Date of current building:
Listed: Grade II
The Three Tuns -> 2nd Workhouse -> The Green Dragon -> Residential and commercial.
Now known as "Charnham Close".
Description of property:
From Listed Building records: House. C18/19. Hipped tiled roofs. Painted brickwork, dentil eaves. 3 storey block at right angles to road with 2 and single storey extensions.
Road elevation: 2 vertical sliding sashes with glazing bars and near flush frames in 3 storey portion, left hand blocked on ground floor. One sash with glazing bars to each of 2 storey and single storey portions.
Return Elevation: 5 windows, vertical sliding sashes with glazing bars and rear flush frames the 2 to the left being blocked. Central door in plain surround with rectangular fanlight.
- Beedham Antiques, Charnham Close, Jun 2010
- Charnham Close, Charnham Street, Jun 2007 - almost certainly the Three Tuns (<1782), the poor-house (1783-1836) and the Green Dragon (1836 onwards)
The Three Tuns inn (<1780 - 1783):
1780 Land Tax Assessment: Mr Edward Sheppard paid 19s 6d "for the Three Tuns" occupied by William Wicks family.
1781 Land Tax Assessment: A similar tax (but only 15s 8d) was paid - the occupier section was blank.
Clive Sheppard (from Melbourne Australia) kindly emailed the Virtual Museum in Jan 2012 with some helpful information on the history of The Three Tuns. He had been researching an Edward Sheppard, one of his ancestors, and searched Google books with his name. The search listed (amongst other entries) Law Journal reports (Volume 8 - page 89-94) which related to a different Edward Sheppard (not one of his ancestors) and The Three Tuns in Charnham Street.
In summary, the long legal report appears to reveal:
1782 - Edward Sheppard agreed in principle to let The Three Tuns premises to trustees (Charles Dalbiac and others) for 99 years from 25 Mar 1783 for a rental of £27 per annum (payable in twice yearly installments). There was to be an option to purchase the premises (for £420) at a later date. A lease was to be prepared by 1 Jan 1783 confirming full details. It was intended that from the date of the agreement, the premises were to be converted for use as a poor-house for Hungerford. An action was brought against the parish officers that the premises had not been properly maintained.
Poor-house for Hungerford (the 2nd workhouse) (1783-1836):
1800 - Edward Sheppard died. His only daughter, Margaret, inherited. Margaret married Charles Alderman on 21 Jun 1801.
1815 Land Assessment: The Aldermen, for the Poor House, occupied by the Overseers, were assessed at 17s 3d.
1819 - On 1 Apr 1819 the churchwardens and overseers of the poor took over the full repairing lease of the poor-house for the remaining period of the original lease (now 63 years).
1830 Pigot Dir: Hungerford workhouse, Charnham Street - Mary Pearce, guardian.
1835 - On 28 Sep 1835 Charles Alderman (of Kintbury) gave notice to the overseers of the poor to quit his Charnham Street premises by the following Lady Day (25 Mar 1836). The overseeers responded by quitting most of the premises, but retaining part for use as a board-room, at a rent of £6 15s per quarter.
1836 - On 20 Feb 1836 Charles Alderman served notice to the "visitors and guardians of the poor" - under Gilbert's Act) that he required them "to pay for all dilapidations".
The Green Dragon Inn (1836-c1840):
1836 The paupers were moved to Lambourn workhouse. The property reverted to an inn - now named the Green Dragon. See Workhouses.
1839 - The legal case reached Court by 1839. Full resume is listed below. The Court found for the plaintiffs.
The Law Journal reports, Volume 80:
1839 ALDERMAN AND ANOTHER v. NEATE AND OTHERS.
Lease Parish Property - Churchwarden and Overseer 59 Geo. 3. c.12.
By an agreement, duly stamped with a demise stamp, and dated 25th of February 1782, Edward Sheppard agreed to demise and let certain premises to a committee, in trust for the inhabitants of the parish of Hungerford, to hold from the 25th day of March then next, for the term of ninety-nine years, at a certain yearly rent of, &c., payable half-yearly; and the committee agreed to pay the rent, and keep the premises in repair during the term. It was further agreed, that a lease should be prepared and executed on or before the 1st of January then next, with covenants and agreements, pursuant to the present contract, and such other general clauses as are usually contained in leases, with a proviso enabling the committee, or the major part of them, or their successors, at their option, to purchase the premises at a price fixed.
No lease was executed. The premises, from the date of the agreement, were used as a poor-house for the parish of H, and the churchwardens and overseers, for the time being, of Hungerford, paid the rent to Edward Sheppard and his representatives. In an action against the parish officers for the time being of Hungerford for non-repair of the premises:
Held first, that the agreement might properly be declared upon as a demise for a term, which was then unexpired; and, secondly, that the defendants were liable, by virtue of the statute 59 Geo. 3. c. 12.
