The Farnham (Buildings Preservation) Trust is pleased to announce that they completed the purchase in September 2015 of Old Yew Tree Cottage, a Grade II listed building in the Wrecclesham Conservation Area which is thought to one of the oldest buildings in Wrecclesham, possibly late 16th century although there is a reference to a previous dwelling on the site in 1361.
Our intention is to make a full record of the construction and history of the building, to renovate the property completely and sympathetically, reflecting its listed status and then sell it again as a private dwelling house.
The house was put on the market last March, after the death of the old lady who had lived there since the 1950s, and very little has been done to it in recent years. It will be an exciting project and a challenging one. We hope to be able to find out more about the age of the building, and may be able to date some of the timbers by means of dendrochronological dating, though it is possible that the timbers are not suitable for this process. The Domestic Buildings Research Group did a limited survey in the 1970s, and they hope that they will be able to add to this during the renovation process.
The Trust’s Board has appointed a Project Group of five members to oversee the project, and we are now in the process of carrying out initial surveys and appointing an architect.
One claim to fame of the cottage is that it was the birthplace of Billy Beldham in 1766, an English professional cricketer known as Silver Billy who is widely acknowledged as one of the greatest batsmen of the sport’s underarm era. There are more details here on Wikipedia.
The cottage has also been used as a model for the “Oak Lodge” cottage in the Lilliput Lane series of miniature collectible cottages, in their catalogue between 1982 and 1987.
Photo copyright © Graham Weeks aka Alice-Lewis and used with permission. http://www.jrsaville.co.uk/ll_surrey_NV.htm