3 Church Farm Lane, Formosa Cottage

External examination suggests this cottage is mid to late 18th Century (not late 17th Century), with extensive early 19th Century alterations. The listing building description says the roof level has been raised. The gault brick chimney stack would probably have been added or rebuilt in the 19th Century. The bow window appears modern, as does the gable end extension.

Formosa Cottage has the  appearance of an early barn conversion and was probably a single storey thatched agricultural building that was extended upwards and re-roofed in slate around 1820-1830? Originally it may have been an adjunct to Mayflower Cottage?

The building is not depicted on the Enclosure Map of 1807. Many buildings are shown, although the Map was created to record the allocation of land, rather than location of buildings. The adjoining Mayflower Cottage and Town Houses opposite are also not on the Map. As all were standing in 1807 it suggests there is no significance in the omission of Formosa Cottage.

It is shown on the 1839 Tithe Map (see below) as parcel no 18 and described in the Apportionment as owned by Susan Pateman and occupied by Robert Notch [usual spelling Knott] and others “cottage and garden 0a 0r 15p”.

The origin of the name Formosa Cottage is uncertain although one doubts that it is named after the island of Taiwan, so was it after the plant Bleeding Heart – Dicentra Formosa – and so named in the 1950s?

The property was first registered with the Land Registry in September 2016 and hopefully the original Title Deeds are still in existence somewhere.

Peter and Margaret Scott bought the cottage in the early 1950s?

In the Cambridgeshire Archives there is a short history of Formosa Cottage written by Jack Sturgess, who lived at Gravenhurst, next door, in the 1950s and 60s.

Listed Building

Listing details: Grade II since 7 February 1980

Cottage. Late C17 with later alterations. Timber-framed and plastered and painted brick plinth. Tarred slated roof. Gault brick end stack to right hand. Two storeys (roof raised from original level). Glazed door, window with small lights to left hand and bowed to right hand. One small first floor window. Weather-boarded single storey gable end extension to right hand.


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Last Updated on October 21, 2023