The declaration stated, that Edward Sheppard was seised in fee of a certain messuage and premises, called the Three Tuns Inn, in the parish of Hungerford, in the county of Wilts; and that being so seised on the 25th day of February AD 1782, he demised and let the said messuage and premises to Charles Dalbiac and others, in trust for the inhabitants at large within the parish of Hungerford, in the counties of Berks and Wilts, and that the said Charles Dalbiac, &c. did occupy and take of the said Edward Sheppard, the said messuage and premises, which were intended to be converted into a poor-house for the use of the said parish, to hold the same in trust as aforesaid, for a certain term, which was then unexpired, upon and subject New Series, VIII - Excheq. PL. amongst others to the following terms (that is to say), that they, the said Charles Dalbiac, &c. should keep the said messuage and premises in good and sufficient repair during the said term. The declaration then stated, that the said Charles Dalbiac, &c. did, on the 25th of March 1782, enter upon the said messuage and premises, and became possessed thereof for the said term, in trust as aforesaid, as tenants to the said Edward Sheppard, upon the terms aforesaid; and that they, in consideration of the said demise, and that they had so become tenants, promised the said Edward Sheppard to keep the said messuage and premises in good and sufficient repair, during the said term. The declaration then averred, that the premises were converted into a workhouse for the use of the said parish of Hungerford.
It also averred, that Edward Sheppard, being seised of the reversion of the said premises, died on the 2nd of September 1800, leaving the plaintiff, Margaret, his daughter, and only child and heiress, him surviving; that Margaret became seised of the reversion of the said premises, and being so seised, she, on the 21st of June 1801, married the plaintiff, Charles Alderman, and thereupon the plaintiffs became, and then were, seised in fee, in right of the said Margaret, of and in the reversion of the said premises. The declaration then averred, that during the continuance of the said term, and after the 31st of March, AD 1819, to wit, on the 1st day of April in that year, the then churchwardens and overseers of the poor of the said parish of Hungerford entered upon the said demised premises, and became possessed thereof for the use of the said parish, and then accepted the same for and on behalf of the said parish, upon the terms aforesaid, and the residue of the said term then vested in the said churchwardens and overseers, and their successors, for and on behalf of the parish, according to the statute in such case made and provided, and that the said churchwardens and overseers, and their successors, the churchwardens and overseers of the poor of the said parish for the time being, from the said 1st day of April till the premises became out of repair, as thereinafter mentioned, held and enjoyed the said premises for and on behalf of the said parish, as such tenants as aforesaid, and subject to the terms as aforesaid.
Breach - that the said churchwardens and overseers, and their successors, the churchwardens and overseers for the time being, not regarding the said promise of the said Charles Dalbiac, &c., nor their duty in that behalf, did not keep the premises in good and sufficient repair, according to the terms of the said demise, or their duty in that behalf, but therein made default; and that the premises have, by reason thereof, been, and still were, in a bad and insufficient state of repair, and greatly dilapidated.
Defendants pleaded - first, that Edward Sheppard did not demise and let unto Charles Dalbiac, &c., the said premises in manner and form as in the declaration mentioned; secondly, that Charles Dalbiac, &c. did not enter upon and become possessed of the premises in manner and form as in the declaration mentioned ; thirdly, that the said Charles Dalbiac, &c. did not promise as in the declaration alleged; fourthly, that the then churchwardens and overseers in the declaration mentioned, did not accept the premises on behalf of the parish of Hungerford for the residue and remainder of the term, subject to the terms aforesaid, as in the declaration alleged; fifthly, that the said churchwardens and overseers of the poor of the parish of Hungerford, and their successors, did not, nor did either of them, for and on behalf of the said parish, hold or enjoy the premises upon the terms as in the declaration alleged; sixthly, that the premises have not been, and were not in a bad and insufficient state of repair.
And on these pleas issue was joined. The cause was tried at the Summer Assizes for the county of Wilts in 1837, before Mr. Justice Patteson, when a verdict was taken for the plaintiffs for 100/-, subject to the opinion of the Court on the following CASE.
