A perspective from 2017 by Companion Neil Sinden


John Ruskin has had a profound influence on cultural life in our country which reverberates to this day.  His visionary and incisive views about art and nature, his contribution to the development of museums and architecture, and his influence on the early environmental movement have been the subject of countless studies.  The impact of Ruskin and his followers in the West Midlands, particularly in Bewdley and neighbouring Wyre Forest, is a story waiting to be told.

The area which has been known as Ruskin Land for over one hundred years, and identified as such by the Ordnance Survey for decades, is at the heart of a new project, supported by the HLF, to reveal and revitalise this legacy.  Ruskin Land is a name that signals a rich and complex history, hinting at its origins as a late-Victorian utopian initiative. Its story is as remarkable as it is little known. 

One reason for its relative obscurity may be the controversy that surrounded its early years, as Ruskin entered the final phase of his influential life.  He had published what many, including Ruskin himself, consider to be his most important book, Unto this Last, in 1862. A critique of the approach to the ‘political economy’ at the time, it was initially ridiculed in the mainstream press but became a major influence on the pioneers of the labour movement.  It heralded an increasing preoccupation with the social and political issues, and an aspiration to translate his ideas into practice.  Despite its sometimes challenging language, the book has much to teach us today about the creation and distribution of real wealth, the dehumanising effects of laissez-faire economics, and the environmental and social costs of unbridled capitalism.  

Growing increasingly disturbed by the environmental destruction caused by the rapid industrial growth of Victorian Britain, and frustrated at the general indifference, even hostility, to his political writings, Ruskin decided he must take action and put his ideas into practice.  As he said in 1869 in his influential lecture The Future of England he resolved to address the question of ‘what ought to happen’ to correct the damage caused by industrialisation, rather than to dwell on ‘what ought not to happen.’ 

The Guild of St George

In the years that followed, Ruskin became increasingly focused on the need for social reform and developing his practical schemes.  In the first issues of Fors Clavigera, his monthly letters to the workmen and labourers of Great Britain which he began to write in 1871, he set out the idea of a ‘National Store’, of food, clothing, books and works of art, in contrast to the economic notion of a ‘national debt’, as a way to promote beneficial change.  Later this became the ‘National Company’, providing the basis for what was to become the Guild of St George. 

After a lengthy struggle with officialdom, the Guild was eventually constituted legally in 1878. Its first object set out in the Memorandum of Association was ‘To determine, and institute in practice, the wholesome laws of laborious (especially agricultural) life and economy, and to instruct first the agricultural and, as opportunity may serve, other labourers and craftsmen, in such science, art, and literature as are conducive to good husbandry and craftsmanship.’   While the phrasing may be dated, the words remain relevant today as plans for the future of Ruskin Land are developed.

Although the cultivation of land was at its heart, according to Edith Hope Scott the author and early follower of Ruskin, the Guild had ‘the appearance of a revelation - a sudden inspiration’  and ‘was certainly no logical and intellectually worked-out Utopia’.  The sense of direction, though, was clear. Ruskin wrote that its purpose was ‘the buying and securing of land in England, which shall not be built upon, but cultivated by Englishmen, with their own hands, and such help of force as they can find in wind and wave.’    In this way, he stated, ‘We will try to take some small piece of English ground, beautiful, peaceful and fruitful’In a pamphlet entitled General Statement explaining the Nature and Purpose of St. George’s Guild, published in 1882, Ruskin explained its role as to show ‘how much food-producing land might be recovered by well-applied labour from the barren or neglected districts of nominally cultivated districts.’

A few years before producing that pamphlet, in 1877, Ruskin bought a 13 acre plot of land at Totley, near Sheffield, to rent out to a small group of industrial workers keen to establish an agrarian commune.  They had formed a group a few years earlier to buy or lease some land to cultivate and use as a base for making tools, clothes and furniture, as well as producing food.  The property, which became known as St George’s Farm, was owned by the Guild until 1929 when it was sold to George Pearson.  Along with fellow socialist John Furniss, Pearson had taken over the enterprise at the suggestion of Edward Carpenter in 1884, after internal conflict had caused the original tenants to depart.

