25 The Green, Tucks Cottage


Anciently, The Green was an extensive area of common land, used by cottagers to graze livestock, make hay and gather firewood.

Over time, individuals carved out their own closes of land, which they fenced or hedged to prevent animals straying. Tucks Cottage stands today on one such close, although it is not known when the close was formed or by whom. It appears to have been part of the Steeple Morden manorial estate acquired by the Earl of Hardwicke in 1755.

Parliamentary Enclosure of Steeple Morden did away with common land and combined the open field strips into much larger fields, which were allotted to various land owners. The process began in 1806 and was virtually complete at the end of 1808, but then dragged on until 1817, the date on the Enclosure Map.

Earl of Hardwicke Ownership

Plot 12 on the Enclosure Map is an allotment to the Earl of Hardwicke of 0a 0r 18p of freehold land taken from the highway. The boundaries on the north and west were the street, on the east an old inclosure of Thomas Pain and on south an old inclosure of the Earl of Hardwicke. As owner of the original close, Hardwicke received the small allotment to tack on to it.

The Enclosure Map was primarily a map of land, rather than buildings, although many houses and farms were shown. There are no buildings marked on this close owned by Hardwicke, which suggests that none stood there at that time.

Acquired by the Pain Family

Between 1808 and 1839 ownership of the close passed from Hardwicke to the Pain family. This most likely occurred around 1820, when the Pain family are believed to have built Tucks Cottage as a double tenement. Thomas Pain 1765-1827 and his son Thomas 1795-1843 were both carpenters and as timber formed the main structural element to cottage construction, carpenters tended to take the lead in such building projects.

In the Tithe Apportionment and Map of 1839 the close is numbered plot 116, with the owner recorded as Elizabeth Pain, who was a daughter of Thomas senior and younger sister to Thomas junior. The occupiers of the property are stated to be Elizabeth and others and it is described as cottage and garden, with an overall plot size of 0a 1r 37p. Ownership of the property passed to Elizabeth’s brother William, probably about 1848, when she married James Christmas. There is a story around that marriage as James was the widower of Ann Pain and marrying Ann’s sister Elizabeth was in breach of ecclesiastical law.

By Descent to George Duke

 In 1870 William gifted the cottage and land to Elizabeth’s son Thomas Pain Christmas, who married Isabella Duke in 1878. When Thomas died in 1890, his widow held it until her own death in 1892. She then left the property to her father George Duke.

Following George’s death in 1900 his estate was put up for auction. Lot 7 at this sale was Tucks Cottage, where the tenant was Jesse Jarman at an annual rental of £6. It was bought in the name of Mr  Saunderson, who appears to have bid on behalf of the tenant Jesse Jarman, who thereafter shows as owner, until at least 1911. Jesse died in 1925 in Peterborough. The previous year his son Eric sold Tucks Cottage.

The pair of cottages built on the western portion of the Tucks Cottage plot were sold separately for the first time and were Lot 8. A Jarman and G Potton were the tenants at an annual rental of £8 10s. Purchaser was Herbert Edward Duke son of George and brother of Isabella.

Development of Tucks Cottage

 Tucks Cottage has been much extended. Originally, it would have been thatched and the two dormer windows added a little later, plus the lean-to on the southern end. Then in the 1970s the garage with room over was added on the west. Subsequently, two extensions were added on the east, with a conservatory beyond.

At some point the square plot of land that was number 117 on the Tithe Map was acquired and combined with the Tucks Cottage plot.

The origin of the name Tucks Cottage has not been identified. Tuck is not a family name in the parish and does not occur as a place name, except for this Cottage.

Owners of 25 The Green, Tucks Cottage

Date Name Notes
1755 Earl of Hardwicke Land, no cottage
1820? Pain family Cottage built?
1839 Elizabeth Pain
1867-1870 William Pain
1870-1890 Thomas Pain (Christmas)
1890-1892 Isabella Pain (Christmas)
1892-1900 George Duke
1900-1911+ Jesse Jarman
1924 Eric Jarman Son of Jesse
1950 Marjorie M N Dale
1955 Hannath (sic) A Marshall
1965 Renee M S Payne
1965-1967 Alan H Clarke & Joyce D Clarke
1967-1968 Joyce D Clarke
1968-1972 Vernon M B Moffett & Margaret Moffett
1972-1974 Arthur G Williamson & Diana M Williamson
1974-1986 John L Daniells & Patricia M Daniells
1986-2002 Paul A Austen & Tina J Austen
9 Feb 2015-29 Sep 2021 James Glendinning Woodwark & Emma Louise Woodwark
29 Sep 2021- Philip Michael Twist & Wendy Jane Twist

Last Updated on October 28, 2023