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Who lived in the Squarey Houses?


Previously known as Squarey’s Orchard, this area of ground was offered for sale in 1888 as...


"a valuable plot of orchard opposite Belvedere House

and between the Village Road and the railway. 

The lot is planted with orchard trees and possesses

a most valuable and important bed of brick earth of

the finest quality to be found in the neighbourhood. 

The orchard, with its extensive frontage to the Road,

is one of the most attractive building sites to be

found in the favourite village of Bemerton.” 


The orchard was purchased by the Farrants who lived in Belvedere House and subsequently remained in the possession of the Squarey family until it was sold  in 1959 to Jennings the builder.  


The orchard contained a large walnut tree, and the Rector and choir boys were allowed by the owner to pick the nuts.  Incidentally,  walnut trees were introduced into Britain by the Romans who believed they were good for curing headaches because they resembled the appearance of a human brain.


87 Lower Road

The first residents of this house - originally known as Farleton - were Harry Gregson, a bank manager, his wife Marie and their two children. They lived here until 1966.  They were followed by Ernest Dawson, another bank manager, his wife Rosemary and their four boys.  One of the sons became a junior school teacher until his death in a road traffic accident outside his school.


89 Lower Road

The first occupants of the house were called Asher; he was a development engineer and businessman.  The second was Peter Hill and his family, who had recently returned from Ghana in Africa, who named the house Aburi. 


91 Lower Road

The first residents of this house in the 1960s were the family of a scientist at Porton Down.  The next occupants were Alan Ball and his family.  They were succeeded by the current owners, who have recently refurbished the property and renamed it Nadder Dale.

93 Lower Road

The first occupants of the house in the 1960s were Alan Goodman, the local Lloyds Bank Area Manager, his wife Margaret and their three children.  When they moved to Basingstoke, they sold to the Skinner family, who had moved away in the 1970s.  Recently updated and extended, the current owners have named this property The Old Orchard to reflect the use of the original site.

95 Lower Road 

This was the first of the houses to be built on  Squarey's Orchard and was initially occupied by Wing Commander Gordon Cochrane, his wife Janet - known as Netta - and their two children.    During the first year of the Second World War, Gordon had been an RAF observer on No 57 Squadron, flying Blenheims on high altitude reconnaissance missions over Germany.   Gordon transferred to the RAF's Technical Branch and served as an engineering officer until he retired.  The house was called White Ash and took its name from Whiteash Hill, south of Fochabers in Scotland, where Gordon proposed to Netta. 

Nadder Dale
The Old Orchard
White Ash

Gordon died in 1966.  In 1983 Netta sold the house to the Friel's and down-sized to 78 Lower Road.  The mature front garden of 95 Lower Road currently contains a fine selection of plants and shrubs, including a magnificent specimen silver birch tree. 

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