Berwick St James Parish
Awaiting Picture - It is no longer there!
There used to be a vicarage here. It was a small house which stood in what is now the Church yard, standing next to the road but at right angles. The garden stretched the width of the church yard to the wall of the farmyard.
From the mid 1700’s the vicars did not live in Berwick. In 1783 Berwick was served by a curate who lived in Salisbury! The house was rented out, and, like much else in the village in the 1840’s was let to Mr Pinckney, the farmer, for his farm workers.
After the amalgamation of Berwick Parish with Stapleford in about 1880, the building was adapted to provide two cottages with gardens. They appear to have been used for the “poor”, possibly in the place of the cottages which had been replaced by the Parsonage Barn complex just south of the Boot Inn.
In 1881 Jonathan Blanchard, a widower aged 81 lived in one, he was “kept by the parish”. He died in April 1890 in Wilton Workhouse. The other was uninhabited in 1881. In 1891 Louisa Blake a widow aged 40, a washerwoman, with 4 children of her own and Arthur Fulham a boarder aged 2 from London lived in one. In the other lived Mary Day a widow aged 68, a shirtmaker, with Alice her granddaughter aged 7. Mary died only 2 years later. I do not know what happened to Alice.
At the beginning of this century, when the cottages were described as “a small and wretched building”, more space was needed in the churchyard for burials. Permission was given for the destruction of the building and the inclusion of the ground into the churchyard. Mr Stephen Furness, the landowner who lived in Berwick House, had it pulled down by fastening the cable of a Traction Engine to its walls. The driver was probably Arthur Sanger who lived in Flintstones.