news and letters


about this site


what's new?


facts & figures 


letters & emails


sources & useful links


what's new?


29 December 2008

Click here to read the fascinating memories of current and former villagers Hilda Bradshaw, Dr Morley Stuart and David Dodd.


25 September 2008

Click here to read the fascinating memories of Walter Campbell, transcribed by Pat Aldaya as part of the Cottingham and Middleton Heritage Group project.


2 May 2008

It's been a long, long time since I've worked on this site, but I'm delighted to say that it is now fully up to date with all the letters and emails I've received from around the World over the past...ahem...three years (nearly!)


Many thanks to everyone who has sent in pictures for the site. To make these easy to locate, all the new pictures are marked new on the photograph index.


Thanks also to everyone who has written in. I've received some charming anecdotes from Morley Stuart (now a monk, Brother James Simon), whose mother Margaret led the WI choir in the 1960s. You can find these in Morley's letter and also on the WI page. I've also received information from Alan Craxford on the tragic murder of a six year old boy that took place in Blind Lane in 1875. Click here to read the story. And thanks to Mike Williams who has given me more information about the row of stone cottages that used to stand on Corby Road.


One letter that really made me smile is from Quoy Bradbury (nee Tansley). Her seven year old granddaughter was looking at the site and shouted to her "mamma, why are you wearing these funny clothes on the computer?" She was looking at an old Cottingham School photo from the 1900s which shows a girl called Mabel Tansley who, Quoy tells us, looks exactly like her - same hair, eyes, even the same build!


A few people are looking for information about the village and village families. If you can help, send me an email and I will pass it on for you:

  • Rob Jolley from Corby is interested in the Jolley Family Wash Day photograph. Does anyone have any more information about this photograph or can you name anyone in the picture?

  • Jean Brogdale is trying to de-bunk a family myth. One of her Great Grannies was Mary Ella Panter Vickers, born in Cottingham c1895. According to Jean's Gran, Mary Ella Panter's mother was one of two sisters who seemed to have lived a slightly more comfortable lifestyle than their background would suggest. Legend has it that she was an illegitimate child of the Earl of Rockingham. She may also have had a sister called Harriet. Can you help?

  • Joan Bradley's 5th great grandfather was William Taylor b1715 Kettering married 1736 in Kettering to Alice Taylor born in Cottingham, they had 9 children all born in Kettering and Joan would like to find out about Alice and her family.

  • Jon Dodsworth is looking for any information about his ancestors, who were born in Cottingham and their parents from Weekley. John Leek, 06 Sep 1828 & William Leek abt. 1825, 1826.

  • Tracey Thomas is looking for more information about her mother Joyce Lee who was evacuated to Cottingham in the 2nd world war and stayed with a family with the surname Redsure . Does anyone remember Joyce or Tracey?

  • Geof Hudson has heard various stories about their family home at 1a Church Street. These vary from it being an old barn used for storing beer barrels from the Spread to nothing more than an enclosure with a wall about two foot high. There is also a story that the building was won in a game of cards in the Spread and consequently developed! Can anyone shed any light on this?

24 July 2005

I was recently pleased to welcome Ardith Tureski (nee Tilley) and her husband Peter to the village. Visiting from Georgetown, Canada, Ardith was looking for information on her Tilley ancestors who lived in the village in the 19th Century. Thanks to Ann Sturman and Mary Freestone from St Mary Magdalene for opening up the Church so we could look at the parish records and grave register.


During the recent refurbishment at the Methodist Hall, Cyril Licquorish kindly loaned me lots of old pictures that had been temporarily removed from the walls and I'm pleased to bring you new pictures and information on the Wesley Guild, brass band, Sunday School and annual Bank Holiday outing/feast. St Mary Magdalene also unearthed a whole wealth of historical information during their recent Spring clean. It'll take a while to go through all this and get it onto the site but, in the meantime, it's in safekeeping!


Thanks to everyone who has contacted me with new information and photographs, including some lovely old pictures of the Beadsworth/Chambers families. Thanks especially to Margaret Banning who has sent me a lovely framed letter sent to John Henry Chamberlain, former owner of the shop and post office on Church Street, I would reckon on the occasion of his retirement. I'll get this letter scanned in for the website as soon as I can. Lots of people have told me about taking their Sunday lunch down to the local bakery to be cooked, and some of these memories are now formally recorded on the Bakeries page.


Also, in this 60th anniversary year of VE and VJ Day, I've had some fascinating memories and pictures in from David Dodd who was a lad aged 6-10 in Cottingham during the Second World War. David also has some interesting recollections of the spring-fed water supply and toilet arrangements!


As always, links to all the new pictures can be found on the photograph index.


28 February 2005

I've been gathering lots of new information over the past few months and have (finally!) got some of it onto the website. Thanks to Keith Allsop for the information on Cottingham Water Mill and for taking me to the site of the mill to get some photographs of the remains. There is also a print of a linoleum block picture of the mill by former headteacher Allston Kisby (sent in by Chris Blenkarn) so you can see what it used to look like. Chris has also sent in some interesting pictures and documents relating to the Methodist Church and brass band - thanks Chris!


