In this photograph, Warwick House is the large house on the right of the lamppost.
The earliest reference we have found to the house being called ‘Warwick House’ is in a diary written by Philip Hawkins just after he acquired the house from the Burchell family in 1908. This suggests that the name was given to the house by the Burchells although we have seen no confirmation of it being used during their period of occupancy.
We have also seen no documentary evidence to show when the house was built, but notes of earlier research by a member of Thornbury Museum suggest that the interior features of the building indicate that the house was based on a cottage similar to numbers 15 & 17 adjacent which we know to date back to the sixteenth century.
We are grateful to Liz Blaker, a member of the King family who owned and occupied 21 and 23 St Mary Street during the 1900’s. She allowed us to copy a wonderful set of indentures and other documents which show that these, and other properties including 19 St Mary Street, were built on a single burgage plot bordered by St Mary Street, Horseshoe Lane, St John Street and the house later known as number 17 St Mary Street. From these documents we have therefore been able to get a better picture of the early history of the property, its owners and occupants. Click here to read about the early history of the plot
From 1784 we have a variety of documents including land tax and rent roll records, the tithe survey, census records and rate books giving us information about the property. During this period the first owner/occupier was Robert Caddy.
Robert Caddy – Robert was born about 1747, the son of Ann Caddy. Both Robert and his brother, John, were baptised on 28th December 1750. He married Ann Allen on 20th December 1775 and they had two daughters: Esther born on 5th July 1776 and Elizabeth born on 6th May 1778. In 1776 he bought a house at the top of St Mary Street (at the back of the Knot of Rope) from Thomas Hendy. He lived there for some time. Robert was Mayor of Thornbury in 1783/4. He appears to have purchased 19 St Mary Street in 1784 and moved in to live there. Land tax records show he continued living there until his death.
Robert was a pig driver or dealer. The Gloucester Journal of May 20th 1793 carries a small advertisement which appears to show that he had problems with one of his employees. “Whereas Thomas Allen the younger, hired servant to me, Robert Caddy of Thornbury in the County of Gloucester, pig -driver, hath eloped from and left my service – I therefore caution all persons from either having any kind of dealings or transactions with, or paying any money to him on my account.”
Robert Caddy died on 18th August 1820 aged 73. In his will dated 18th June 1820 he bequeathed £500 to his grand-daughter, Elizabeth Wilkins, the daughter of Robert’s daughter, Elizabeth and her husband John Grove (Jnr) who she married on 23rd April 1794. He left his estate in trust for the use of his wife and after her death it was given to his daughter, Hester. The will refers to certain copyhold properties ‘lately surrendered at my direction to Joseph Parslow’ but we don’t understand the implication of these words in the context of the will. Ann died on 9th April 1827 aged 73.
The land tax records in 1821 to 1823 show that Ann Caddy continued to own and to occupy the house. The 1824 land tax record shows that the the house had been acquired by Daniel Burchell. From that time until the Town’s re-development in the late 1960’s, it is surprising that it was only owned and occupied by two families: the Burchells and the Hawkins. Both of these families were in the building business and used the extensive outbuildings situated behind the house and opening out onto Horseshoe Lane.
The Burchell family – the 1840 Tithe Survey shows the house, yard and shop was owned and occupied by Daniel Burchell. Daniel’s family carried on owning and occupying the premises until 1908 when it was sold. Click on the link to the Burchell page below to see a very detailed plan of the various buildings belonging to the family in the area of St Mary Street, Horseshoe Lane and Pullins Green. The notes from the Museum suggest that the Burchells had carried on business at Warwick House for nearly a century before 1908. It looks likely therefore that they may have taken over the premises around the time of Daniel’s marriage in 1815. Click here to read more
When the property was put up for auction by the Burchells in 1907 it was described as: ‘a commodious dwelling house containing 5 bedrooms, 2 sitting rooms and kitchen with good cellarage and extensive outbuildings including carpenter’s workshops, blacksmith’s shop with forge, large yard, lawn and kitchen garden with two greenhouses and summerhouse‘.
The Hawkins family – in 1908 the premises were bought by Philip George Hawkins. It became the family home for most of his life and the centre of his building business. In the late 1930’s the house was taken over by Philip’s son, Leslie James and his wife, Joan who carried on the family business. Click here to read about the Hawkins family
The Budderys – we know from the baptism record of their son, Peter Euan David, that John and Heather Buddery were living at Warwick House. Peter was born on 19th October 1962 and baptised at St Marys Church on 26th May 1962. John Buddery was a research assistant who later lived at Heathview, Glucester Road. Click here to read more
In the late 1960’s, Thornbury Rural District Council issued a compulsory purchase order to acquire Warwick House and the builder’s yard and outbuildings behind the house. On the 7th December 1973 the Council paid the Hawkins brothers £55,000 for Warwick House, the builders yard behind 21 and 23 St Mary Street and Marylands. All the buildings were demolished to enable the construction of the town supermarket taken over by Safeway and adjoining shops. Click on the thumbnail on the left below to see how the site was developed. Although the house was gutted, the developers appear to have kept the shell of the old building. The thumbnail on the right below was taken showing the rear of the property at the time of re-development.