Guppy`s Tenement, Old Lyme Hill, Charmouth
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Whilst researching families that have lived in Charmouth, I have come across some unusual names. Amongst these must be included the name of Guppy. There are a number of references to Guppy's Tenement in old documents. The Well Head, which used to be the Farm House for Foxley Farm and was bought by John Minson of Eype in 1711 has deeds that are relevant. For in 1735 Anthony Ellesden, the Lord of the Manor, granted to John Minson...all that cottage in Charmouth called Guppy`s tenement, consisting of a Messuage , garden and meadow called Common Close containing 1 acre and common Pasture in a Common called Langmore with the appurtenances were formerly in the possession of George Mantle. It would seem from this that the property was owned by the Lords of the Manor, which could be traced back to the Abbots of Forde, who were owners of the village from 1139 until 1539. The Cartulary which still exists details what is probably a refrence to the land when it describes the boundaries of the new Borough of Charmouth in 1320 as follows: “ every burgess residing in the borough might with his horse or bullocks into Common Land vis. From the road where Geoffrety Heyrun lives westward. So to Stephen Payn`s and to the ditch which was Robert Rossi`s to the Langoresgeth ( langmore Gate ) and then to the Steps”.
Though there are early references to the Guppy family in the parish records from 1666 when Spese Guppy married Card. The property got its name from William Guppy who met an unfortunate end with others in the village as a supporter of the abortive attempt by the Duke of Monmouth to seize the throne in 1685. He was amongst 16 villagers suspected as rebels. He was tried at Dorchester by the notorious judge Jeffries and transported from Weymouth on the way to Barbados, but tragically died on board the Betty on December 17th 1685. The name of his continued to be used as a description of the property and appears amongst the list of the Lords of the Manor lands. The earliest accurate Map for Charmouth is the 1841 Tithe map, which provides some interesting information. It would appear that the title Guppy`s Tenement is given to 3 separate plots - nos, 94, 147 and 148. Combined these add up to just over the acre referred to in the 1735 deed. An explanation for this is that Old Lyme Road is a relatively new road being built in 1825 to replace the Old Roman road, which was both steep and dangerous. Hence plot 147 and 148 were once one larger field before being dissected. Opposite the field was no doubt the original Tenement on plot 94 belonging to the Guppy`s before its demolition, as can be seen on the map of the broken line of houses facing on to Old Lyme Hill. The adjoining house (No. 93) is especially ancient, judging by the photos of the edifice with a thatched roof on the corner of the Street. The Tithe map reference book shows the owner as Anne Liddon who as Lady of the manor owns considerable property in the village. She is the daughter of Lieutenant James Warden R.N. who purchased the Manor of Charmouth in 1783 from a descendant of Anthony Ellesden. He had a fiery temper and even disowned his own son, who was to receive just £20 a year during his life. In 1789 he won an action against the Rev. Brian Combe and others for removing sand and seaweed from the beach. His arguments climaxed with a disagreement with a neighbour, Norman Bond that resulted in a duel at Hunter's Lodge Inn with James being shot through the heart and the neighbour fleeing the country to Barbados. In his Will he was to provide just an Annuity to his eldest son, William Warden of £20 a year to be provided out of the income from "Guppy's tenement". Mathew, the grandson of James Warden after the death of his mother places the Manor up for Auction in London in 1853, where it is bought By George Frean of the famous Biscuit family. The particulars of the Auction Catalogue provide an insight into the complicated Annuity:
No. 10 That as under a will, proved in 1792 (James Warden), this property is charged with an annuity of £20 payable to a gentleman (James Wardens son) now aged 86 years, the vendors shall not be required to procure a release or a discharge of the premises from the annuity, but the same shall bereturn3ed on a House, Garden and Field, called Guppy`s Tenement, containing 1 acre 17 perches, in the occupation of M.J.Liddon Esq & Joseph Hodges, situate in Charmouth of the annual value of £30 or otherwise, for the purchaser shall accept the joint and several covenants of the Vendors for his indemnity against the said annuity, at the option of the vendors, and it shall not be required of the vendors to obtain any conveyance or reconveyance of any legal estate in reference to such annuity or the concurrence of any trustees or trustee in respect of any trust created more than 40 years before the date therof.
George Frean was to sell off part the Manor in 1864 to the famous railway Engineer, Sir James Hawkshaw, who intended to build a railway though the village. But he is unsuccessful and by 1867 just lots 94 and 147 are placed in the Auction of the Manor of Charmouth and Lilly farm. The accompanying map shows clearly that plot 94 is part of Lot 23 and plot 147 part of lot 24. Plot 94, which contains 11 perches, is described as a garden rented by Mr. Potter. He is paying £1 a year rent, but successfully purchases it for £30 at the Auction. William Potter is described as a Shoe and Boot Maker living in the Street in Census`s and Directories of the time. He marries Mary Ann Cook in 1832 and they are to have 9 children. After his death his widow sells the plot on to Lucy Helen Gollop, wife of Ernest Gollop, in 1890. It is on this plot that her husband builds the house called "Baden".A deed of gift (of Baden Cottage) was made on 5 th January 1942 by Lucy Helen Gollop to her granddaughter (rather than daughter) Dora Helen Vanda Avery, who was an infant at the time, it says “in consideration of her natural love and affection for the said Dora…”. There is a deed in which Margaret Helen Farmer (Wife of Alfred Farmer and perhaps on behalf of Dora) sells to Alice Victoria Gear (of Three Corner View Charmouth) on 28 th September 1946. She is the widow of Cecil Gear who is the brother of local businessman and garage Owner, Billy Gear. His daughter Sheila Stamp still lives in the village. Then on 20 th June 1947 she sells to Mrs Edith Ellen Violet Smith and Miss Gladys May Nichols who sell on 19 th July 1946. In 1979 C E H Lees and P J S Piper purchase. A Mr A Lane and Mrs B E Moore also buy it. A rear Extention is made to the cottage in 1948.
The accompanying maps show how the area has been developed; with Highfield being built in 1907 on part of plot 147 and The Mount on plot 148 in 1897. The 1926 Ordnance Survey shows a new house being built next to Upcott on plot 94, which was probably the site of the original Guppy's house. It seems strange that even in relatively recent times houses were still being demolished. For in the 1920`s the ancient thatched house on the corner of Old Lyme Road and the Street, plot 93 on the 1841 Tithe map was lost to make way for a car park for the New Commercial Inn on the opposite side of the road. The Owner of the cottage at the time was Jimmy Hodges who had married Susan Wild whose parents ran the pub at the time.