Thanks also to Colin Bradshaw and Michael Curtis for the fascinating information about the village Copyholders - who purportedly date back to 1614 - and the development of the village water supply.


More new pics, with thanks to:

For the links to the new pics, visit the Photograph Index.


And finally, lots of new correspondence has come in and I've been pleased to have put some more Cannam and Tansley descendants in touch with their respective lines.


10 September, 2004

I've recently been delighted to put three descendants of the Cannam family - Tom Chisolm, Jan Cannam and Daphne Joiner.- in touch with Nicola Paterson who is also descended from the Cannams and is tracing her family history. Hope this has helped to fit the jigsaw together !


There is lots of new information on the site taken from Kelly's, Post Office and Harrod & Co directories. I have put these directory pages on the site in full, as they make really interesting reading. Many thanks to Kevin Tyler for the 1870s directory. The rest have been downloaded from Leicester University's historical documents database at


The directories have helped me to ascertain when the various village pubs were open for business. I had previously thought that carriers used to pick up at pubs called The Fox and The Cock in Cottingham. However, reading of these new directory pages reveals that the carrier was actually taking people to Cottingham from the Fox and Cock in surrounding towns/villages. I now have records of the Kings Head, Three Horseshoes, Crown, Royal George and Spread Eagle, but have not been able to trace the Racehorse or White Hart, which Peter Hill refers to as lost pubs of the village in his book 'Rockingham Forest Revisited'.


More information about the village Reading Room, the Oddfellows Hall that is recorded in the village in 1903 and 1906, village copyholders/landowners, owners/residents of Bury House and the tithe rent charges and glebe lands available to the vicars of Cottingham. There's also some interesting information about charitable donations left by villagers, taken from the directories and villagers' wills.


Thanks very much to Sue Beadsworth and Cyril Liquorish who have provided more old photos for the site, and to Tim Davies and Annie Johnson who have both located the one up, one down cottages as having been on Corby Road, opposite the pathway down to Water Lane. Thanks too to David Horsley who has provided the names for one of the football team pictures on the leisure page. Can anyone fill in the missing name?


I have recorded the acreage of the village, and have added another description of Cottingham to the home page, from 1969.


Finally, have had a few interesting letters in including:

  • Chris Blenkarn (nee Bell) who lived in the village from 1949 to 1968 has written in with some of her school memories. She mentions that her she and her classmates produced an exercise book on the history of the village, but that she no longer has hers. If anyone still does, I'd love to see it!

  • Liz Howgill who has written to say she has a copy of the Cottingham parish register from 1698 to 1841 and has kindly offered to look up surnames for anyone tracing their family history. You can contact Liz on

Happy reading.


11 June, 2004

I recently came across a beautiful description of Cottingham, written in 1954 by Tony Ireson in his book on Northamptonshire. In fact, I liked it so much that I have made it the front page of the site! The info from the old front page is now spread across the contents and 'about this site' pages. I've also changed the format of the site very slightly. Does this work OK? Your feedback is very welcome.


Some fantastic new photographs on the site. Thanks especially to Colin Bradshaw who has sent in a picture of the village copyholders taken in the early 1900s, and a close-up of the stone tablet that used to be inset into the wall above the wellhead in the centre of the village. There is also a new pic of some 19th Century one-up, one-down cottages in Cottingham taken from a Northants Record Society pamphlet, but I don't know where they are (or were). Can anyone help?


More letters in, including one from Nicola Paterson who is descended from the Cannam family, and David Parker, who is descended from John Parker, a village baker back in 1841. Does anyone have any more information on these two families that would help Nicola and David with their family research?


Finally, I have estimated the population of the village at the time of the Domesday Survey as 183. This is based on an average family size of 4.68, as suggested by scholars based on a survey from 1200 AD.


27 March, 2004

Until now, most of the information on the site has come from searching the internet, or talking to local people. However, I've at last made it down to the local history section at Market Harborough library! This has yielded lots of new information, including new spellings of Cottingham that have existed through the ages, and the origins of the name 'Bury House'. The latter throws into question where the Lord of the Manor for Cottingham actually lived, as discussed on the landowners page. I have also found a reference to Middleton from 1197, which is much further back than I had previously been able to trace.


Thanks to George Robertson, who has given me some more information about the former pub/shop at No.9 High Street, and some fascinating information (from the Corby Library Archives) about the Spread Eagle. Thanks too to Chris Owen for the information about the village Reading Room.


Lots of new letters in too, including one from Ardith Tureski, a Tilley descendant living in Canada.



