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Historic Houses In Sible Hedingham

Written By Pauline Day


Bridge House in Queen Street is an attractive timber framed building and was once the home of Emily Marshall a suffragette who was imprisoned for the cause and a landscape painter who exhibited at the Royal Academy. A devoted follower and friend of Emmeline Pankhurst, she raised a fund to erect a statue of Mrs.Pankhurst in Westminster and persuaded the Prime Minister, Stanley Baldwin to unveil it. Mrs.Marshall who also worked hard for Hedingham charities died in 1947 and Dame Christobel Pankhurst attended her funeral in St. Peter's church.



Situated in Potter Street at the junction with Lamb lane this was the home of Miss Rachel Barrett,B.Sc. who was also a suffragette. Miss Barrett entered into village life and was a member of the Sible Hedingham Women's Institute from 1934 to 1948. Lamb cottage was left to her niece Gwyneth Anderson who was the wife of John Redwood-Anderson, an author and poet who was for a time president of the Essex poet and prose society.



A timber framed 16th Century house in Potter street this was named after Sir John Hawkwood, a mediaeval mercenary and perhaps Sible Hedingham's most famous son. He was knighted for bravery and lived much of his life in Italy where he received many honours. Fighting ruthlessly for and against various Popes he was hated by many Italians and revered elsewhere. Thus was he a hero or a villain? In later years the house was owned by Miss Thyra Heyworth who was the second women in the country to hold a driving licence. Miss Heyworth had a habit of driving straight out of the gate regardless of on coming traffic that would have proved fatal with the volume of traffic in Potter Street today!



Now renamed as 'Forest Homes' and a care home this house in Swan Street was built during the 17th Century. The Davenant family are recorded as far back as 1327 but a distinguished figure was Sir William Davenant [1606-1668] who was Poet Laureate and a playwright . He also claimed to be an illegitimate son of Shakespeare!

In later years this was the home of Doctor and Mrs.Putnam who were very involved with village life.

Mrs.Putnam was a gifted musician, took singing and music lessons at the primary school and conducted a village choir. During World War II she was responsible for housing evacuees and distributing food parcels. She was a stalwart member of the Women's Institute helping with their various war efforts. Dr.Putnam was Captain of the Home guard at that time. Along with other village interests he practised medicine in the village for 40 years.



Built in the mid-19th Century this was the home of Dr.John Hilton who first practised at Guy's Hospital and in 1860 became Professor of Anatomy and Surgery at the Royal College of surgeons. He became President of this in 1867 and later was appointed Surgeon Extra-ordinary to Queen Victoria. Over the years the house had various other occupants, was an accounts business for some time and has now come full circle, as it is now the local Doctors surgery.




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