In its early years, the Guild attracted significant and loyal support from a limited number of individuals.  Many of them were formally admitted as ‘Companions’, as Guild members are still known.    It was one of the early Companions, George Baker, a Quaker and Mayor of Birmingham from 1876-78, who offered Ruskin some land in the Wyre Forest to make a practical reality of his ideas.  Baker had acquired 381 acres of woodland there from a sale of Crown property in 1870.  He originally offered 7 acres to Ruskin the following year, increasing his offer to 20 acres in 1877, the year that Ruskin paid his one and only visit to the area.  Ruskin stayed at Bellefield, Baker’s home in Birmingham, and visited Beaucastle, Baker’s country seat, an imposing Gothic mansion which was then still under construction, just outside Bewdley on the edge of the forest about a mile from Ruskin Land.  In Letter 80 of Fors Clavigera, written during this visit, Ruskin described Baker’s gift with characteristic eloquence as set ‘in midst of a sweet space of English hill and dale and orchard, yet unhurt by hand of man.

Ruskin and the land

It seems that Ruskin was initially ambivalent about what to do with the land he had been given in the Wyre Forest.  It would no doubt have formed part of the oak coppice which was predominant there at the time but it is not clear whether it was being actively managed as such when Baker had acquired it.  It didn’t help that Ruskin himself was not considered to be particularly interested or skilled in such practical matters.  Octavia Hill, one of the founders of the National Trust and a great admirer of Ruskin, said as much and fell out with him as a result.  While it was likely that the land had previously been managed as coppice, Edith Hope Scott writes ‘at first he decided to leave it in its ancient wildness to be a joy for ever in the Guild’s hands safe from the menace to natural beauty, which was creeping over the English countryside’.  A few years later, however, in 1877, the year of Ruskin’s visit, a local contractor was paid to clear five acres of the land of trees, which it appears took roughly five months, under the direction of George Baker. 

Despite this slow start, Ruskin subsequently developed aspirations for building a museum on part of the site.  Following his earlier initiative to establish an educational art museum in Walkley, a suburb of Sheffield, ‘to provide training for the eye and the mind’, he devised similar plans for the Guild’s land in the Wyre Forest.  According to Edith Hope Scott his vision was for the museum building to be ‘set there like a temple in the grove of oaks whose roots and stools were older than English history’ drawing the workers ‘to a double delight of natural beauty and of its spiritual and mental appreciation’.  He duly asked George Baker to fell some oak and ‘put it to season for years to come when he could hope to begin to build.’  Despite appeals for financial support, his plan to build a museum was not actually realised but Ruskin went as far as commissioning Joseph Southall, Baker’s nephew and an aspiring artist (who later pioneered a revival of painting with egg tempera) to draw up plans for it.  Those plans are now part of the Guild’s collection. 

Some insights into John Ruskin’s approach to land management can be gleaned from his activities at his home in the Lake District.  A few years before his involvement in the Wyre Forest, Ruskin had moved into Brantwood, a house on the shores of Coniston Water.  Along with the then modest building, he had purchased sixteen acres of land in 1871, ’half copse, half moor and rock’ as he described it, on a steep hillside with views over the water to the Old Man of Coniston.  The woodland there, as in the Wyre, had been coppiced for centuries.   According to David Ingram who has written about the gardens at Brantwood, the coppicing was abandoned by Ruskin ‘for aesthetic reasons’, only to be reintroduced after his death.  As well as creating a variety of distinctive gardens, however, Ruskin did much to alter the aspect of the woodland at Brantwood, including creating stepped paths, opening up vistas and rerouting streams. In Ingram’s opinion, ‘Ruskin always combined some practical social or intellectual experimentation with the desire to create an aesthetically pleasing effect’. 