7 March, 2004

Information is now available from the 1777 Militia List - giving the names and occupations of the villagers chosen to serve in the militia, which was a kind of early home guard. You'll recognise some of the surnames that still survive in the village today - including Bradshaw, Tansley, Perkins, Sumpter - and other names that have cropped up regularly - such as Spriggs, Ingram, Coles and Aldwinckle.


More letters from around the world. I'm delighted to have been able to put Gillian Collins from New Zealand and Roy Adams from Ontario in touch - both are descended from the Tansleys who lived in Cottingham in the 1700s. Michael Feder, who lived in the village from 1954 to 1966 would like to say hi to his old neighbours! Does anyone remember Michael's uncle, Eddy Panter? And Shelley Davenport would also like to hear from anyone who's interested.



28 January, 2004

Information is now available from the 2001 Census for the Corby rural west ward that covers Cottingham, Middleton and East Carlton. The figures have enabled me to provide an estimate of the current population for Cottingham. Information is also included on 2001 occupations and houses.


Also had an e-mail from Avery Adams who used to visit her grandparents at 43 Berryfields Road. If you live in this house, or know who does, drop me a line at - Avery would love to come and visit!



23 January, 2004

Had a lovely e-mail from Lorraine Tilley from Cottingham CE School who is using the site for her school project looking at how jobs have changed in the village over the years. Good luck with your project Lorraine!


There's lots of new information on the site. I've now included Cottingham's listing from the Domesday Book, along with a list of the major landowners in the area in 1086, and a 'Hundred Map' for the area. Up until 1841, English counties were split into administrative units called 'hundreds', and Cottingham lay within the Stoke Hundred.


I've also added a picture of Josephine Lucas, wife of Captain Lucas at Bury House, and there's a new index for the maps on the site - in the photo index section.



31 December, 2003

Came across some interesting will extracts from the 1600s - some of which are included on the renamed working the land page. I have also found some more references to Cardigan Farm Lodge, giving clues to the origins of its name. Thanks to Maureen Bryson whose excellent family website helped turn up this information.



29 December, 2003

Apologies for not having updated the site for a while. Have decided to go self-employed and have been busy setting up the new business.


Anyway, there is now information on the site from the 1881 census, including more details about the village pubs. Thanks very much to Tony Vines for providing the source file.


I've also had a few more letters in, including a fascinating extract from a letter written around 1918, sent in by Annie Johnson.



26 September, 2003

Just got an e-mail from Tony Vines, who is descended on his mother's side from the Cross family who lived in the village from 1872. Does anyone have any information that could help Tony with his research?



12 August, 2003

New letters from around the world; full breakdown of 1841 occupations completed (follow links from table); more details of schools/school life in Cottingham and village customs; more pics on leisure page, courtesy of Wendy at the Spread Eagle; information about Rockingham deer park and the re-routing of the road through Rockingham village; information about Pipewell Abbey.



29 June, 2003

More information on the village bakeries and the reading room/bookies on Church Street, with much thanks to my tenacious research partner, Irene Beadsworth!



23 June, 2003

Information on the old turnpike road that used to run through the village. Also had an e-mail in from Bernard Perkins in Leamington Spa. Can anyone help him in his search for his ancestors that came from the village?



14 June, 2003

New pics - Cottingham ARP Wardens and new leisure pics from Wendy at the Spread Eagle



7 June 2003, 2003

17th Century map and aerial pics now available on streets and houses page.



1-6 June, 2003

More people information added on the leisure, schools and customs & legends pages. I am also in the process of redesigning the site pages - hope you like the new look! - and I have split up the 'history and maps' section to make the information more accessible.



24 May, 2003

Sources and useful links page started.

Details added of wills available online for former Cottingham residents



17 May, 2003

Read about the Padfoot, a fiery-eyed spirit in the shape of a large black dog sighted on Corby Road. New black and white picture added of the Church from Corby Road. 



14 May, 2003

After a fascinating chat with Irene and Laurie Beadsworth, I have added lots of new information and pictures to the site, including details of Cottingham Manor House, Barrack Yard and the village shops/businesses. There is also a new page under the 'People and Work' section about wartime Cottingham, with information taken from Captain George Lucas' book 'Memoirs of an Undistinguished Gentleman". Captain Lucas used to own Bury House, and there is new information to be found on the Bury House page too. 


More old photographs added - Church Street, Water Lane, washing in Dag Lane and several on the leisure page. 


1841 street names and number of houses by street added - note that only two of the street names from 1841 still exist in the village. 



6 May, 2003

1841 street information added, including number of houses in the village at that time



5 May, 2003

1841 key facts and figures and occupations table completed. 

More old photographs added - Corby Road (2) and Spread Eagle

More old photographs dated (see photo index and individual pages)



3 May, 2003

Families page set up under the 'people and work' section. The aim of this section is to record the main families that have lived in Cottingham over the years. It also provides links to the websites of people around the world who have traced their ancestors back to Cottingham. I've only just started this section so the information is limited at present.



23 April, 2003

The Cottingham history website officially went live at


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