Cedar Lodge, Village Street

The Wheelwright's House: the detailed 1837 plan of Harvington indicates that there was another large house with barn on this site. At present little is known of this house, but according to Bill Gourlay (who learnt this from Steve Cook), who owned Cedar Lodge for 18 years, it was a wheelwrights' house and timber-framed. The house was burnt down in 1870.

Wheelwrights House.

It is apparent that for several generations this was the home of the Knight family; the last occupants were Rebecca Knight, her son Frederick and his sister Mary. In 1866 the deeds of the Reading Room state that the adjacent land (Wheelwrights House) belonged, probably by lease, to Frederick Knight. Frederick was a ploughwright and his parents were styled 'shopkeepers'.

One of the Cedar Lodge documents refers back to 1875 in which Mrs Rebecca Knight, James Machell Harrison and Charles and Sarah Wakefield are mentioned in Indentures along with Job Jelf. Rebecca Knight and the Wakefield's are later connected to Poplar Cottage.

As stated above the Wheelwrights House burnt down in 1870 and this appears to have been the catalyst for the property, along with other properties & land being sold and various documents suggest that by 1874 a Mr Jelf had acquired not only the Wheelwrights House but also the Green Cottage, Pool House and Pool Cottage. We cannot say for certain whether Mr Jelf purchased a single holding.

The deeds of Orchard Cottage indicate that in 1874 The Green Cottage, Pool House and Pool Cottage and surrounding land was probably part of the Harvington Estate owned or leased by the Bomfords, Lords of the Manor, from the Dean and Chapter at Worcester. At this stage Benjamin Bomford, George Henry Garrard, Solicitor of Harvington (who is mentioned in various deeds), sold various properties and land to Job Jelf of Richmond in Yorkshire.

Mr Jelf sold Cedar Lodge and Poplar Cottage in 1875 but retained The Green Cottage, Pool House and Cottage until at least 1880. For some reason The Green Cottage appears to have retained the main or original documents relating to these early transactions, including to those of Cedar Lodge. The Orchard Cottage deeds suggest that ownership of The Green Cottage was separated from Pool House & Cottage at this time.

Job Jelf: the first document in the Cedar Lodge deeds is a conveyance dated 1874 relating to the purchase, for 190, of the 'Cherry Orchard'. This is a strip of adjacent land in Hughes Lane, being purchased from Benjamin Bomford by Job Jelf, of Chatsworth in Derbyshire. The orchard was bounded on the west by land owned by George Malin, on the north by Glebe land and on the east a messuage (Cedar Lodge), already owned by Job Jelf. A plan indicates two property lines on the east depicting the newly built Cedar Lodge, and Poplar Cottage. A stone insert high up on the front elevation of Cedar Lodge has the date 1874. A later document states that Job Jelf built both Cedar Lodge and Poplar Cottage.

At this stage it should be noted that Job Jelf is stated as having lived in 'Frengate' in Richmond, Chatsworth and also York, all within a short space of time. He died in Richmond in Yorkshire on 14th March 1891 aged 77, leaving over 4000. In the 1881 census he is stated that he was actually a local person, being born in Dorsington in 1812 and was living in 'Frenchgate' Richmond, occupation of 'Annuitant Interest of Money'.

Cedar Lodge: is a large imposing red-brick Victorian house built upon the site of the Wheelwrights House. Cedar Lodge was built in 1874 along with outbuildings and the adjacent Poplar Cottage. According to Bill Gourlay of Cedar Lodge, Poplar Cottage was built for the Duke of Norfolk's best man. There is a nice little story that Poplar Cottage was built for the best man's butler and that the butler 'ran off' with the best man's daughter!

George William Penney, purchased Cedar Lodge and lived there with his wife and three daughters. The property stayed with the Penney family until 1919 although the daughter continued to live the house until 1925. Poplar cottage, although part of the estate until 1925, will be dealt with separately. Cedar Lodge and Poplar Cottage were so named by at least 1880.

One of the documents in the deeds is a conveyance dated 1888. It deals with the purchase of Glebe land from the Rectory by George William Penney. The plan on the conveyance indicates that it is the present garden at the rear for which Mr Penney paid 70. One of the provisos is that a 'substantial brick wall' was built as a boundary to the garden.