These experiments with his land at home illustrate Ruskin’s belief in the possibility of a harmonious relationship between people and the natural world.  He was not one to delight in wilderness untouched by human intervention.  In The Seven Lamps of Architecture (1849) he wrote of the beauty of woodland ‘dyed by the deep colours of human endurance, valour and virtue’.   In the early years of Ruskin Land there was clearly a tension between leaving the forest in its ‘natural state’, or ‘ancient wildness’ as described by Hope Scott, and intervening in some way.  After a few years of prevarication, however, action was taken to carve out a clearing for a smallholding to enable some of his followers to start to make a living from the land.  

While he recognised the use of the forest for charcoal burning and associated coppicing, Ruskin was unlikely to be fully aware of the way in which the Wyre Forest had evolved as an industrial landscape over the preceding centuries.  By the seventeenth century, almost all of the forest was being coppiced for iron smelting.  Research by the Bewdley Historical Research Group shows that in the mid-nineteenth century, as well as providing a livelihood for wood-colliers (charcoal burners), the Forest provided employment for sawyers, woodcutters, hauliers, hurdle makers, bark peelers, lath cleavers, gatherers and sellers of fire wood, basket and besom makers, wheelwrights, coopers and carpenters.  As Peter Marren has written, ‘such was its usefulness that this medieval Forest has survived to the present day more or less intact.’  Towards the end of the century, however, as Ruskin’s attention was drawn to the Wyre, the economic significance of the woodland was beginning to decline.

The first landworker

Shortly after Ruskin Land was cleared in 1877, William Buchan Graham, who was to become a key figure in its story, arrived to set about the task of establishing a smallholding.  Graham, from a working-class background in Glasgow, spent eight years toiling here and his story, uncovered by some fascinating research by Ruskin scholar Mark Frost, is an illuminating one.  Displaying the skills from his former trade as a lithographic draughtsman, in 1880 he made a detailed plan for an orchard to be established at the ‘St George’s Guild Bewdley Estate’.  Shortly after, one assumes, he began planting the 190 fruit trees he specified, comprising mainly varieties of plum and damson, reflecting Victorian tastes, along with some apples, pears and cherries. 

Sadly, Graham’s time at Ruskin Land was not a happy one.  He laboured there until 1886 without, it seems, much support.  In a draft article written in 1887 but never published, he laments:

‘For eight years I worked on the Guilds land here, at Bewdley, situated in the heart of Wyre Forest – oak mainly, the property 20 acres in extent, 5 of which had been cleared in a slovenly fashion when I came; work redone by me and planting the patch with fruit trees. Thereafter I cleared 21⁄2 acres more; made a road to the land; built some rough sheds and cots for pigs and appurtenances; grew crops of black oats and potatoes; tried growing beans and strawberries, by and by finding effort in any direction beset with insuperable difficulty’.[1]

The problems Graham encountered were bound up with the difficult relationship he had with Ruskin, initially a great inspiration for him, alongside what appears to have been a positively fractious relationship with George Baker.  Conflicts with the latter involved complaints over his lack of remuneration, inadequate equipment and the use of part of Ruskin Land as a ‘game reserve’, contradicting the Guild’s founding principles.  There was a gulf between the classes in the nineteenth century, as Ruskin himself described, so it is difficult to draw firm conclusions about these personal relationships.   As noted earlier, Ruskin is considered not to have been particularly interested in such practical matters and Baker must have been preoccupied much of the time with his civic role in Birmingham. Graham’s story does suggest, however, a lack of understanding and respect for the physical and emotional commitment he made to Ruskin Land in its first decade.  This was no doubt amplified by Graham’s apparent unwillingness simply to follow his ‘Master’s’ wishes, and to live uncritically with the hierarchical approach which then underpinned the structure of the Guild.

