Extract from an 18th century Map. Stalland and Bush Green Commons, Great Ellingham. Original held at Norfolk Record Office. Catalgoue Ref NRO, MC 2213/116. With kind permission of NRO
The above extract from an eighteenth century map, shows the position of a house (or rather a cottage) with a barn, yard and garden at Bush Green, which was then owned by William Colman.
Today, the barn remains but the clay lump cottage was demolished around 1978/1979 to make way for the bungalow, now named ‘Final Approach’ in honour to the USAAF 452nd Airforce Group, who flew B17 Flying Fortresses out of Deopham Airfield in WW2. The bungalow is at what would have been the southerly tip of the main runway.
Extract from 1802 Map of Great Ellingham. Original held at Norfolk Record Office. Russell James Colman Plans. Cat. Ref. C/Ca 1/84. With kind permission of NRO
Owner William Colman
The black dot on the above extract from an 1802 map of Great Ellingham also shows the position of the clay lump cottage (in inclosure numbered 158) which once stood at Bush Green.
Occupier William Sheering
The numbering used on the 1802 map concurs with the numbering used in a Particulars and Valuation of 1800, which was undertaken by the Commissioners for the inclosures of Great Ellingham. This tells us that William Sheerring (Sheering) occupied the following property and land which was owned by William Colman:
- No.158 House, Yard, Barn and Garden comprising 0a 0r 28p
- No.159 Pightle behind the House, Yard, Barn and Garden 0a 2r 0p
- No.161 A Pightle 0a 3r 25p
- No.162 Another Pightle 0a 3r 05
- Allotment upon Bush Green 0a 0r 11p
The same Particulars and Valuation reveal that William Colman also owned other land in Great Ellingham which he occupied himself.
Just a few years earlier, the Statement of Claims c.1799 (again for the Great Ellingham Inclosures), reveal the following claim by William Colman:
One Messuage and 22 acres of land, occupied by himself and W. Sheering, of which one acre is copyhold of Ellingham Rectory and 9 acres of Attleburgh Mortimers.
Although owning the property and land in Great Ellingham, William Colman lived in Attleborough. At a Court held for the Manor of Attleburgh Mortimers on the 9th May, 1791, William Colman, a linnon weaver of Attleburgh, was admitted a copyhold tenant of certain land in Great Ellingham on the surrender of Joseph Gurney. As the ‘Messuage’ was likely freehold, I cannot say whether or not Joseph Gurney was also a former owner of the clay lump cottage at Bush Green.
However by 1819, the house with the barn, yard and garden together with most, if not all, of the land once occupied by William Sheering, was occupied by John Ayres (also found as Ayers). The property was still owned by William Colman (also found as Coleman).
Owner James Hovell Limmer
William Colman died in 1820. Whilst William Colman’s will dated the 9th August, 1817, mentions his land and property in Attleburgh, and parcels of land in Great Ellingham, there is no mention of the house in Great Ellingham occupied by John Ayres. Accordingly, it is possible that William Colman disposed of this property before his death in 1820.
The Register of Electors for Great Ellingham for the year 1835, records that James Hovell Limmer of Occold, Suffolk owned a freehold house and land at Bush Green. James Hovell Limmer’s wife Lydia was the daughter of William Colman (c.1736-1820).
Further, a comment on an Estates and Occupations Collected for Great Ellingham which pre-dates c.1840, indicates that the house and land once owned by William Colman was later purchased by ‘Limmer’. The Register of Electors for Great Ellingham for 1842-1843 also states that James Hovell Limmer (then of Roudham) owned a freehold house and land at Bush Green. I do not know for how long James Hovell Limmer owned the property.
By the way, this Colman family is also connected to nearby Hawhill Farm.
Occupier John Ayres & Later Owner?
The 1841 census captures John Ayres with his wife Susan (Susanna) both in their early forties, at Bush Green, Great Ellingham. With the couple is Susanna’s niece 15 year old Susanna Fielding, and 15 year old male servant, Josiah Carter.
