially used to accommodate staff who worked for the owners of the adjacent Red House. Built on the east corner of Lower Road and Hadrians Close in the 1930s, the first known resident was George Poole, followed by the Maidment family who remained here until the 1950s.