CHURCH HILL IN THE EARLY 1900s
With thanks to Museum in the Park Stroud and the late Wilf Merrett, who compiled a superb collection of local postcards that are now held in the museum.
This view is DOWN Church Hill looking towards Drakes House and Britannia with Wesley House on the right. The garden pillars and railings of Sinegar House are visible on the left.
A view from the church tower.
Many have mentioned relatives living here at one time, so a look at its history seemed timely. The terrace dominates views of Bisley and is a most striking feature. It was built in 1827 by Thomas Mills Goodlake, owner of the large Rectory estate which included local many farms and cottages. Possibly he built them for the agricultural workers on his farms, as by 1831 the cottages were occupied by four farmworkers, a wheel wright and a cabinet maker. The cottages were small yet households included families of 8 or 9 members.
It was also known as “Truck Row”, which is strange because none of the occupiers worked in the cloth industry. Truck was a paper ticket given to weavers by their clothier employers (instead of wages ) when they were short of cash. They had to take the ticket to the employer’s shop, and exchange the ticket for what was on offer there.
Walter Stevens, born in 1905 , who lived there for a time remembered “ They all did their own bacon at Mount Pleasant” -kept pigs and grew their own vegetables in their spacious gardens.
Some of this information came from an article written by Alan Swale in the parish magazine in 1984. Research by Juliet Shipman.