Westwick Cottage is one of the earliest continuosly lived in houses in England. Click here to link to page on the Manor fo Westwick, and here , here & here, to link to references confirming the dating of Westwick Cottage using dendrochronology.
This property is completly hidden behind Breakspears depot on the apporach to the M1, yet despite its close proximity to the motorway, is still lived in.
Previous property on the site dates back at least to the 14th century: 1359-60 - Breakspears was mentioned in a court roll dated xxxiii Edward terci (3rd). [HRO XI2]
late 17th early 18th century.
Previous property on the site dated back at least to the 14th century: 1314. - The first documented settlement at Woodwells was recorded in this year. [S1 p.9 ] It was probably the home of Roger de Wodewell. [S23] It is the property of DBC.
11th October 1655 - Harbottle Grimston Having recently acquired Hillend, a contract was drawn up between Thomas Evans, a St. Albans bricklayer and Harbottle Grimston, to undertake various repairs on the property, for which he was to receive £34. The contract showed that Thomas Evans was to :
"...lay the hearth and make a new stocke to Chimney in hall, hee is to craft the partition in the Kitchen and new lay with bricke the floor in the little room to be parted from ye Kitchen Hee is to mend the hearth in the Kitchen and new bottome ye Oven Hee is to mend and plaster all the walls about the outhouses and within and without wherever they are defective, hee is to amend and make good all the underpineings about the dwellinge house and outhouses wherever it is defective, and hee new underpine the new porche to be built to the barne; and hee is to repayre and fixe where need requires all the tylinge about the house and outhouses Hee is to floore with bricke and slate ye room under for a dayry and to new pirch the flume entry, hee is to repayre all the Chimneys about the house and make up the holes in the Chimney in the smoke hole hee is to finde all the materialls to be used about the sayd worke And to doe other bricklayers worke that is needfull or necessary..." [HALS IE46A]
At the same time a contract was drawn up between Joseph Carter the elder, a local carpenter, and Harbottle Grimston, to complete the necessary woodwork and other similar work connected with the repairs to HillEnd:
"that hee the sayd Joseph Carter shall and will board and give the roome next the hall within the house called HIll End farme where John Dorvell now dwells, and new lay the board, and Gives in the hall wherever they are defective, and to studd and quarter ye partition in the kitchen and make a doore to the same and sett up a shelfe in the little room to be parted from the Kitchen, and to take up the defective planciers * in the Kitchen and new lay them home to the sayd partition, hee is to new grounde fill ye doore way into the orchard and the partition betweene the Kitchen and the Stone Entry and he mend and batten the doore into the Orchard and make a new door in the Stone Entry and another into the roome intended for a buttery, he is to make a partition in the roome above the Stone Entry as Goodman Dorvill shall Direct and to ammend the planciers in the mens Chamber, hee is to new ground sell the dwellinge house and outhouses where ever they want, hee is to make a new porche to the great barne xi foote square, and to planke and board the same, hee is to fasten and nayle all the boards about the barnes and outhouses that are sound and good, and to take up such as are defective and putt new board in the roome thereof, he is to mend and make good all the doores about that barne and the barne next it, hee is to pile and land pine the horse pound where it wants and to pale in the other pond, he is to new ground sell the end of the granary and to remove the stayes therof and make them to goe out of the yard up to the farme, Hee is to look up sheed at the end of the barne and to ground sell the sayd sheed, Hee is to take downe the porche and partition in the hay barne, and studd up the walls, and to make a payre of great doors to ye sayd barne on the yarde side and a little doore over against them - on the otherside, hee is to make a doore to pitch Corne into the Barne at the end of the dwellinge house, hee is to hew same and ryve all the timber board plank pale and late to bee used about the sayd worke, And to doe all other Carpenters worke whatsoever that is necessary or needfull to bee done about the sayd house and outhouses, for such worke hee is to have fouteene pounds whereof he hath received in hand seaven pounds......."
By May 9th of the following year Joseph Carter received the last part of his payment..."in full discharge of all the money due upon the contract and also forty shillings more as the free gift of the sayd Sir Harbottle Grimston."
Various other receipts and bills are collected together with the above two contracts, some of which relate to this particular contract, and one or two, which although obviously connected with Hillend, are for work done at other time.
Hill End Farmhouse, Gorehambury. 15th Century
There are some fascinating documetns relating to repair work undertaken at Hillend in the 17th century - see below.
1 & 2 Hillend Cottages, Gorehambury,17th century
Dell Cottage, Westwick Row. 17th Century
In the 17th century this property was one dwelling and known as Stones Hall.
Click on photo below to enlarge.
Westwick Hall and barns, Gorehambury, late 17th century
Regretfully no current photograph is curently available for Westwick Hall as it is only approachable via a private road or visible from the M11. The photo right, was taken from a sael brochure printed in 1930.
Originally the Hall was accessed both from Westwick Row and Chequers Walk, the road leading from Hill End Lane. However the building of the M1 and M11 cut the Hall off from the rest of Leverstock Green. If you are the current owner/resident of the property and are prepared for me to visit, please Contact Me
Dell Cottage was a gem which due to external alterations had been overlooked when listings occurred. It took negotiations with two different owners, DBC & English Heritage, and a great deal of corroborative evidence before the Secretary of State finally agreed with me that it should be listed in July 2002. It contains a wonderful contemporary pargeted panel.
Click on small photos to enlarge.
Below left. Kiffs Cottage, as it was then known, in the late 19th century.
This page was last updated on: April 3, 2015
BUNKERS FARM, Bunkers Lane,
mid 19th century
Bunkers Farm was finally added to the ranks of listed buildings in February 2009, having originally been listed the previous summer, but de-listed again following representations from English Partnerships, the current owner. DBC appealed this decision and the property received the assent of the Secretary if State on 5th February 2009.
It is hoped that further photographs will be added soon. Click here for details on Bunkers Park Open Space.
THE LEVERSTOCK GREEN CHRONICLE
A detailed history of one village in Hertfordshire, UK