Vine Cottage

Vine Cottage

The photograph above shows Vine Cottage, situated in Kington Lane next to the Thornbury Cemetery.

Please click here to read about the families who lived in this property 

We are grateful to Alan Pinder who was kind enough to let us see the very comprehensive deeds of this property.

The cottage appears to have been built by Kingsmill Grove, at some time between 1792 (when he bought the property on which the cottage was built) and 1813 (when he mentioned he had built it in a codicil to his will dated 23rd November 1813).

In that codicil Kingsmill Grove left to his nephew John Thurston only son of his sister, Martha Thurston: ‘all that customary messuage late in the occupation of Mrs Sarah Jefferies and now of Charles Harrison M.D. by me lately erected and built at the lower end of the said Home Close and the garden taken therefrom, all situate and being in and near the Tything of Kington within the Manor of Thornbury and are part of one yard of customary land by me purchased of William Osborne gentleman save and except the garden or part thereof on the northeast part infront of the said messuage in the occupation of the said Martha Thurston which is freehold’.

The property occupied by Martha Thurston later became known as Thornbury Cottage situated on Kington Lane near the junction with Castle Street.  Vine Cottage was built at the bottom of the field behind Thornbury Cottage.  Click here to read about Thornbury Cottage


Kingsmill Grove

Kingsmill Grove was a papermaker who came from Bristol, but who had been living in Thornbury House, a property he had also built near the bottom of Castle Street.  In his will Kingsmill left Vine Cottage to his nephew, John Thurston, the son of his sister, Martha.  It seems to have been left to the use of his wife Susanne and then to the use of his sister Martha before going to John Thurston.  Click here to read more


Martha Thurston

Kingsmill Grove’s sister, Martha was baptised on 28th September 1750 and she was the daughter of William Grove the apothecary and his wife Margaret.  She married Obed Thurston in 1785.  Their son John was born about 1791 (according to his age at his death).  Obed died in 1798.  He was buried in Thornbury on 11th April 1798.  On 9th June 1814 Martha attended the Manor Court in Thornbury following the death of Kingsmill Grove in February of that year.  We are not sure of the legal proceedings but the property was devised to Martha instead of her son.

In 1824 the Land Tax for Kington showed that Martha Thurston owned a property which was liable to £2.00 tax and the occupant was John Thurston which was crossed out and Self substituted.  She was also due to pay 12s 9d for “part Tanners.”  In 1810 the same properties were owned by Martha Thurston and occupied by William Cowley.   This appears to have been Thornbury Cottage.

Martha Thurston died and was buried on 1st November 1826 aged 77.   Click here to read more about Martha

In her will dated 27th December 1825 Martha left this property to a friend Thomas Hardwicke of Tytherington with instructions for him to sell it.   It was then being described as being in the occupation of Mrs Higgins.

On 15th March 1827 Thomas Harwicke appeared in the Manor Court to claim the property and to convey it to Elizabeth Jane Ward of Thornbury for £195.  It was then described as being in the occupation of James Virgo.


Elizabeth Jane Ward

 In 1840 Tithe Survey the property was owned by Elizabeth Jane Ward and occupied by John Cook.  Elizabeth was a member of a wealthy family of solicitors from Bristol.   Click here to read more 

On 8th July 1843 the property was put up for sale at auction.  It was described as “All that cottage or tenement called Vine Cottage with garden adjoining situate in the Tything of Kington, near the Town of Thornbury, being Copyhold of Inheritance, now in the occupation of Mrs Elizabeth Cox, as yearly tenant.

On 14th September 1843 Thomas Brickdale Ward of Bristol, gentleman appeared in the Manor Court and agreed to sell the property to William Cornock gentleman of Oldbury for £100 under the terms of a codicil of the will of Elizabeth Jane Ward dated 16th March 1837.   It was then described as being in the occupation of Elizabeth Cox, widow.


William Cornock

William was baptized at Thornbury on 24th August 1791.   He was the son of Thomas and Anne Cornock.

On 17th February 1821 William married Susanna Cox.  She was born on 9th May 1790, the daughter of Robert Andrews Cox and his wife Susannah.  During the 1820s they were living at The Parks, in Kington.  They had three children, none of whom survived for very long.  Susanna Cox Cornock born in 1821 and died aged 11 months.   Ann Cornock was born in 1825 and she died after two days.  William born in 1825 and lasted 20 days.

In 1841 William and Susanna were living in Oldbury with their niece, Susannah Cox.  William was described as being ‘Independent’.   The 1851 census shows William was a farmer and he and Susanna were living in Oldbury Naite.  They were then living with four nephews and nieces including Susannah Cox.  The 1861 census shows them still there with just the two nieces, Susannah Cox and Leah Cornock.

William died aged 74 and was buried in Thornbury on 30th May 1866.  In the 1871 census Susanna Cornock was living at Oldbury Naite with Susannah Cox, both described as ‘Independent’.  Susanna Cornock died aged 82 and was buried in Thornbury on 23rd September 1872.


Susannah Jones

The ownership of Vine Cottage passed to William and Susanna Cornock’s niece, Susannah.  She was the daughter of Thomas Cox of Falfield, the brother of Susanna Cornock.  She married William Jones, a widower and farmer on 17th December 1872.  At the time of the marriage William lived in Alveston.

On 30th September 1874 Susannah Jones appeared in the Manor Court to claim the property by virtue of the will of William Cornock dated 15th May 1865.  She was described as being ‘of Falfield’.  At the time of the Manor Court appearance the property was described being in the occupation of someone called Spencer.

Susannah Jones died 12th April 1878 aged 71.  In her will dated 11th January 1878 Susannah Jones of Falfield left the property called Vine Cottage to her brother William Andrew Cox for his life, and after his death to John Ford Jones, the son of her late husband William Jones.