Edward Sheppard was seised in fee of a house and premises, and in the year 1782 entered into an agreement respecting the said house and premises with Charles Dalbiac and others, which agreement was in writing, and duly stamped with a demise stamp, and is as follows:
"Be it remembered, that it was agreed on the 25th day of February in the year of our Lord 1782, by and between Edward Sheppard of the one part, and the before-mentioned Committee of the other part, as follows:
"First, the said Edward Sheppard doth hereby agree to demise, and let unto the said committee, in trust for the inhabitants at large within the parish of Hungerford, in the counties of Berks and Wilts, and the said committee do hereby agree to accept and take of the said Edward Sheppard, all that messuage or tenement, with the stables, outhouses, buildings, gardens, and appurtenances thereto belonging, called the Three Tuns Inn, situate, standing, and being in Charnham Street, in the parish of Hungerford and county of Wilts aforesaid, which said messuage and premises are intended to be converted into a poor-house for the use of the said parish of Hungerford ; to hold unto the said committee, in trust as aforesaid, from the 25th day of March next coming, for and during the term of ninety nine years, at and under the neat and clear yearly rent of 27l., payable half-yearly by equal portions: and the said committee do hereby agree to pay the said rent accordingly, and also to pay and discharge all assessments and taxes whatsoever, with all quit-rents, &c., for or in respect of the said premises, and also to keep the premises in good and sufficient repair during the term. And the parties do agree, that a lease and counterpart of the premises shall be prepared and executed on or before the 1st day of January next ensuing, with covenants and agreements, pursuant to this present contract, and such other general clauses as are usually contained in leases. Provided, that in case the said committee, or the major part of them, or their successors, shall think it more eligible to purchase in fee the said messuage and premises for the use of the said parish of Hungerford at the price of 420l., that then he, the said Edward Sheppard, shall, accordingly, convey the same premises in such manner as the counsel or attorney of the said committee shall advise and require, the said Edward Sheppard defraying all the expenses of a fine, and clearing the title up to himself, if need be, and the committee contributing a moiety of the costs and charges of the purchase deeds. And, for the true performance of this agreement, the said parties do hereby oblige themselves to the payment of the sum of 500l. of lawful money to the other and others of them.
Dated the day and year first before written. " Edward Sheppard, Charles Dalbiac,"&c.
No lease was ever executed. Edward Sheppard died in the year 1800, and the house and premises descended to his daughter Margaret, one of the plaintiffs, as his heiress-at-law. In 1801, Charles Alderman married the said Margaret.
The premises in question were, from the date of the above agreement, used as a poor-house of the parish of Hungerford. The churchwardens and overseers for the time being for the parish of Hungerford, performed all the repairs thereof, and paid 27l. per annum for rent of the premises to Edward Sheppard, and to the plaintiffs, from the 25th of March 1782, until the 24th of June 1835; and all rent which subsequently accrued due, was paid by the officers or guardians of the Hungerford Union, formed under the provisions of the Poor Law Amendment Act.
On the 28th of September 1835, a notice, of which the following is a copy, was served upon the overseers of the parish of Hungerford for the time being:
" Gentlemen, I hereby give you notice to quit on or before Lady-day next, the house, garden, and premises, you hold of me at Hungerford, at the yearly rent of 27l. per annum. Dated 28th day of September 1835.
" Your obedient servant,
" Charles Alderman, " Landlord of the said house and premises."
" To the Overseers of the Poor of Hungerford, Mr. Salisbury, Mr. Longford, Mr. Little, and Mr. Mundy."
The guardians of the Hungerford union, by direction of the Poor Law Commissioners, took possession of the premises, before the end of the year 1835, and continued in possession thereof until the 24th of June 1836, when, in consequence of the above notice to quit, they delivered up a portion of the premises to the plaintiff, and agreed with him to rent the remainder, on a lease, for a board-room, and they have kept possession thereof ever since.
The last receipt for rent received of the overseers was as follows:"
" Received the 4th of November 1835, of the overseers of Hungerford parish, 6l.15s. for a quarter's rent of the poor-house at Hungerford, due the 24th of June last.
" Charles Alderman."
The subsequent rent was paid by the guardians of the Hungerford Union to the plaintiff, and the receipts were given"
" Received of the guardians of the Hungerford Union."
On the 22nd day of February 1836, a notice, of which the following is a copy, was served upon the visitor and guardians of the poor of Hungerford, the parish being then managed under Gilbert's Act.
"Gentlemen -I hereby give you notice, that I shall require you to pay for all dilapidations which have been suffered to accrue in and to the workhouse, buildings, and premises at Hungerford, in the county of Wilts, which you, prior to the commencement of the Poor Law Union, rented of me as yearly tenants, or otherwise howsoever; and I hereby give you further notice, that I shall require you to make satisfaction to me for all waste committed by you upon the said premises during your tenancy thereof. Dated this 20th day of February 1836.
" Charles Alderman.
" To the Visitor and Guardians of the Poor of the parish of Hungerford."
The defendants were the churchwardens and overseers of the poor of the parish of Hungerford at the time the action was brought. Some of them had before served those offices, but were not all in office together during any part of the time when the parish were in possession, nor at the time of the guardians of the Hungerford Union taking possession as before mentioned, nor at or upon the 24th of June 1830.
The plaintiff's title was admitted, and the premises were admitted to be in a dilapidated state, and not in good and sufficient repair.