Crucially, there appears to have been a dispute over providing accommodation at Ruskin Land which Graham had been hoping for.  In a letter to Baker in 1878 Ruskin writes: ‘Since my illness I have given up all hope of instituting any modes of habitation on St George’s ground: as long as the present Master lives, or is not deposed, or does not resign, the Company must be content with merely Vegetarian successes - for all the land at my command I shall keep under leaves.’  Intriguingly he goes on  ‘…you may relieve your neighbour’s dread of the threatened colonization’  and concludes; ‘I am most thankful to hear of Graham’s progress and good conduct’.   These passages provide some insight into the personal relationships and disagreements surrounding the early development of Ruskin Land.

Graham tried hard to resolve matters.  He even visited Ruskin at Brantwood in 1881 to seek guidance on both how he should manage the land in the Wyre and handle his difficulties with Baker.  During that visit he apparently pleaded with Ruskin to allow him to be joined by fellow Companion, John Guy (who had a similarly gruelling experience at Cloughton Moor, near Scarborough where Ruskin had purchased land for him to work on) so that they could complete the task he had begun of establishing the smallholding at Ruskin Land.  Getting nowhere, William eventually abandoned the project, the Guild and Ruskin himself.  In the end he deeply resented his time trying to uphold what he understood to be the Guild’s values through his work in the Wyre. 

[1] Wellesley Special Collections, Wellesley College, Massachusetts: Mss 1887-89: Ruskin Mss Leters, volume 1887-89

The second wave

It wasn’t until the late 1880s that the fortunes of Ruskin Land began to look brighter.  In 1889, the first people from an expanding group of followers of Ruskin, Margaret and Thomas Harley, came to visit the Wyre Forest from Liverpool.  They settled just half a mile away in St John’s Cottage built on land bought from George Baker.   There they carved out a smallholding and inspired other visitors from Liverpool.  Edith Hope Scott was to become their neighbour in 1908 after she had a house built, which she called Atholgarth, on land her father had bought for her, again from George Baker. 

The Liverpool Ruskin Society had formed in 1883, meeting regularly at Mulberry Cottage in Wavertree between1884 and 1901.  The Cottage became a kind of communal sanctuary and host to both group discussions of the issues of the day and shared experiments in gardening.  Members of the Society forged a strong bond that was to be critical in the later establishment of Ruskin Land.  The Liverpool Companions were to be central to the survival of the Guild in the troubled times after the First World War when its leaders openly speculated on whether the Guild was ‘outworn and has run its course’.  Together they began to form the nucleus of a small community, at its peak comprising 6 households, including the Quayle, Fowler, Wardle and Watson families, in the forest immediately to the south of Ruskin Land.

Little is known of the activities at Ruskin Land itself during the final years of the nineteenth century.  The orchard established by Graham was no doubt tended by the Companions living nearby and became more productive.  But more significant developments were to come.  In a letter discovered recently by Guild Secretary Stuart Eagles, that Hope Scott wrote sometime in 1901 she expressed sympathy for the Companions in the Wyre Forest who, she said ‘I know are anxious for the Guild to do something with regard to the land to carry out the purpose for which Mr Ruskin founded St George’s Guild’.  And in a later passage she continued: ‘Bewdley has been tending to become a new Guild centre, and therefore seems the most suitable place for at least beginning any new Guild work.  The Master (George Baker) lives there.  The 20 acres of Ruskin Land are there.  And two Guild Companions already own small plots of land there’.

Hope Scott’s thoughts, no doubt shared by others connected with it, appear to have galvanised the Guild.  Shortly after that letter was written, in 1903, three years after Ruskin’s death, the Guild resolved to investigate building cottages for farm labourers on Ruskin Land.  In 1908 St George’s Farm was completed and initially let to a local tenant whose identity is unknown.  A few years later, in 1911, Frederick and Ada Watson, who had kept a successful ironmongers’ shop in Liverpool, moved into St George’s Farm together with their daughter Eva and two sons Harry and Willy.  They had been drawn here by their friends the Harley’s and Edith Hope Scott.  They must have experienced similar feelings as we did over 100 years later on moving from a dense urban environment to an isolated rural dwelling, as it remains today.