For more details on the Penney family see Families.

A document with plan found amongst the deeds of Orchard Cottage dated 15th September 1887 indicates that the Penney family had on that date added a considerably amount of property to the growing Penney Estate. One of George Penney's daughters Julia, had married a Frederick Pick and Mr Pick took out a mortgage for the purchase of what appears to be another estate. The Penney estate now extended from where the Village Hall now stands down the eastern side of the parish to the then railway line and also surprisingly included the large Langton House and its extensive barn etc. The impression here is that Frederick Pick and George William Penney had acquired an estate based upon Langton House and that in a document dated 25th March 1889 Frederick Pick released his part in the estate to George Penney. A fuller discription of the details of the following plan will be dealt with under Langton House.

extent of the Penney Estate, lot 4.

What is also to be noted on this plan is that The Green Cottage, Pool House and Pool Cottage were in 1887 apparently still owned by Job Jelf; this is surprising as another document states that Mr Jelf had included these properties in the sale to the Penney family in 1880.

George William Penney's wife Mary Jane died in 1917 and George died in 1919. They left their estate to their three daughters Mary Jane, Annie Eliza and Julia. Julia had married Frederick Pick in 1887 and had moved to Burmington near Shipston on Stour.

The death of George William Penney was another catalyst for the selling and buying of properties and land. There must have at least four lots in 1919 involving the sale of the Penney property but only two have come to light in the deeds of Orchard Cottage - Abstracts of Titles for lots three & four. The two Penny sisters continued to own and live at Cedar Lodge until it was sold in 1925. Lot three is concerned with the three cottages which refer to The Green Cottage, Pool House and Cottage; lot four refers to the land depicted in the above plan plus Langton House.

The Abstract of Title dated 1925 refers back to previous documents. One is an indenture dated 1880 in which Job Jelf, this time of Frengate, Richmond in Yorkshire, is selling the property by auction. The purchaser is George Penney who paid 1440 for the estate. The estate is believed to have included Cedar Lodge, Poplar Cottage with an attached piece called 'Woodside Garden', the Cherry Orchard, land on Cress Hill, and also the 'three cottages or tenements' believed to be The Green Cottage, Pool House and Pool Cottages, although the 1887 plan suggests that Mr Jelf still possess. Maybe the plan predates the Abstract of Title. In 1879 the three cottages were leased by Mr William Davis with under tenants for 7 years. It is likely that George Penney and his family already occupied Cedar Lodge from as early as 1875. Mrs Rebecca Knight occupied Poplar Cottage.

Village Hall: The land upon which the Village was built in 1922 was donated to the community by the Penny sisters. There is a folk memory that the hall was built upon or near to the village pond. The above estate map does indeed depicted circular feature but this appears to be nearer the present grass island, while the 1838 tithe map indicates a rectangular feature under the present hall, so the exact location of the village pond remains unresolved.

Mrs Mary Jane Penney's paid for a new bier for the church in 1910.

Frank Morgan
By 1925, the sisters had moved to Paignton in Devon and on 13th July 1925 sold their estate to Frank Morgan of Burford Road, Evesham for 1650. Mr Morgan broke up the remaining estate and on 24th August 1925, sold Cedar Lodge its outbuildings, garden and the Cherry Orchard to Arthur H Cutler for 1600. From now on Poplar Cottage is under different ownership.

Arthur Cutler
Arthur Henry Cutler, was born Epsom 22nd June 1865. He was married in Epsom 1886 to Maud Roberts. He was styled as a coal merchant in 1911 living at The Meadows, Robin Hood Lane, Sutton, Surrey, with his wife Maude and daughter Gladys Maud, aged 23. Their son Arthur Gordon Cutler was born in 1889. Maud died in 1925 aged 61. Arthur Cutler was still living at the Meadows, Robin Hood Lane, Sutton, Surrey, when purchasing Cedar Lodge in 1925. He was married again at Harvington in 1927 to Caroline Ruth, the widow of Alfred William Bomford of the Laurels. He died on 23rd February 1947. Caroline Ruth, who was born 31st Jan 1875, died at Cedar Lodge on 20th Nov 1954 aged 79.

