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Berwick St James Parish

Gryphon Cottage

The Old School The Old School

The present cottage is the converted old school building. The school was purpose built in 1856, of cob and tiled. Before that there was a small house on the same site. It belonged to the main landowner and was leased out. In the 1840’s James Coombes and his family lived here, and also in 1851 but had to leave by 1856 when the cottage was demolished for the school. James Coombs, his wife Elizabeth and their children continued to live in the village, James died in March 1871 aged 75, and Elizabeth died aged 79 in 1880.

The School and grounds remained part of the “Farm Estate” until 1921 when it was sold to Mr Young, grocer, of Wishford. It remained a school until 1936, by which time it was owned by Mr William Everett of the Garage in Stapleford. He converted it into a cottage, it was named after a delightful medieval tile marked with a gryphon which was found in the garden (this had probably come from the Church). The Tillbrooks lived there - Mrs Tillbrook used to deal out the sweet ration - then Mr Frank Bucknell bought it and used it as a farm cottage. Later it was sold and became a private house.

Written and Researched by Nicky Street.