Two new Blue Plaques for Coleorton

Some time ago we were asked if we could erect blue plaques in Coleorton - as seen on many historical buildings up and down the country. In October 2018 this initiative came to life with four plaques placed around the village and since then we have added more. These plaques give a brief history of the building and the people who lived and worked there. This month two more plaques will be erected – on the Old Engine Inn, Stoney Lane, and Beckwith’s bakery and shop on The Moor.

"Old Engine Inn" is now called “The Knoll”, a pretty cottage located down a track just off Stoney Lane leading to what was Elverston's Yard. The track used to join up with Chapel Lane off Lower Moor Road by the side of the Old School Room.

The cottage was built around 1800 and before the 1825 Licencing Act it was run as an Ale House when it was only necessary to register a location for the licencing records, not a name. Following the act it was thought to have been named after the atmospheric fire engine which was installed just beyond adjoining Willow Cottage to pump water out of Boultbee's Mine. In 1851 nine families lived in the tiny hamlet at Elverston's Yard.

The Old Engine Inn finally closed its doors to the public in 1908 when it became a private residence.

Beckwith’s bakery and shop is now “128 The Moor”. On the 1842 tithe map it’s described as a cottage and garden of 12 perches in possession of wealthy local landowner William Sherwin. The 1841 census gives the occupier as John Wardle aged 30, a farmer and grocer, his wife Sarah also aged 30 and their 4 young children. They employed three servants Mary Cawser 15, Drusiller Barsby 12 and Samuel Matchet 15. John Wardle baked and sold bread in his grocers shop. The ovens are still there today.

In the 1851 Census John Wardle and family are in residence and described as a farmer of 40 acres with one labourer. By 1861 the property is occupied by John Beckwith, aged 63 and his wife Lucy also aged 63. John and Lucy are the former schoolmaster and mistress of the original Coleorton school and almshouses endowed by Sir Thomas Beaumont in 1701. They took up another profession when they “retired” from school-teaching in 1857. They ran the grocers shop and bakery until around 1870 when they moved along The Moor to Haywoods Cottage. Their son, also George, and his wife Mary took over the grocers and bakery at 128 the Moor.

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