The Beloved

Insights into the emotions of the early settlers at Ruskin Land is provided by a little known and long out of print novel The Beloved, written by Edith Hope Scott and published in 1921.   It consists of illuminating fictional letters from an early settler describing her response to the area, and the stories of other early inhabitants, including a Mr and Mrs Brown, whose characters are based on the Watsons.   In it Hope Scott describes the antiquity of the oak forest and its use as a coppice:

‘The Forest is older than history, but only immense oak roots tell that, for the trees are seldom more than 30 or 40 years old, and are surrounded with short dense oak scrub which grows on the oak stools and are periodically cleared, so that any year you may find a part of your dense and mysterious forest become a thinly wooded stretch of ground, bare of undergrowth except for the useless delights of honeysuckle and wild rose and all the other sweet wildnesses that are not to be bought or sold’.

She also refers to the clearing of Ruskin Land, the establishment of the orchard and construction of ‘the little red house’ - St George’s Farm - describing the smallholding and its fruit trees in blossom ‘as a coral islet rising out of a sea of trees.’  She captures the feelings of two visitors, in a passage which could have been written yesterday, on arriving at the farm:

‘Then we turn off the high road, which after passing a few cottages, became more and more enclosed with trees; and it seemed to Molly and me that we were getting into a dark and dreadful forest such as we knew existed in fairy tales.....It was nearly dark when we turned into a long steep lane, which seemed to go straight up a hill, and was bordered with tall, dark pine trees - We did not know what they were, but they looked like great giants standing in rows, and our hearts beat quickly - at least I'm sure mine did’.

The Watsons stayed at St George’s Farm raising their children and working the land, using a horse and trap to get to market, selling pigs, chickens, eggs, honey and fruit, for almost 30 years.  There are a few surviving photographs of the family which give glimpses of what their life was like for them.  Despite the passage of time, it is still possible to identify with the feelings Hope Scott describes about living and working there. 


During they Watsons' time at St George’s the Guild considered purchasing forest land adjoining Ruskin Land.  This was inspired by concern over conifer planting by the Forestry Commission, which had been set up in 1919, which the Guild believed was a threat to ‘preserving the traditions and crafts of the forest’.  In June 1928 the Guild agreed that its work lay in the forest and that a definite policy be developed for its landholdings there.  Subsequently, in 1930, the Guild took the opportunity to purchase almost 100 acres of woodland, part of which is known as Shelf Held Coppice, along with Uncllys Farm, a neighbouring smallholding.  This land connected the Liverpool settlers in St John’s Lane with the original area of Ruskin Land, and stretched further north, down to the Dowles Brook which marks the border between Worcestershire and Shropshire. 

In 1938 the Watsons returned to Liverpool, after Frederick had suffered a stroke. At about the same time the Quayle family moved from Uncllys to neighbouring Bowcastle Farm, at the edge of the forest.   St George’s Farm was passed to Fred’s nephew, the aptly named Ruskin Williams.  Not much is known about what happened there during the Second World War but following the departure of Williams, who had found employment elsewhere, Jack and Nancy Bishop took over the lease of St Georges Farm in 1956. 

Jack was employed by Brintons the carpet makers as a ‘loom tuner’, a much respected expert in mending and servicing looms used in their factories in nearby Kidderminster.  It seems he took on the smallholding as a part time activity.  With the help of grants from the Ministry of Agriculture, which were widely available at the time, he grubbed out the orchard which had been so carefully planned and planted by William Graham, and used the land for grazing cattle and making hay.  In a personal reflection, Jack’s daughter Anne has expressed her ambivalence about recent efforts to re-establish an orchard there given the hard work her father undertook to replace the original one with productive pasture land.  