  1. Gladys Maud, born Sutton 1887. she married Alan Tweedale at Epsom in 1917. He was later mentioned in the Cedar Lodge Deeds in 1947 as a Solicitor living in Church Lane, Oldham in Lancashire.
  2. Arthur Gordon, born Sutton 1889. He was married in Harvington 1928 to Elsie Bomford She was born 1890, the daughter of William A Fisher of Greenhill, Evesham. She had married previously Benjamin Norris Bomford, known as Norris, at Evesham in 1915. Norris died in 1928 and she married Arthur Cutler and died 1964 aged 73. In 1947 he was described as a fruit grower at The Orchard, Salford Priors. He died in 1961 aged 72 in the Alcester area.

There is a nice little story that in the late 1940's, Walter Allvey was working at Cedar Lodge and restoring the tesserae in the floor of the porch. He had just finished laying them ready for cementing and had finished for lunch when Mrs Cutler, a large lady came downstairs, noticed the loose tesserae and moved them around with her walking stick saying "why are all these stones loose".

In June 1947 Cedar Lodge lost its cherry orchard. Evesham District Council made a compulsory purchase for the western part of the attached Cherry Orchard for the building of Council houses for the sum of 50. The stipulation in the Deeds suggests that the Cutler's were not happy with the arrangement. The Conveyance states that part of the boundary fence had to be a "substantial chain link fence of a height of not less than five feet stranded at the top with barbed wire and inset with quick thorn or other suitable hedge"!

In 1949 'Cedar Lodge' was occupied by Caroline Cutler and staying with her was Isobel Gordon.

Caroline Ruth Cutler died on 20th November 1954 and in July 1955, her son-in-law Arthur Gordon Cutler sold the property to Curtis Edward Agate for the sum of 3000.

Curtis Edward Agate
Thomas W Agate, was married in Brighton to Louisa E Peters. Their son Curtis Edward Agate was born in Croydon 3rd October 1920. He was married in Harrow in 1951 to Pamela Elizabeth Chappells, born 1929. In 1955 he was living at Plymouth House, Tardebigge, Worcestershire. He died in 1976. They had issue:-

  1. Charlotte E A, born 1962.
  2. Harriet Lucy J, born 1968.
In 1961 Curtis Agate sold the remaining portion of the Cherry Orchard to Dorothy Hall, the wife of John Hall of Pershore, builder.

In 1973, Curtis Agate sold off another portion of Cedar Lodge's land. This was to the north and behind the old Reading Room. The Reading Room was demolished and the present four houses were built.

Curtis Edward Agate died on the 29th April 1976 and on the 1st September 1976 his wife Pamela took on the ownership of Cedar Lodge. In April 1977 she married Christopher Heming Bomford and moved to Mayfield, Buckland Road, Childswickham. On 29th July 1977 Pamela Agate sold Cedar Lodge to Colin Antony and Francoise Foster for 27,000.

The Fosters
Colin Antony Foster was born in Sutton Coldfield 16th May 1939. He married Francoise, daughter of Bernard Lavielle de la Rivièra sometime prior of 1977. She was born in Daz, Landes, France circa 1942. They had a daughter called Maylis, born Burton upon Trent in Derbyshire in 1968. In 1977 they were living in Barascet Cottage, Alveston, Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, when they moved to Harvington. They were divorced by 1983 and his wife Francoise remarried to David John Perkins, on 10th December 1983 in the parish of St Helier, Jersey, Channel Islands. Cedar Lodge was transferred to Francoise Perkins on 16th February 1984. At the time Colin Foster's address was "Care of Trident Life, London Road, Gloucester" while Francoise was at Cedar Lodge. Colin Antony Foster died in November 1984.

The Gourlays
On 30th October 1987, Francoise Perkins sold the property for 175,000 to William Downes Johnston and Zoe Gourlay. They lived in the property until September 2005 when they sold it and moved to Stratford-upon-Avon. The property's Deeds were registered at this time.

In 2006, one of the Cedars was blown down and damaged the front boundary wall.

In 2015 'Andrew and Eileen' Cedar Lodge is for sale, and the sale particulars show a fine and well maintained house.

The Property Deeds date from 1874. They have been transcribed in full, press on the link to view them.