History of Harrington House, Badsey

1812 Badsey Enclosure Map indicates that Sarah Harrington is either the absentee owner or, less likely, occupier of Harrington House. At that time the grounds ran down to Badsey Brook, and the house was a farmhouse. The house, of course, considerably pre-dates the map, as shewn by the massive early cross beams and the proportions of the down hearth in the kitchen.

Before 1887 – the Title Deeds indicate that, some time before 1887, the house was occupied by Elizabeth Applebee (possibly associated with the Applebee family of Claybrook Farm in Badsey). An Elizabeth Applebee appears in the Censuses of 1841, 1851 and 1861 as living in the proximity of the house. Census returns for 1881 reveal William and Georgina Corbett as the most likely inhabitants before the Johns (below).

1887 – Samuel Johns occupies Harrington House as a tenant, with his wife Jane Johns. The Johns family (originally from the north of the county) hail at this stage from Owletts End in Bengeworth, and family legend has it that Jane is the illegitimate daughter of the Duke of Beaufort. 1891 census.  1891 auction with map. 1901 census. Kellys 1912.

1921 – Edward Johns (born 1873), son of Samuel, buys the freehold of Harrington House and land from Arthur Edward Jones (14 April 1921). Edward sadly died on 9 Sept 1921, but the house and farm were kept on by his widow Alice Lucy Johns. His children were Samuel (b.1909) and Margaret Eileen Alice who, as Mrs (Peggy) Lewis, later lived at Pool House. Samuel was a master at Prince Henry’s Grammar School for some time.

1921/2 – Mains water installed in the house. There had been a standpipe tap in the yard on the north wall of a barn adjoining the former Hollywood Villa. Previous to the standpipe all watering of stock and the water for the house was manually pumped from the well at the back door.

1930s – this was a fairly prosperous time. By now Harrington House was the hub of a 36-acre farm, with land to the north-west of the Manor, an orchard between Old Post Office Lane and Orchard Way, another plus a nut walk running behind the house down to Badsey Brook and a cider mill opposite the present butcher’s. Harrington House was renowned for the excellence of its cider: it supplied several local pubs and a 60-gallon hogshead was always kept beneath the stairs to fill a two-handled mug for the refreshment of visitors! Other land was rented: at one period 14 acres of asparagus were grown. The farm forge was in what is now Greystones, Hollywood Villa was the Bailiff’s house (it had previously been two dwellings), the entrance to the farmyard was over a cobbled way immediately to the south of the house. The Dovecote barn (now in the garden of Eriskay) was the farm stables, albeit known as the Dovecote because of the nesting holes inside. Adjoining the west side of the house, and running along the line of the wall alongside the Monk’s Lane, was a long thatched barn. It was constructed of waney-edged elm above a grey lias stone wall. (NB. It is interesting to note that there were entrances into this barn from the Monk’s Lane, which indicates that the barn predated at least part of the Manor.) By 1932 it needed re-thatching: the portion nearest the house was the trap horse’s stable but as the main barn was only used to store barrels for the farm, and odds and ends for village folk, it was decided to demolish it instead. Once it was down, windows were inserted into the west face of the house for the first time.

Further alterations also took place at around this time. For several years the south wall had been bulging seriously, and at some stage had had a buttress built against it for support. This wall was now rebuilt, and windows inserted in it also for the first time.

1939-65 – During the war the house was occupied by refugees and evacuees as well as by the Johns family: Samuel had to sleep in the attic because of pressure on space. In the 1950s the farm became well known through its "Eovesholme Herd" of Gloucester Old Spot pigs, a pet project of Samuel’s. After Alice Johns (born 1874, died 1967) moved out, a disposal sale of the house contents took place in October 1964 and it stood empty. On 13 January 1965 Samuel and his sister Margaret Lewis sold the house and land to a consortium of Ernest Mustoe, Henry King and Harry Robinson, all Badsey-based. The Johns retained Hollywood Villa, latterly in the occupation of butcher’s widow Mrs Hartwell.

1965-71 – The house stood empty and abandoned. The new owners were keen to develop the site, but the house had been listed in 1959 by the Ministry of Housing and Local Government which was an obstacle to their plans. Accordingly, the house was left open to the elements in the hope that it would become so dilapidated as to merit demolition.

1971-76 – Following the death of Harry Robinson (see above) in December 1970 Douglas and Flora Wallis from Birmingham bought the run-down house and immediate garden area on 22 June 1971 and began restoration, including re-roofing.

1976-85 – On 23 February 1976 David and Anthea Beszant buy the house from the Wallises. Anthea keeps "Acorn Antiques" in Evesham.

1985-88 – 26 September 1985 Peter and Signe (she is Norwegian) Morris buy the house. Peter is a clinical technician working in Droitwich.

1988 onwards Barbara and Tony Jerram purchase it from the Morrises on 7 October 1988.

Tony Jerram

Harrington House is at 8 High Street, Badsey next to the Manor House. We would like to publish the history of other houses in Badsey and Aldington. If you are willing to write a brief history of your house, do please contact us. Your house does not have to be particularly old. We are very happy to include histories of twentieth century houses.

Another view of Harrington House

A carnival float pasing Harrington House in 2000

Updated 10 February 2002. Email editor@badsey.net.