In his later years Jack also kept turkeys in one of the two main outbuildings near the farm, and leased a patch of land next to other outbuildings, a short distance from the main farmyard, for the storage of building materials.  While Nancy predeceased him, Jack lived at St George’s Farm until he moved into a hospice shortly before passing away in 2014.  Jack was a respected character, who is still fondly remembered by the older walkers in the forest and the scouts and guide groups that he allowed to camp at Ruskin Land.  There is little evidence though that he had much interest in John Ruskin or his Guild of St George.  While it provided mains water to the house and installed a bathroom in 1962, the Guild played a largely passive role during the Bishops’ tenancy.  Their main concern, it seems, was simply to ensure that the land was kept in good agricultural condition. 

Alongside its apparent hands-off approach to the farming activities, the Guild was uncertain about how best to care for the woodland it had previously acquired.  A report by the Master of the Guild in the early 1970s talks of problems with managing the oak coppice due to ‘the increasing difficulty of finding labour, and the need to protect its flora and fauna’.  Help was at hand though.  A partnership with the Worcestershire Countryside Preservation Trust, involving the County Council, the Guild and neighbouring landowners, led to the designation of part of the Wyre Forest, including Ruskin Land, as a Site of Special Scientific Interest.  In 1978, after the Nature Conservancy Council had begun to purchase land in the forest, 214 hectares of it was designated as a National Nature Reserve, making it one of our most important wildlife sites.   Since then considerable effort has gone into encouraging the coordinated management of the forest to enhance its value for wildlife and people, with the Guild and the Wyre Community Land Trust (WCLT), set up by John and Linda Iles who now live at Uncllys Farm, playing an important role.  

Future directions

The Guild and the Wyre Community Land Trust now have the opportunity to tell the story of Ruskin’s legacy in the Wyre Forest and explore the potential for bringing his ideas to life in the 21st century.  There are certainly lessons to learn from the past which has not been without its troubles and tensions, but there is great optimism among the people who now work and volunteer with the CLT.  It will be a big challenge to safeguard the distinctive character of this place while sharing it more widely.  Protecting its tranquillity will be particularly important.  There is a strong sense of responsibility both to the people that have lived and laboured there over the years, as well as to John Ruskin’s ideas about society, art and the natural world.

There are solid foundations on which to build.  Over the past 10 years or so the Wyre Community Land Trust has started to restore the landscape.  In 2009 work began on converting an existing barn at Unclllys Farm into the oak-framed Ruskin Studio which is now used for seminars and training courses.  Working with a wide range of volunteers from the local community, the WCLT has taken in hand the management of many of the old-established orchards in the locality, carrying out restorative pruning of the older fruit trees and planting over 500 new ones, mainly local varieties of cherry, apple, pear and plum.  A small herd of Dexter cattle help maintain the meadows which are scattered in and around the Forest and they provide a stable source of income for the Trust. The startling variety of wildlife in the Wyre Forest is greatly enhanced by these meadows and orchards, remnants of earlier farming activities.   Along with some enlightened woodland management carried out by Natural England, including the creation of wide forest rides and new coppice coups, they provide important habitat for some of our rarer birds, such as Redstarts and Hawfinches, and butterflies, notably the Pearl-bordered Fritillary and White Admiral, as well as rare flora including the Narrow-leaved Helleborene. 

Through the past two winters WCLT staff and volunteers have completed the planting of a new orchard at St George’s Farm.  The orchard is symbolic of the human and historical connections embedded in this place and recalls in particular the contribution made by William Graham in the early years of Ruskin Land.  It would have been backbreaking work to complete clearing the land of oak coppice stools before planting, singlehandedly it seems, the 178 fruit trees depicted on the plan of the orchard beautifully drawn by his own hand.  Even with the help of numerous volunteers and modern tools, it has been challenging enough to plant the 151 trees that comprise the new orchard here, particularly during the very wet weather experienced in the winter of 2016.  The new orchard, which includes many of the original varieties planted by Graham, will stand for many years we hope as a monument to his work there.   His contribution will also be recognised in plans being developed to restore Graham’s neglected grave, which he shares with his wife Eliza, at St Leonard’s Church in the nearby hamlet of Ribbesford, and to devise a walking route between and Ruskin Land and Graham’s resting place.