John Ayres of Great Ellingham had married Susannah Fielding in her home parish church of Little Ellingham, on the 21st October, 1814. Witnesses to the marriage were Thomas Warren and Frances Jane Warren.
The 1851 census finds John and Susanna Ayres (both aged 61) still at Bush Green. The census describes Great Ellingham born John Ayers as a farmer of 13 acres employing two labourers.
With John and Susanna is 28 year old agricultural labourer John Dey (Dye) with his 24 year old wife Susanna and their young daughters, 3 year old Sophia and one year old Hannah. John Dey and his daughters were born in Great Ellingham. His wife, Susanna, a niece of Susanna Ayres, was born in Rockland St Peter.
The 1861 census states that John and Susannah Ayres were living at Stolling Common (Stalland). However, I believe they were living in the same property as they were 10 years previously. Now 71, John Ayres is said to be farming just four and a half acres. The couple’s great niece, 11 year old Hannah Dye, is still with the couple. The census describes Hannah as a boarder.
Two years after the 1861 census, Susannah Ayres died. Her death was registered in the Wayland District between January to March 1863.
The 1871 census finds widower John Ayers, again farming four and a half acres, at Bush Green. Now aged 21, Hannah Dye (a great niece of John Ayers’ late wife Susanna) is still with her great uncle, but is now married. Hannah with her 25 year old husband, carpenter James Houchen, and one year old daughter Louisa, is living with John Ayres.
John Ayres died on the 19th October, 1871. I suspect that John and Susannah Ayers lived in the same property (i.e. the House at Bush Green identified on the 1802 map above) for over fifty years.
I wonder whether John Ayres purchased the House at Bush Green and, if so, when? The Register of Electors for 1868-1869 reveal John Ayres as the owner of a freehold house and land at Bush Green.
New Owners John & Susannah Dye
In his will dated 23rd August, 1871, John Ayres described as a yeoman of Great Ellingham, left all his lands and property in Great Ellingham, Little Ellingham and Rockland, to Susannah Dye, the wife of John Dye. Assuming that John Ayres did indeed acquire the House at Bush Green, the ownership of this property passed to Susannah Dye.
Ten years before John Ayres’ death, the 1861 census finds John and Susannah Dye with their children living in Long Street, Great Ellingham. I have mentioned above that ten years earlier (1851), John and Susannah Dye had been living with John and Susannah Ayres at Bush Green. The Dye family were still living in Long Street in 1871.
However by 1881, the Dye family had moved to Bush Green. The 1881 census captures 57 year old John Dye with his 53 year old wife Susannah and six children (ages ranging from 22 to 10) and a three year old grandson, at Bush Green. It is possible that they were living in the house which Susannah Dye inherited from her Uncle John Ayres.
The Registers of Electors for 1876, 1882 and 1891 all show John Dye as the owner of a freehold house and land at Bush Green.
The census of 1891 captures John and Susannah Dye with their 20 year old son, Alfred, and three year old grandson Arthur, still living at Bush Green. John Dye is described as a farmer.
Just a few months after the census, Susannah Dye was buried in the churchyard of St James on the 15th August, 1891. She was 65.
Around six years later, a notice of the auction of property in Great and Little Ellingham, appeared in the Norfolk Chronicle & Norwich Gazette of 22nd May, 1897. The auction, conducted by Salter Simpson & Sons, would take place at the Royal Hotel, Attleborough, on June 3rd, 1897.
The property being sold comprised a freehold small holding with dwellinghouse, farm premises and 2a 3r 27p of fine arable and pasture land situate at Bush Green, Great Ellingham, in the occupation of Mr John Dye. Also being sold were 8 cottages in Little Ellingham.
Could this be the House at Bush Green once owned by William Colman, James Hovell Limmer and, perhaps, John Ayres? Who would be the next owners and occupiers of the clay lump cottage at Bush Green?
