40 Gardiners Lane

Photo: Illustrative image for the '40 Gardiners Lane' page

As you will see from the photograph, there were once two cottages on this site.

The original cottage that still remains was built some time in the late 1830s.   The walls are built with ‘clay bats’.  These are blocks similar in size to modern building blocks but made of chalk and straw mixed with lime.  The clay bats were covered with smooth render externally and lime plaster internally.  The external walls would then have been painted with limewash.

This form of construction was typical of many properties in the village.  The clay bats are similar to the material used to construct the thatched wall at the top of Gardiners Lane.  All these materials were readily available locally.  There were a number of ‘lime burners’ in the village who would have manufactured lime.  This was essential for making building mortar, plaster and limewash. 

The roof and floors were constructed with local timber, including elm.  The roof timbers include fir poles as felled, complete with bark.  The slate for the roof covering would have been Welsh slate, transported by rail or canal.

The other cottage was erected some time before 1850.  This was built of locally manufactured bricks. 

The photograph, taken at the turn of the 19th century, shows both cottages in a peaceful, leafy lane with Chain Cottage in the background.  Gardiners Lane was lined with Elm trees until the 1970s when they succumbed to Dutch Elm disease.

In about 1935 Mrs Phyllis Fordham of Ashwell Bury bought both properties.  The brick cottage was demolished and the bricks re-used to construct an extension to the earlier property.  The bricks, which you can see on the North gable wall, have a characteristic pink colouring, unlike the Arlesey white bricks which are commonly used in other properties in the village.  W.A and F. Bray, the local builders, undertook this work.

A further addition was made to the South end of the cottage in the late 1940s/early 1950s. This forms the property as you see it now from Gardiners Lane.



This page was added on 11/01/2011.

If you're already a registered user of this site, please login using the form on the left-hand side of this page.