The 1841 Tithe Map

Plot 94 Guppy's Tenement Sarah Liddon 16 perches

Plot 147 Guppy's Tenement owned by Anne Liddon 8 perches

Plot 148 Guppy's Tenement a Meadow owned by Anne Liddon 3r. 16p

Plot 93 House and garden Charles Wild Resident and Owner

The 1867 Map from the sale of Charmouth Manor

Plot 2 is part of lot 23 and is equiavalent to plot 94 on the 1841 Tithe Map

Plot 3 is part of lot 24 and is equiavalent to plot 147 on the 1841 Tithe Map

Plot 148 was probably sold by George Frean after his purchase of the Manor in 1853.

The 1890 Ordnance Survey Map of Charmouth

All 3 plots referred to as Guppy`s Tenement are shown as empty and probably fields.

The 1901 Ordnance Survey Map of Charmouth

Plot 94 on Tithe Map is now built on. Plot 148 shows the Mount being built on part of it.

The 1926 Ordnance Survey Map of Charmouth

Plot 94 on Tithe Map now has 2 houses built on it. Plot 147 and 148 are now built on and the house on plot 93 has been demolished.

The Satellite view of Charmouth

All 3 plots now have a number of houses on them

The Street showing the thatched Cottage which was to be demolished to make way for a Car park for the New Commercial Inn on the opposite side of the road in the 1920`s
Another photo in the same series of top of the Street showing the thatched Cottage which was to be demolished to make way for a Car park for the New Commercial Inn on the opposite side of the road in the 1920`s
A Coraonation procession for King George V in 1911 with the Thatched cottage and Baden clearly to be seen in the background
the same procession.
A similar view in th 1950`s, but with the Thatched Cottage gone.
A Close up of the Thatched Cottage on the corner of Old Lyme Hill and the Street
The Hunt used to start from the New inn and this photo shows Baden Cottage in the background
A view looking down the Street, with the New Inn on the right and a sign saying Danger - Road collapsing towards Old Lyme Road.
An early photo looking up Old Lyme Hill before 1907 when Highfield was built behind the Village Pound, which had stood by the Church until 1866 when it was relocated. Below is the key to the photo provided by Reg. Pavey
Old Lyme Hill in the 1930`s when the adjoining house to Baden had just been built, notice the sign giving a warning of the state of the road.
A View in the 1930`s of Old Lyme Hill
A View in the 1930`s of Old Lyme Hill
A Plan of the area around Old Lyme Hill and Old Lyme Road drawn by Reginald Pavey to give information about the history of the area.
A Plan of the area around Old Lyme Hill and Old Lyme Road drawn by Reginald Pavey before erosion changed the landscape of the coast here.
A View of Old Lyme Hill Today
A View of Old Lyme Hill Today
A View of Old Lyme Hill Today
A View of Old Lyme Hill Today