Your House and Mine


Map of Frieth
Moor End
   Merrydown Cottage
   Corner Cottage
   Moor's End Cottages
   Moor Gate House
   The Copse
Fingest Road
   The Forge
   Folly Cottages
   The Willows
Perrin Springs Lane
   Perrin Springs
   West's Cottages
Ellery Rise
   Lynden Cottage
Frieth Hill
   Hillside Cottage
   Pear Tree Cottage
   Hillside View
   The Platt
   Little Barlows
   Cutlers Cottage
   Yew Tree Cottage
   Little Cottage
   Birch Cottage
   Tedders / Rose Cottage
   The Old Stores
   The Yew Tree Inn
   Fairfield House
   Flint Cottage 1
   Flint Cottage 2
   Middle Cottage
   Sunny Corner
   The Gables
   The Orchards
   The Old Parsonage
   White Gates
   The Laurels
   The Cottage
   The Firm
   The Niche
   The Ranch House
   Sara's Cottage
   The Cherries
   The Old School House
Innings Road
   Collier's Farm
   Innings Gate
   Down the Lane
   Sunset Cottage
   Rowan Cottage
   Creighton Cottage
   Apple Tree
   Old Well Cottage
   The Cottage
   Flat Roof
   Red Kites
Spurgrove Lane
   Maidencraft Cottage
   September Cottage
   Spurgrove Cottage
   Gable End
   Elder Barn
Maidenscraft in the 1930s - image contributed by Tony Parkins

Maidenscraft was the only large house to be built in Frieth in the early 1930s. Attached to it was a self contained domestic wing and, in the paddock, two gardeners' cottages.

The rest of the holding of some 19 acres included the gardens, another paddock and woodland.

The 1845 tithe map schedule shows that the two fields on which this property stands were called Home Field and Charlock Field. [ You can find the Tithe Map under "Hambleden" on the menu bar above ]

The owners, Mr & Mrs Woodhouse, had lived abroad for much of their life. This, their retirement home, they shared with another couple Mr & Mrs Clark.

They employed a number of people for both indoor and outdoor staff.

Maidencraft, Frieth, 1992 - Image from Joan Barksfield's collection

In 1965 after the death of Mrs Woodhouse the property was sold and converted into four living units. The two cottages became one house which was added to and is now Maiden House.

[ When Maidenscraft was sold up there was a big auction of the contents and many village people went, including me and my father. There wasn’t much of any use left by the time we got there but my father raised his hand at one point and bought a small collection of stuff, mostly rubbish, but including a sack barrow, for a few shillings. He used it for moving cookers, fridges and the like in and out of the electrical shop at Lane End.  I inherited the sack barrow when we sold up that business and I still have it - it comes in useful occasionally.

The name of the property has clearly changed between different owners. In the "Your House and Mine" folder the property is referred to as "Maidencraft" (no middle "s") which is how my mother referred to it. However Tony Parkins of Earlhams, the right hand part of Maidenscraft, who has seen the original deeds says that the whole property is referred to as "Maidenscraft" so I've used that spelling - as did the producers of the postcard reproduced above.

Tony further writes (June 2008) :
When the conversion was done in the mid 60's, one of the parts of the house was (re)named by Jimmie Sworder (the man who did the conversion) as "Maidencroft" (with no middle 's' and an end 'o'). It really didn't help that, as Jimmie Sworder moved around the parts of house, buying and selling them in turn from his company he named each one of them Maidencroft in turn, changing them each time he bought and sold. The result of this was to drive me almost to distraction when trying to figure out what had happened from all the house deeds.

Ian Norris writes (September 2008) :
I have lived in Maidencroft since 1981. I bought the place from Jim Sworder who then moved to Whitsun, which was then a Bungalow - no stairs for his wife. I did have some bits from his company, 'Sworder Export Motors' eg the brass company name plate, but all have since been dumped.

Terry Dicken writes (April 2012) :
I have just come across a book of mine entitled Rock Gardens, in which is written 'Provided by Mr I Woodhouse, Maiden Croft, Little Frieth' Since I gather he was the owner I presume his spelling of the house name with two words, both capitalised, was correct at the time

See also the notes for Maidencraft Cottage and the derivation of the name on the next page. ]

Back  Forward