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 GLASCOED

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                     Bush Cottage/ “The Paddocks”

Bush Cottage was situated on Pergoed Lane, but is now demolished. The first time that I saw Bush Cottage named as such on official records was on the 1861 census, and it continued to appear until the 1901 census.


I’m not sure of the exact location of Bush Cottage, which is a little frustrating, although I am pretty sure that it was re-built as the present day, “The Paddocks”. My reasons for this are that: it disappeared from the records at the same time that “The Paddocks” appeared and also from the accounts of the resident Lewis family’s dealings with their neighbours, the Jones, Pitt and Meredith families.

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The main characters I know of who lived at this property were the Lewises. They were the first listed against “Bush Cottage” in 1861, although I believe it likely that the property they were living at in 1851 was also really the building later named “Bush Cottage”.


The property where they lived at the time of the 1851 census was named “Upper House” on that census. Since there is a present day “Upper House” only a hundred or so yards away I had always assumed that the Lewises had been living there and merely moved across the road by 1861, to Bush Cottage. Now I’m not so sure. Sunny Bank Cottage was named on this census as “Lower House”, then the enumerator visited the Jones’ house “Middle House” and then the Lewises at “Upper House”. Thinking of the enumerator’s route, I believe that the natural next visiting place for the enumerator after visiting the Jones’ at “Middle House” would have been “Bush Cottage”. A house called “Twmp” was on the enumerator’s schedule at the place where I would have expected “Upper House” to reasonably appear. Twmp is defined as the welsh word for “a protrusion of land higher than that surrounding it, regardless of size.” (from the anglesey.info site). This certainly describes the site of “Upper House”.


Phillip Lewis married Hannah Williams on 5th October 1842 at Usk Parish Church. He was the son of a stonemason, also named Phillip and his wife Mary, baptised at Monkswood on 3rd Dec 1815. He lived in Glascoed for his whole life, dying there in November 1890. He was buried at Monkswood Churchyard.


He was a labourer throughout his working life, although on the 1861 census, he was a Farmer of 6 acres. These will have been the meadow(s) surrounding the cottage which were mentioned in one of the articles relating to disputes involving the Lewis’ - in this case the Monmouthshire Merlin report of 23 May 1868, where Hannah and later Phillip got involved in a fight with their neighbour, James Williams.


Phillip and Hannah had a series of fallings out as described in Phillip’s bio page. Things seem to have settled down by the time of the 1871 census, or it may just be that they managed to keep their affairs out of the local courts and newspapers … or maybe they have just escaped me so far.


I do love reading about characters like the Lewises. I’m just not so sure how much I would have enjoyed living next door to them (as my Great Grandfather Henry James Pitt and his parents would have done).


At the time of the 1891 census, Sarah Lewis was living at Bush Cottage. The surname was probably a coincidence! She was married to William Lewis. Both had been born in Herefordshire in the 1830s, Sarah in approx 1834 at Allensmore, and William in approx 1832 at Dulas, near Ewyas Harold.


On census night, William was working away, with Mary and Charles Powers at Llanthewy Rhydderch. He was described as a Farmer (Employer). The reality would have been more likely to be that he was a farm labourer and smallholder, due to the size of Bush Cottage. I’m not too sure where they were living in 1881, although it is clear that they were at Gwehelog (the other side of Usk) in 1871, where William was a farm labourer.


They had moved to Llanthewy Rhydderch by 1901 more permanently, so it’s quite possible that their stay in Glascoed was fleeting. Sarah had died by 1911, where we see William still at the same house they were in in 1901, Little Ffawydun in Llanthewy.


The 1901 census sees the Howells family at Bush Cottage. William, the Head of the household was a 38 year old Woodcutter from Monkswood, Usk or Gwehelog depending on which census we read! His wife, Elizabeth, was a Glascoed girl. She was brought up at Lower Twyn, Glascoed, the daughter of James Williams (of the Beech Farm Williamses) and Ann Symon (an incomer to Glascoed from Devon!).


At the previous census, they had been living at Beech Cottage, just a few doors away from Bush Cottage. They had 7 children at the time of the census (Albert aged 14, Elizabeth 11, Ellen 9, William J. 8, Thomas J., George 3, and Benjamin aged 1).

I would imagine that the size of the family would have inspired the move to the larger Bush Cottage. Beech Cottage had 4 living rooms (now called Castle Corrin) while Bush Cottage had 5 or more living rooms. They had moved to “The Cross” by the time of the 1911 census.


I believe that Bush Cottage was either pulled down and replaced by the Twelve roomed Edwardian Villa, “The Paddocks” in the first decade of the 20th century. By the 1911, Bush cottage had disappeared from the census and other records; “The Paddocks” was in its place. This was possibly the first of a whole series of houses that transformed the village from the village remembered by Catherine Sainsbury in “Cathy’s Farm”.


Herbert Brown was the Head of Household at “The Paddocks”, with his wife, Lillian Rosa. Herbert and Lillian had married in 1909. Herbert was a Commercial traveller, selling Cattle medicines, was aged 29 and a Hereford native. Lillian’s maiden name was Lillian Rosa Rowland - a native of nearby Griffithstown.


This link is to the details of “The Paddocks” as advertised by a local Estate Agency, “Fine and Country” of Usk. If at some point in the future, this link is broken, let me know since I have also downloaded a copy of the details.


In 1922, the residents were the Burge family, who I believe continued to live at “The Paddocks” for many years. Both Reginald Burge and Ellen Burge were registered as Electors at the property.


The 1931 Register shows Reginald Gordon Burge and Ellen Burge as still registered to vote and in residence at “The Paddocks”. Documents from the planning permission being sought for Rose Cottage show that the Reginald Gordon Burge sold “The Paddocks” (and also “Rose Cottage”) to the Gilbert family.


RECORDS


Census


“Upper House” - likely to be “Bush Cottage” in 1851.


Bush Cottage. 1861, 1871, 1881, 1891, 1901


“The Paddocks”. In 1911.


Link to estate agents details for “The Paddocks” from approx 2013.