16 Brook End, Brook End Cottage


The steady flow of Cheyney Water was the prompt to enclose (fence-in) small pastures along its length to contain livestock, notably sheep. Taken from the open fields and common lands, typically in the 1500s, these newly private plots of land, sometimes became the site of a cottage or two. This cottage was built originally about 1650-70, it is uncertain whether it was initially a single or double tenement, although it has been both double and single during its life. During the late 1700s it was probably a single dwelling, but through the 1800s into the 1900s  it was double, until finally it was converted permanently to a single home in 1962.

An adjoining barn was converted to a third cottage in the early 1800s as the population of the parish increased and demand for more housing grew. Other barn conversions are known to have occurred around this period. This converted cottage was on the south boundary along side the original tenement, probably on the east end next to the stream, although we cannot be sure from the maps and descriptions available. In the late 1800s, as the population declined, “marginal” housing fell out of use and by 1900 the converted barn was no longer occupied as a dwelling.

The enclosed parcel of land is shown on the Enclosure map, without mention of extent. On the Tithe Apportionment Map of 1839 it was parcel 275 with an area of 1a 2r 18p. On the later Ordnance Survey Map of 1887 it was plot 95, with the area given as 1a 2r 12p (nearly 50% larger) and on the 1903 Map the plot number was 121 with same area. It would appear that the OS included a block of land on the other side of Cheyney Water in the plot extent, although in reality the original plot had remained unchanged.

In 1973 the plot was divided and an agricultural worker’s bungalow was erected on the northern half. Later, on 27 May 1997 an area of land was detached from the south-west corner of the bungalow plot and sold by Benjamin Briers to the then owners the Dreschlers and added back to the Brook End Cottage land. This created the final division into two plots as it stands today.

See the maps below. which illustrate these descriptions.


The first mention found currently is of Samuel Gatward in 1700. He was a member of a notable family of yeoman farmers and lawyers, with significant land holdings in the parish, so whilst he owned it, he and his family would not have lived there. On his death in 1742, he left the property in three equal shares to his three daughters Grace, unmarried, Ann wife of William Marshall and Elizabeth wife of Robert Akehurst.

It is uncertain how the property passed around 1768 to Cornell & Judith Flitton of Barley, Herts and William & Ann Wright. There were Flitton and Wright families in Steeple, but no connection with these Flitton/Wright owners has been identified, nor any connection with the Gatward family.

By 1780 there were new owners William and Martha Shepherd and William is described as butcher of Steeple Morden. It seems likely that they actually lived here as William probably raised and slaughtered his own stock for his butchering business. Martha died in 1787 and William became sole owner and on 26 June 1790 he mortgaged the premises described as “a cottage and piece of ground of half acre in tenure of William Shepherd to Edward Hall, yeoman, for £105.

On 17 October 1798, William sold to Edward Hall “a messuage and garden occupied by William Shepherd” for £121 7s 6p.

Edward was member of a yeoman family, which farmed Upper Gatley Farm. Edward died in 1818 and he left a life interest in the property to his widow Mary, who in turn died in 1841. She left equal shares to her daughters Ann wife of Samuel Strickland, Mary wife of Thomas Masters and Elizabeth wife of Thomas Barnes. Elizabeth had died in 1825 and her share passed to her daughter Mary Ann Barnes Hall.

In 1845 the daughters Ann and Mary and granddaughter Mary Ann decided to put the property up for auction and it was bought for £290 by their younger brother/uncle Thomas Hall, who never married. He had farmed at Upper Gatley and retired to a house, he had built, on The Green.

In 1851 it was auctioned again after Thomas had died and it was bought for £250 by St John’s College to add to their adjoining farm.

From that date it was let to the tenants of the farm, who utilised the cottages to house their labourers. In 1956 it was sold as part of St John’s Farm to George Briers, who in 1962 sold the cottages to J A D Lamdin and thereafter it was a single dwelling in private ownership. There is a schedule of owners below.

Planning and Other Background

In a Report and Valuation prepared for St John’s College in October 1956 is the description “Cottages, a pair in OS 121, which are part lathe and plaster, part brick and are thatched. They have coal barns outside, 2 rooms upstairs and 2 downstairs each, inside. Outdoor pail closets”.

“The cottages are not modernised and are of poor structure. They are in poor order and could not, in our opinion, be economically modernised.” In the light of later events this opinion was  unduly pessimistic!

Date Planning Matters – Details
May 1962 Proposed additions to existing cottages and conversion to one dwelling
Jan 1987 Part demolition, alterations, extension and carport
Sep 1997 Part demolition and alterations for replacement sole plate
Dec 2004 Removal of modern internal wall to study and replacement of staircase
Mar 2010 Reconstruct carport to form double garage with new slate roof
Jun 2015 Discharge of conditions – materials – for Mar 2010 permission


Listed Building

Listing details: Grade II since 4 September 1986

Cottage. Late C17. Timber-framed and plastered. Thatched half hipped roof. Red brick ridge stack. Two storeys with thatched gable outshut and entrance to left hand; slated weather-boarded gable extension of one storey to right hand. Four ground floor and three first floor windows of various sizes include one small first floor casement window with leaded lights.

Schedule of Owners

 Dates Names Notes
1700-Jun 1742 Samuel Gatward
Jun 1742-1768? Grace Gatward, Ann Marshall & Elizabeth Akehurst Heirs of Samuel Gatward
1768?-1780? Cornell & Judith Flitton, William & Ann Wright
1780?-1787 William Shepherd & Martha Shepherd
1787-1798 William Shepherd
1798-1818 Edward Hall sen & Edward Hall jun
1818-1841 Mary Hall Widow of Edward
1841-Jun 1846 Ann Strickland, Mary Masters & Mary Ann Barnes Hall Daughters & granddaughter of Edward Hall
Jun 1846-Feb 1852 Thomas Hall
Feb 1852-1956 St John’s College, Cambridge
1956-1962 George Briers
1962 J A D Lamdin
1963-1966 ?
1967-1975 John T Julian & Eileen F Julian
1976-1985 Richard E C Evans & Jillian S Evans See below re tenancy
1986-1987 David J Gibson & Anne W Gibson
1988-1992 Paul J Dreschler & Wendy I Dreschler
1993-1994 Robert Serafin & Mary Serafin
1995-Jun 1997 Ruby Wax ?
Jun 1997-Apr 2004 David N Parry & Gaenor D Parry
Apr 2004-Jul 2007 K E B Clayton
Jul 2007-Jun 2022 Keith Dennis Barker & Pauline Mary Anne Barker
Jun 2022-Today Karl Andre Lattion

Note: 1982-1983 The property was let, whilst the Evans were abroad, to Christopher C Powell & Joanna Emery.

Schedule of Tenants

This listing is incomplete, although the earlier period is considered to be accurate. The period 1861-1911 is uncertain as it is based on census data and it is difficult to be sure who lived where, when the addresses are simply given as Brook End.

Date Tenants
1839 William Pearce & others
1841 William Pearce, John Cooper & John Parish
Pre 1845 William Pearce & George Law (and John Parish?)
1845 William Pearce, William Goodchild & John Parrish
1851 James Pearce, Thomas Pateman & John Parrish
1861 Thomas Waymont, vacant & John Parish
1871 Thomas Waymont, vacant & William Sharpe
1881 Vacant, Vacant & William Sharp
1891 Vacant, Charles Hammond & Mary Sharp
1901 James Potton
1911 Nathan Scott
1954-1961 Dennis Norman Thompson & Gladys M Thompson


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Last Updated on October 21, 2023