Bulmer & District

History


Group                                                                                                   

                Bul


        Bulmer & District History Group











CHERWELL - BULMER STREET


Cherwell is a very old house, built around 1600 as two timber-framed cottages, each with a room up and a room down, around a central chimney. It was then extended little by little over the next 300 years. In the 18th century the fine Georgian front windows were added, and the dining room was decorated with fine plaster work.


The right hand third of the house was added in 1900, in place of a lean-to bakery. Three rear dormers were inserted in modern times to make use of the rear roof space. So the house is in a way mutton dressed as lamb: half house, half cottage, with a "Queen Anne front and a Mary-Ann back." The family most associated with Cherwell in the last century were the Hawksleys, who came from London and bought it in 1929 for the grand sum of £500.


They spent the rest of their lives there and are both buried in the churchyard. They had five children, one of whom, Bob, lives in Sydney and has written "Snapshots"an entertaining account of his childhood in Bulmer (see below for details) illustrated with photographs taken by his Father. A nephew is the noted BBC foreign correspondent, Humphrey Hawksley.


For her birthday in 1963, Bob's mother received an unusual present from her husband: a weather vane with her initials forged into the tail. It still stands on the roof at the western end there today as a reminder of the life of Joan Constance Seaton Hawksley.




My sincere thanks to Bob Hawksley for allowing me to use extracts from his book 'Snapshots' which you may find in local book shops or on e-bay, and to the current occupier of Cherwell, Simon Harris.