John Dye did indeed move out of the property in Bush Green. The 1901 census captures 78 year old widower John Dye with his daughter and son in law, William and Kate Baldwin, at South Hill, Deopham.
John Dye’s Headstone in the churchyard of St James, Great Ellingham
John Dye was buried in the churchyard of St James on the 11th May, 1901, just six weeks after the census was undertaken.
Memorial Card in Remembrance of John Dye
18th century Map. Stalland and Bush Green Commons, Great Ellingham. Norfolk Record Office. Catalogue Ref NRO, MC 2213/116.
1802 Russell James Colman Plans. Great Ellingham. Catalogue Ref. C/Ca 1/84.
1799-1842 F W Horner, Records of the Surveyors to Commissioners for Inclosure in Parishes in Norfolk and Suffolk. Great Ellingham (Act 1799). Norfolk Record Office. Catalogue Ref: NRO, BR 90/2
1800 Inclosure Commissioner’s Particulars and Valuation, Great Ellingham. Norfolk Record Office. Catalogue Ref: NRO, MC 2213/119
1799 Statement of Claims. Great Ellingham Inclosure. Norfolk Record Office. Catalogue Ref: MC 2213/118
Manor court rolls, 1641-1930. Manor of Attleborough Mortimers. Court (Norfolk). Norfolk Recod Office MEA 2/2-8, Webb 24/5/63. Viewed via www.familysearch.org
Will of John Ayres, Yeoman of Great Ellingham. 23rd August, 1871. Copy obtained from https://www.gov.uk/search-will-probate
“England, Norfolk Register of Electors, 1832-1915,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HT-6LXQ-X1V?cc=1824705&wc=MX6S-VZS%3A161034801%2C161824201%2C161377201 : 21 May 2014), Norfolk > Southern division > 1876 > image 8 of 150; Record Office, Central Library, Norwich. Accessed 13.04.2020
“England, Norfolk Register of Electors, 1832-1915,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-6PC3-P99?cc=1824705&wc=MX6S-536%3A161034801%2C161988401%2C161036101 : 21 May 2014), Norfolk > Western division > 1835 > image 113 of 127; Record Office, Central Library, Norwich. Accessed 2 January 2021
“England, Norfolk Register of Electors, 1832-1915,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-6PC3-GY3?cc=1824705&wc=MX6S-529%3A161034801%2C161988401%2C161990901 : 21 May 2014), Norfolk > Western division > 1842-1843 > image 50 of 56; Record Office, Central Library, Norwich. Accessed 02 January 2021
“England, Norfolk Register of Electors, 1832-1915,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HT-D1L7-WH9?cc=1824705&wc=MX6S-K38%3A161034801%2C161824201%2C161372102 : 21 May 2014), Norfolk > Southern division > 1868-1869 > image 146 of 159; Record Office, Central Library, Norwich. Accessed 02 January 2021
Rockland St Peter Parish Registers. Norfolk Record Office. PD 336.Transcript of Rockland St Peter, Baptisms 1813-1886. Norfolk Family History Society. www.nfhs.co.uk
Little Ellingham Parish Registers. Norfolk Record Office. PD 568.Transcript of Little Ellingham Marriages, 1813-1837 Norfolk Family History Society. www.nfhs.co.uk
Great Ellingham Parish Registers. Norfolk Record Office.PD 609. Also available at www.familysearch.org
Norwich Chronicle & Norwich Gazette 22 May 1897
PrimeLocation website https://www.primelocation.com/for-sale/details/54429729 accessed 2 January 2021
1841 census HO107/781/8
1851 census HO107/1823/122
1861 census RG9/1237/97, RG9/1237/94
1871 census RG10/1841/94, RG10/1841/83
1881 census RG11/1974/95
1891 census RG12/1549/81
1901 census RG13/1850/69
GRO Index. https://www.gro.gov.uk/gro. Also available at FreeBMD website https://www.freebmd.org.uk/
Thanks to Peter Roche