The new orchard is also a symbol of a new episode in the story of Ruskin Land where the values that underpinned its foundation will be explored and made relevant at a time when they resonate more than ever.  The WCLT is beginning to explore how it can best care for the woodland that it looks after on behalf of the Guild, along with a wider area it manages on behalf of other landowners.   It has made a start in returning to coppice some of the stands of oak of uniform age, and by selective felling of some trees to provide a more diverse habitat for wild life.  At the same time the aim is for the use of the timber to support the regeneration of the local woodland economy which was once so vibrant.    Volunteers from the local community have recently establish a woodyard and workshop at St George’s Farm as a step in this direction.

Working together the Guild of St George and WCLT want to bring to life Ruskin’s desire ‘to take some small piece of English ground beautiful, peaceful and fruitful.’  The challenge will be to pursue those three outcomes together, so that they are mutually reinforcing.  This will not be easy but, in the long run, the aim is to provide the raw material, in both a physical and spiritual sense, for a new generation of makers, designers and architects, and to reinterpret Ruskins ideas about land management, craft and art for the current age. 

The end…of the beginning

As Edith Hope Scott wrote of the early settlers from Liverpool ‘ ...they went down to Bewdley to try to turn a piece of the yet unreclaimed Wyre Forest into a fruit farm. They might have failed; it was work Ruskin had wished the Guild to do-to take the risk and expense of reclaiming yet uncultivated land-but for individuals the risk was double and dangerous…… But they did more than add to the food-producing land of the country, they became the nucleus of Guild work which has had, and will yet have, far-reaching results.’  Those words were written over eighty years ago.  While food production is now part of a much wider vision, aspirations remain as bold as they did in those early years.  The story of Ruskin Land is a continuing one.  A wider understanding and appreciation of its rich natural and cultural heritage will help it become an inspiration for all.


RUSKINIAN SETTLERS IN THE WYRE FOREST AND THEIR HOMES (those not known as Companions of the Guild of St George are in brackets)


1878-1910      George Baker

(?? - 1949        Mr Butcher)

St John’s Lane:

St John’s Cottage

1889-1931      Thomas and Margaret (nee Cox) Harley


1908-1936      Edith Hope Scott

1931-1943      Margaret Harley

Oak Grove

1912-1919      Harrison and Margaret Fowler

St George’s Farm

(1908-1911     Local tenant)

1911-1938      Frederick and Ada Watson, with their children Harry,

Willy and Eva

1937-1954      Mr. Ruskin Williams, wife and daughter Heather Williams (born in 1942/3)

(1956-2014     Jack and Nancy Bishop, and children Jim, Anne and Martin)

2015-2017      Neil Sinden and Lynne Roberts

St George’s Bungalow

(1938?             Mr George Williams and wife)


Uncle’s (later Uncllys) Farm

1914-1929      Charles Clucas and Mary Margaret Quayle, with their children Cuthbert, Kathleen and Kendrick

(1930-1933     Mr Morris and son - who died in 1932)

(1933-?           Mr Arnold Price)

(1935-1947     Mr. G. Mountford - who married Miss Wright in 1943)

(1947-             Mr C.J. Lewis and family)

20??-present  John and Linda Iles and their family

Bowcastle Farm

1929-present  The Quayle family - currently Cedric and Thelma Quayle

Fushcia Cottage, Longbank - precise location unknown??

1879-1909/25 William and Eliza (nee Tart) Graham