A History of Frieth

Further Notes on Frieth - as told by Ted Collier

[ Snapshots in time ]
The Geographical Setting
The Early History
The Middle Ages
The Growth of a Community
1800 - 1860
1860 - 1900
1900 - 1973
The Name Frieth
Pillow Lace
West & Collier
[ The Colliers of West & Collier ]
West & Collier Catalogues
Notes on The Firm
Notes on Frieth
Further Notes on Frieth
Frieth as I knew it
Memories of bygone years
Frieth 45 years ago
The Posse Comitatus
[ Chisbridge Farm ]

Sections [in square brackets] are additions to the original content


When West and Collier bought the Farm from the Toovey family in the 1890s many changes were made. Innings meadow provided a short cut from the Firm to the Farm, which was mainly managed by Mr. Collier. His daughter Nance came home to run the Dairy and poultry. The cowman Arthur Austin Snr. and ?? farm hand were taken over. Several houses including Sara's made extra homes for workmen.

The horses were used both on the Farm and to transport logs to the saw-pit and turners yard. A new saw-pit was dug at the Farm and I used to watch Mr. Wing and George Lowe working there, just before 1899. The carters were George Edwards and "Dabber" Dean. The latter was followed by Mr. Sherwood, whose son Frank worked in Mr. West's garden and looked after the horses and traps kept at the Farm.

[ Derek Collier is fairly sure the farm was bought by Thomas Collier personally in 1895 not by West & Collier ]

Innings Meadow was the Frieth Cricket Field, use given by the Firm. They also provided teas for Home and Visiting teams.

Archie Collier (Jacker), built a workshop at the entrance to the Farm from the Little Frieth Road, where he designed and carved the Choir Stalls in his spare time, these were given to Frieth Church by his father; he also designed and almost finished the Font Cover. The Cripps Memorial, the Pulpit, the Fauld Stool and some other items were made at the Firm in addition to the Slocock Memorial and the Organ Front.

An arrangement was made by the Cripps Estate at Parmoor soon after the Farm was acquired, when the field on which the School House stands and parts of Hatchet Wood passed to Parmoor; Hayles Field, allotments from Hayles field to the footpath known as Short Lane which included the site of the Village Hall and other property passed to West and Collier, who later gave the site for the Village Hall. The Hall was built by the first Lord Parmoor in memory of his first wife; there is also a stained glass window in her memory in the south aisle of the Church.

About the time the Hall was built a large deep pit, in which we played, reaching from just below Hilltop towards the School, was filled in with sawdust from the Firm.

The road along Innings Meadow was a private road, the upkeep of this road and the large swing gates at either end went with the Farm.


COPSE COTTAGE: Now occupied by Mr. Cornish was built by Family of Woodend for use of coachmen, and stabling for horses whilst the Family attended service in Ackhampstead Chapel. It was the home of the Brazill Family for several generations.

THE GREEN BUNGALOW, adjoining, was built and lived in by Jabez Buckland after his caravan on the site was destroyed by fire. He was a travelling tinker who first came to Frieth about 1894. This was pulled down 1967-9.

UNDERWOOD: was built by Mr.P West replacing two cottages occupied by Mr. Wing and Mr White. The latter was verger at Hambleden for many years.

SPRING: This was on the Common in front of the house occupied by Mr. Hearne and is now part of the garden.

VILLAGE QUOITS: The Pitch was in front of this house and used often till around 1900.

BRAMBLINGS: (Woodside) was built by Thos. Barlow about 1860. Flints were brought from Bishop Lincoln's seat at Fingest.

ASTREA: The large shed was first used as a blacksmith's shop.

MERRYDOWN: Now one house, was two cottages owned by Chisbridge Farm; joined to them until 1919 were two cottages belonging tb the Barlows as was the old half-timbered cottage pulled down in the 1920's and replaced with Astraea's bungalow.

DRIVE: During the depression (early 1900) the Cripp's Family built a drive from the gate near top of the wood across the Park to Parmoor. The road through the wood was gravelled and flowering shrubs planted either side. Rhododendrons, cotoneaster and laurels may still be seen. This work carried out to provide work for local  men. The Lake at Parmoor was built same time, same reason.

TURF & QUIT RENTS: Opposite to Cornish's house, a plot of grass was kept trimmed and available for returfing graves. Beyond towards the wood were Quit rent plots 1/- per annum rent, which used to be sold for 25/- to 30/- for use as allotments.

E.J. Collier March 1970