17, 19. 21 & 23 Station Road

An Ancient Enclosure

The story of these houses begins with an old enclosure of land extending to 1a 2r 6p, having Church Farm Lane as its northern boundary and Station Road (in the past Odsey Way or sometimes Church Street) on the west. On the east was land of Church Farm and on the south, open field land of Richard Beaumont, which was bought by 1816 by the Earl of Hardwicke, owner of Church Farm.

This enclosure, however, was part of Cheyney Manor, owned by Lord Willoughby de Broke and by family descent it passed to Henry Peto Verney, who sold the Cheyney Manor Estate in 1829 to Joshua Lilley of Bassingbourn. When Joshua died in 1848 the Manor passed to his son George Lewis Lilley, who sold it in 1859. The Cheyney Water Farm in the village was sold as one lot and Cheyney Lodge Farm at Odsey as another. Various cottages and plots of land were sold as individual lots to various buyers. This enclosure of land was Lot 8 in the 1859 sale.

Dwelling houses

On the Enclosure Map 1817 no buildings are shown on this plot. However, the Enclosure Map was primarily a record of land, especially of the previous open fields, so omission of buildings on an old enclosure is not conclusive evidence that none were present. By the time of the Tithe Map 1839, two semi-detached tenement – nos 21 and 23 Station Road today, are shown. These two tenements were originally thatched and looking at their construction are likely to date from about 1830, around the time that Joshua Lilley bought the estate.

The other tenements – nos 17 and 19 Station Road today – are shown on the 1859 Sale Plan and were built with a slate roof, which suggests they were erected after 1850, when the arrival of the railway first provided easy transport of heavy building materials from elsewhere. That would also fit with the time that George Lilley had inherited the estate and he was perhaps looking to increase the stock of cottages available to house his workers? They were standing and occupied by the time of the 1851 Census on 30 March. An extract from the 1859 Sale Particulars may be found below.

After the 1859 Sale

The origin of this plot of land is well-recorded and the dates of erection of the tenements, also fixed with a degree of exactness. At the sale in 1859 this plot with cottages was Lot 8, which was sold to the Earl of Hardwicke and they became part of the Wimpole Estate.

At the Wimpole Estate dispersal auction sales held 1891 and 1892 this plot and cottages were part of Lot 20 and failed to sell and were bought in. 17 & 19 were each described as “Cottage containing 4 rooms and wash house with barn, pigsty, Closet and large garden” and similarly 21 & 23 were ” Cottage containing 4 rooms with barn and wash house, hen house and large garden”.

At the final Wimpole dispersal sale held in 1911 by the then owner Lord Robartes, the plot and cottages were described as “Excellent freehold investment comprising a block of two stud built and salted cottages and a pair of stud built and thatched cottages, no 187 on Plan, each containing living room, kitchen and two bedrooms; at rear are large productive gardens the entirety embracing an area of 1a 2r 0p”. They were bought by Walter Charter, a builder of 38 Cherry Hinton Road, Cambridge. Walter’s grandfather Charles Charter had lived in Hay Street and moved to Chesterton, Cambridge in 1871.

Walter sold cottages Nos 17 & 10 in 1921 to John Charter his second cousin once removed and Nos 21 & 23 to George Potton, who lived on The Green. George Potton died the following year and ownership of Nos 21 & 23 passed to his widow Mary Ann Potton.

A comprehensive listing of the those who lived in these houses from 1839 to 1939 is provided below.

The histories post 1921 for each house are here 17 Station Road  19 Station Road  21 Station Road  23 Station Road 

Enclosure Map 1817

The ancient enclosure is outlined in red. No buildings are shown on this plot. It was part of the Cheyney Manor and was a detached arable field or possibly pasture. The owner Lord Willoughby de Broke was a descendent of the Cheyney family.

Tithe Map 1839

The ancient enclosure, outlined in red, is still the same dimensions and is plot number 19. A double tenement - two cottages- is shown roughly in the centre of the roadside frontage. Today these are Nos 21 and 23.

Occupiers of the Four Cottages

Nos 1839 1841 1851 1859
17 Not built Not built William Kirbyshire William Kirbyshire
19 Not built Not built William Parish James Jarman
21 Another Eliza Dellar William Dellar Elizabeth (Eliza) Dellar
23 John Evans John Evans Thomas Evans Thomas Evans
Nos 1861 1871 1881 1891
17 William Kirbyshire William Kirbyshire Reuben Pateman Reuben Pateman
19 James Jarman James Jarman Susan Jarman John Charter
21 Eliza Dellar David Gray John Jackson David Watts
23 Thomas Evans Thomas Evans Thomas Evans Charles Jarman


1911 1921


17 Reuben Pateman Cornelius Kirbyshire Cornelius Kirbyshire Cornelius Kirbyshire
19 John Charter John Charter John Charter John Charter
21 David Watts David Watts David Watts Arthur Chandler
23 Charles Jarman Charles Jarman Charles Jarman Mary A Potton


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Last Updated on November 11, 2023