7 Cheyney Street, Home Cottage. The Story of Four Tenements.


This house as seen today was originally two small semi-detached cottages, generally known as double tenements and adjoining on the west, directly in front of the Methodist Chapel, were a further two cottages. Looking at old photographs of the street scene these other two cottages were older and originally thatched and were barely two stories. They may be seen on the postcards below and have gone on the last card taken in 1955.

All four cottages, became known as 1-4 Home Cottages, after they were purchased in 1937 by Beatrice Franklin, who lived across the road at Home Farm. She bought them at auction and details are shown below. They were numbered in reverse to modern practice and No 1 Home Cottages was at the east end (the right half of the current house illustrated) and then 2, 3 & 4 to the west, towards the Church.

As access to the Chapel was via a six foot wide path alongside the westernmost cottage, Beatrice Franklin expressed a desire that the two cottages in front of the Chapel should be transferred to the Chapel Trustees after her death, with a view to their demolition and opening up the vista and access to the Chapel. She died in 1943 and her Executors transferred No 4 on 20 March 1948 and No 3 on 4 December 1952 and they were eventually demolished, although the landscaping and creation of car park, with wall and gates was not completed until the late 1950s.

The other two cottages remained in the ownership of the Rule family (Beatrice was a Rule, before she married William Franklin), until they were acquired by Roger and Thelma Whelan, who in 1970 combined them into a single dwelling, which today is Home Cottage, 7 Cheyney Street.


This house is on part of an historic dwelling site, originally an enclosure of about half an acre, believed to be from the common land of Steeple Morden Manor. On the Enclosure Map the full plot is outlined in red and originally probably included that part of the yellow outlined plot directly behind, which was split off to become 12 & 14 Hay Street.

The plot of land outlined in red on the Enclosure Map 1817 was in the single ownership of Thomas Strickland and depicts what appears to be four cottages with a house to their right, fronting Cheyney Street.

On the Tithe Map 1839, the whole original plot has been outlined in red. However, a small area of land had been sold off for the Chapel in 1835 and this is outlined in yellow and is number 83 [number illegible on map]. Parcel 86 between the yellow and blue lines is the four cottages by the roadside. Parcel 87 outlined in blue has a house on it and today this is 11 Cheyney Street, Homedale.  Plots 86 and 87 were still in the ownership of Thomas Strickland and details from the Tithe Apportionment are:

Parcel Owner Occupier Description Extent
83 Trustees of Meeting Trustees of Meeting Meeting and yard 0a 0r 11p
86 Thomas Strickland Samuel Christmas and others Cottage and garden 0a 1r 2p
87 Thomas Strickland Thomas Strickland Cottage and garden 0a 0r 22p

Thomas Strickland the owner was born in Steeple in 1796, although by 1835 he was resident at Potton and was a brewer and farmer. Thomas Strickland the tenant of parcel 87 was a distant relation, although the exact relationship has not been proven.

In the 1841 Census it appears that both the cottages to the east (today 7 Cheyney Street and illustrated above) were occupied by James Sharp as a single tenancy. He is recorded as a beerhouse keeper – so both tenements were probably necessary to accommodate the beerhouse as well as his family, which included daughter Susan with husband Rivers Pearce. By 1851 Rivers and Susan had moved to The Hoops on the Green, today No 30.

It is uncertain how long James Sharp ran his beerhouse here, but no mention is made of it in the 1851 Census, when he appears as resident in No 1 cottage (the right hand half above) as a shoemaker. A summary of the time as a beerhouse is here  No Name PH, Sharp, Cheyney Street

When Built?

The land plot has all the indications of an ancient dwelling site, although these tenements were clearly not “ancient”, so may be considered “modern” replacements. The two tenements demolished to open up the Chapel, were probably built in the early 1700s. The house that still stands today, from appearance and documentary clues was likely built for Thomas Strickland, around the time he acquired the land in 1832.

Enclosure Map 1817

The plot outlined in green was in single ownership in 1817 and it was much later it evolved into Nos 5, 7 & 11 Cheyney Street. Originally, an ancient residential plot, which would have been around half an acre and there are several cottages or tenements fronting Cheyney Street with a house on the right - No 11 Cheyney Street. Homedale

Tithe Map 1839

By 1839 the original plot outlined in green, had been split into three. The yellow land is the Chapel sold by Thomas Strickland in 1835 for £30. The plot between the yellow and blue lines has the four cottages, later reduced to two and subsequently combined into a single dwelling No 7 Cheyney Street. The blue plot is No 11 Homedale.

Owners of the Whole Plot – Parcels 83, 86 & 87

There is some uncertainty and gaps in this sequence. It is known that Thomas Strickland sold off the plot for the Chapel in 1835 and Parcel 87 Homedale was bought by John Jarman in 1902, although he is not thought to have acquired these four tenements.

Dates Owner Notes
1773 William Huckell & Elizabeth Huckell Baker
? Henry Dodkin Yeoman
? William Betts Thurley & Elizabeth Thurley
1832-1872 Thomas Strickland Brewer of Potton, died 1872
1872 -1876 Thomas Strickland, Exors of
1877-1892 Alfred Richardson Brewer of Biggleswade and Potton
1893-1894 Walter Pepper
1894-1902 Edward Worboys
1902-1937 ?
1937-1943 Beatrice Emily Franklin nee Rule
1943-1967 Rule family
1967-Today Roger Whelan & Thelma Whelan


Occupiers of the Four Tenements

For the period covered this list is pretty comprehensive. The numbering used is the old system of number 1 at the east end, through to number 4 at the west end

Date No 4 No 3 No 2 No 1
1839 ? Samuel Christmas ? ?
1841 William Elbourn Samuel Christmas Rivers Pearce James Sharp
1851 James Pearce Joseph Pearce John Pearman James Sharp
1861 William Evans Joseph Pearce William Sharp Sarah Sharp
1871 Ellis Stockbridge Joseph Pearce Ann Christmas David Potton
1881 James Potton Joseph Pearce James Jarman James Potton
1891 Francis Watts Empty James Jarman Alice Newman
1901 Robert Gray William Kirbyshire James Jarman Alexander Newman
1911 Frederick Brown William Wilson James Jarman Septimus Sears
1921 Empty Rose Wilson Empty Septimus Sears
1937 Ernest Rogers Henry Wilson Joshua Darts George Izzard
1939 Ernest Rogers Henry Wilson Joshus Darts Robert G Izzard


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Last Updated on December 20, 2023