Wickhamford in the census

At the time of the 1841 census, Wickhamford comprised just 27 households: Wickhamford Manor in the north of the village and four cottages close to the Manor (demolished at the end of the 19th century). On the west side of Manor Road, there was Robin Cottage, Weathervane Cottage, The Old Vicarage, Grey Gables, Wickham House (then called Pitcher's Hill Farm), and seven cottages to the south of Wickham House which had been demolished by the end of the 19th century. On the east side of Manor Road, there was Corner Cottage, Elm Farm, Brookfield Cottage, and two cottages on the site of the present-day Nos 36 & 38 Manor Road. At the southern end of Manor Road, The Sandy Arms was situated on the junction with the main road to Broadway. On the south side of the Broadway Road there was the Mill House and Field Farm. Finally, at the far end of the parish, there was a cottage at Whitfurrows Farm. Some of the houses which are now home to one family were once semi-detached residences. The tithe map of 1843 confirms the location of the properties.

From 1851 onwards, the census enumerator followed a fairly logical route through the village when completing the census forms, so it is fairly easy to work out the present-day address for most of the houses in the 1851-1911 census returns. However, for the 1841 census, it is not quite so easy. The enumerator appears to have listed the most important households first (the Manor, the farms, the mill and the pub) and then all the cottages, but seemingly in no particular order.

Up until the latter part of the 19th century, all the houses in the village were owned by the Sandys family. It is likely that there had been little change for centuries. But then in 1869, John Pickup Lord, a wealthy Lancastrian landowner, bought the estate from the Sandys family. Lord had been born in Wigan in 1821, but had settled at Hallow in Worcestershire in the 1860s. He owned land in his home county of Lancashire and also at Hallow, Badsey, Aldington and Bengeworth. With a new owner came some new building: a pair of cottages (Nos 3 & 4 Longdon Hill) close to the entrance to Field Farm had made an appearance by 1871 and, by 1881, a pair of cottages (Nos 5 & 6 Longdon Hill) on the corner opposite The Sandys Arms.

Lord died at Hallow in 1877. Trustees were appointed after his death to administer his estates and, from 1878, a succession of new trustees was appointed. The trustees sold off some of the land in the years following his death but the final parts of his estate were not sold until nearly 70 years later.

By the end of the 19th century, Wickhamford was beginning to experience the same growth in market gardening which was happening in Badsey. New cottages and villas began appearing on Pitchers Hill and Longdon Hill, either as a result of Lord's trustees building houses, or the new landowners building villas. Three detached houses (Nos 10, 16 & 20) had appeared on the south side of Pitchers Hill by 1901 and, further up the hill, a pair of semi-detached cottages (Nos 50 & 52) with a detached house (No 95) on the north side. On Longdon Hill, Oxley was in existence by 1891 and, by 1901, a large house (Longdon Court) had been built, and a pair of cottages (Nos 1 & 2). On Manor Road, a pair of houses (Nos 6 & 8) had been built fairly close to The Sandys Arms by 1901.

By the time of the 1911 census, the population had increased significantly and were 50 houses in Wickhamford.

Maureen Spinks

Census records for Badsey, Aldington & Wickhamford

Portraits of people in the 1911 census

More information about Wickhamford

Updated 20 September 2011. Contact email: Wickhamford@badsey.net