Hobbs Well was until recently a triple
tenement. The structure has probably been considerably altered,
understandably for such an old house.
The manor sale document to Wiseman particularly
excluded copyhold Hobbs Well from the estate lands which was a unique
feature in such deeds.
Centuries ago Sir Edward Alston, lord of Mount Bures, sold "Hobbs
atte Well" to his brother Sir
John, not long before the manor itself was sold in 1657.
Four years later Sir John released the property to Roger Turner possibly
to ensure the welfare of a valued retainer who perhaps wished to set
up in farming the 20 acres of Hobbs Well.
The family was able to pay for the freehold 12 years later; two more
Roger Turners appeared on parish registers.
An old book of leases for the manor records that William Coppin had
a 20 year tenancy of Hobbs Well which must still have been owned by
Around 1712 when the Dyer family took over the property the land had
become divided into two and the dwelling is not mentioned.
When Joseph Kingsbury purchased in 1732 he had only 10 acres of Hobbs
Well, the field names of which are specified. The manor rental of
1769 confirms the division with the other half held by Lawrence Harvey.
He was a butcher who included lands of Coppins within his Butlers
Farm acreage. The tenement however
of his 35 acres of Coppins land was not Hobbs Well dwelling but lay
not far away au Valley Green. The second 10 acre half of Hobbs Well
called Coppins had surely become part of the 35 acres recorded on
the Butler deeds.
Becca Brett who died 1829, received half of Hobbs Well land as a marriage
settlement from her father Joseph Kingsbury. Again there was no mention
of a dwelling.
A dwelling might have become derelict and so uninhabitable though
one was shown on the 1838 map and it was certainly present again when
Zachary Pettitt sold to the Rolts. ( see footnote)
Hobbs Well dated early 20th
Courtesy of Colin Strong
Zachary also farmed Spendpenny
nearby where he placed his initials in small stones on an
outhouse sadly recently demolished.
The Garrad family held Hoobs Well with Bakers Hall for 60
years. Both properties were purchased by the Webber family
in 1921. They had been tenants of William Garrad for some
years. Mary Kitchen occupied Hobbs Well after World War 2
Colin Strong and Sue his wife own Hobbs Well in 1996, it is
now one house again.
A small book entitled Lady of the Valley was written in 1875
by one whose initials were J.H.D.
presumably the then Rector J.H. Davies.
lt is of interest since it may be derived from hearsay or
legend. It tells of a mysterious. house by the brook at the
foot of the Mount in which taxed 'a handsome I woman with
her mentally retarded son. A roundhead soldier seeking sanctuary
was allowed to stay in the house overnight.
Much to his horror he found next day that the lady had been
cruelly killed by her son. The compromised soldier managed
to vindicate himself and the authorities allowed him to leave.
It was a curious short account,
privately printed and perhaps intended to amuse the older
children of the parish. On the other hand, the rector may
have listened to tales of the old men of the village.
Extract from "Mount
Bures its Lands and its People"
From 1943 until approximately 1948
the property was located inside a massive Forward Ammuntion Supply
Depot operated by the USAAF
Hundreds or even thousands of Bombs were stored on farmland surrounded
by Hobbs Well, Bakers Hall, Wood Cottage and Lower Jennies
Munitions were also stored in woods and along the grass verges
down to White Colne
These were then transferred to the USAAF airfields in Essex and
South Suffolk to replenish there stock.
The research on this subject has been published by Alan Beales
in the book:-
"The Hidden History of the United States Army Air Force
Date unknown, but possibly circa
1996 when it was occupied by Colin Strong
Date unknown but possibly circa 2000+
OS Map discrepancy where its not shown
on the 1838 map
Nor is it recorded on the 1896,1989 and 1905 maps
It then re appears on the 1925 map
but on all maps it does show the plot of land ?
Acknowledgement to Ida McMaster for the research material