On 18th June 1879 William Andrew Cox yeoman of Bagstone appeared in Manor Court and claim the property.  On 29th September 1882 William Andrew Cox died.

On 29th November 1882 John Ford Jones yeoman of Conygre Farm, Alveston appeared in the Manor Court to claim the property under the terms of Susannah Jones’s will.  It was then described as being in the occupation of William Baker.

On 11th January 1892 John Ford Jones yeoman of Conygre Farm, Alveston and his wife Mary Eliza conveyed the property to Frederick Exell gardener of Miserden Park, Gloucestershire for £145.  It was described as being in the occupation of Ann Honeyborne.


Frederick Exell

Frederick Exell acquired the Vine House from John Ford Jones on 11th January 1892.

Frederick was born in 1860, the son of George Henry Exell and his wife, Eliza.

In 1881 he was second gardener living in the Garden Bothy at Tamerton Folliot in Devon.  The third gardener was sharing the property.  Frederick returned to Gloucestershire.   On 5th January 1885 he married Sarah Ann Jordan in Badgeworth, daughter of Henry Jordan farm labourer.  Frederick’s father was described as High Bailiff.

In the 1891 census Frederick and Sarah Ann were living in The Lodge, Miserdon Park.   They had two children Elizabeth Ann aged five and George H aged one, both born in Miserdon.  Sarah Ann was born in Badgeworth.

In 1901 the family lived in Blenheim Villa, Badgeworth.  As well as Elizabeth Ann and George, the couple now had Frederick William aged two, who was born in Badgeworth.  The 1911 census shows that they were living at the Reddings.  This was the same house as they were in in the 1901 census.  Their son George had moved away.   Elizabeth Ann was now working as a subpostmaster operating from their home.

In his father’s will dated 1905 Frederick acquired a property, later to become number 1 Castle Street which was then occupied by Thomas Latter.

Following the extinguishment of Manorial rights on 4th September 1932 there was an agreement dated 4th September 1934 requiring Frederick to pay compensation of £51 10 shillings.  Frederick was a market gardener living at Blenheim Villa, The Reddings Badgeworth near Cheltenham.  The property known as Vine Cottage was then described as occupied by Charles Henry Clark.  

In August 1935 Frederick Exell died.  In his will dated August 1935 he appointed his wife Mary Ann and his son Frederick William Exell master handcraftsman of 86 Stamfordham Drive, Garston, Liverpool as executors.  On 28th April 1941 they sold the property to Stanley Charles Clark gardener of Vine Cottage for £212 10 shillings.  At that time Mary Ann was living at 127 Shearer Road, Buckland, Portsmouth.  She died in Cheltenham area in 1943 aged 73.


The Clarks

Stanley Charles Clark purchased Vine Cottage for £1210 10 shillings on 28th April 1941.   In the conveyance he was described ‘a gardener of Vine Cottage’.

Stanley was the son of Charles Henry Clark who had lived in Vine Cottage since April 1915 when his son Herman James was admitted to the National School having transferred from a school in Winscombe, Somerset.

Charles Henry was born in Publow, Somerset on 7th February 1863.  He was the son of Henry and Selina Clark.

Charles married Fanny Hurkett in Stoke Bishop, Bristol on 9th March 1889.  She was born about 1867 in Enford, Wiltshire, the daughter of George Hurkett.  The 1891 census shows Charles and Fanny were living in High Street, Portishead.  Charles was a coachman and they had one son, George Henry living them aged 1.

They had three other children whilst living in Portishead; Gertrude Elsie in 1894 (she died 1895), Stanley Charles in 1895 and Alfred Nelson in 1898.

By the 1901 census the family had moved to Winscombe.  Charles was still a coachman.

Another son, Herman James was born in Winscombe in 1904.  The 1911 census shows the family lived in The Square, Winscombe.  Their son Stanley was now working on a milk round and was aged 15.

We don’t know why the family moved to Thornbury in 1915.  The 1918 electoral register shows Charles Henry and Fanny Clark lived in Kington Lane.  The 1921 register shows George Henry and Stanley Charles Clark lived there with Fanny and Charles Henry Clark.

Fanny died aged 56 and was buried in Thornbury Cemetery on 8th May 1923.   Charles Henry re-married in 1926.  His new wife was Ellen Beatrice Lamb and they married in the Bristol area.

Ellen Beatrice died aged 50 and was buried in Thornbury Cemetery on 12th May 1928.   Charles continued to live at Vine Cottage with his son, Stanley Charles.

In 1941 Stanley purchased Vine Cottage for £210 10 shillings.   On 14th October 1948 Stanley Charles Clark purchased some land adjoining Vine Cottage on the eastward side from the Honourable Violet Ethel Howard (wife of Sir Algar Henry Stafford  Howard) of Thornbury Castle.  The land was about 30 perches and had a frontage of 40 feet on the north east side of Kington Lane.

Charles died aged 93 and was buried on 13th June 1956.  The 1958 and 1965 electoral registers show Stanley continued to live in his house.  We are not sure when he moved away.

On 14th December 1990 Stanley Charles Clark of 31 Alexandra Way conveyed the property to Alan Leslie Pinder of  Almondsbury.

Alan Pinder

Alan Leslie Pinder

Alan Leslie Pinder bought Vine cottage in 1990.  He was living in Almondsbury at the time of the purchase.  Alan is very active in the Green movement.  He was a technical author and director in the Greentrade company.  He has stood as a candidate for the Green Party in Parliamentary and local elections and being actively involved in Sustainable Thornbury and Friends of the Earth.  His wife, Margaret, shares his interest in the environment and is a member of Thornbury Choral Society.

Please click here to read about the occupants of this property