The question for the opinion of the Court was, whether, under the above circumstances, the plaintiffs were entitled to recover upon either, and which, of the issues. If the Court should be of opinion that they were, then the verdict was to stand accordingly; if not, then a verdict to be entered for the defendants upon the several issues accordingly.
Erle, for the plaintiffs. -"The first question will be, whether the instrument set out in the case operated as a demise or an agreement only; and, if the former, whether for the precise term mentioned, or from year to year, subject to the stipulations contained in the agreement. The language of the instruments imports an intention to create an immediate interest in the premises; it is, in fact, a letting and taking at the time. None of the provisions contradict, or are inconsistent with such an intention. It has been often decided, that a stipulation for a future lease does not prevent the operation of the instrument as a demise. It merely gives to either party the option of procuring a further security for the performance of the engagements already entered into. Nor is the case varied by the circumstance that the terms of the future lease are not specified. For this, Doe d. Walker v. Groves (1) and Doe d. Pearson v. Ries(2) are authorities. He also cited Harrington v. Wise(8), Goodtitle d. Eastwicke v. Way (4), Doe d. Jackson v. Ashburner (5), Barry v. Nugent (6), Tempest v. Rawling(7).
[Alderson, B. - "You do not advert to Morgan d. Dowding v. Bissell(8), where Mansfield, C.J. says, that the question, "what are the usual covenants, is an endless source of litigation."]
In any event, the plaintiff is entitled to recover, for the instrument operated, at the least, as a demise from year to year, which is properly described in the declaration as a demise for a
term then unexpired.
[Parke, B. - "If so, was it not determined by the notice to quit? Had you merely alleged in your declaration, that the term was unexpired at the time of the breaches, that would have been enough for the purpose of the action; but you assert its continuance at the time of
[Lord Abinger.C.B. - "Suppose the first issue should be found in your favour, on the ground, that although not a demise for ninety-nine years, this was a demise from year to year, and might be described in pleading as a demise for a term that is still unexpired, how can the reversioner of such a term have the benefit of this contract ? The parties to a parol demise are bound by their express contract, which is the consideration for their mutual engagements. But is there any obligation cast upon their assignees?]
[Parke, B. - "Have you any authority that a reversioner or assignee is bound by a parol demise, for anything beyond that which is waste at common law? It may not, however, be necessary for us to consider this point, as we are only to determine the issues.]
Then, secondly, it will be attempted on the other side to call in question the decision in Doe d. Jackson v. Hiley (9); but there is no pretext for so doing. It has been recognized by subsequent cases -" Doe d. Higgs v. Terry (10), Doe d. Hobbs v. Cockell (11); vide also Phillips v. Pearce (12), Johnson v. the Churchwardens of St. Peter's, Hereford(\3). The premises were held strictly for the good of the parish, and the parish officers are liable as a corporation. Barstow, contra. -"The declaration does not proceed on the limited liability of a tenant from year to year, and the plea puts in issue the demise for the term stated in the declaration ; the first question, therefore, is, whether there is a demise for that term. No decision hitherto warrants the construction that this instrument so operated. It has been always considered a necessary ingredient, that the relation of landlord and tenant should be intended at all events, and without any condition whatever. Now, here, it is by no means clear that such a relation was contemplated. The parties may have looked forward to a purchase, a proviso for which is introduced.
[Parke, B. - "The exercise of this power is not restricted to the period prior to the execution of a lease : it is given to the committee or their successors, - a phrase which evidently points to something remote.]
[Lord Abinger, C.B. - "In what relation do you contend that they stand until the purchase ? Are they not to pay rent under the contract?] There are other circumstances independently of this, which militate against holding this to have been a demise. The uncertainty as to the terms of the future lease is of this nature. Doe v. Bies is no authority for the plaintiff, because the contract there was, that the covenants should follow those of a former lease. The only case in which a present demise has been construed to arise out of an instrument containing a provision for a future lease, with " usual" covenants, is Doe v. Groves; but in that case there was a stipulation, that the instrument should be binding till the lease was executed. Further, the subsequent acts of the parties may be taken into consideration, as in Wilkinson v. Hall (14).
[Lord Abinger, C.B. - "It cannot be said that the legal import of the instrument may be ascertained by the subsequent conduct of the parties. All that the Chief Justice meant, in the case cited, is, that the facts referred to by him, strengthened his legal view of the meaning of the instrument.]
Upon the other point, it is submitted, in the first place, that the principal question in Doe v. Hiley, was not precisely that which arises in the present case; but that, secondly, if the principle of the decision be held to include the present case, that decision proceeded on an erroneous view of the meaning of the 59 Geo. 8. c. 12. Throughout the whole of that case, it seems to be assumed, that, by force of the statute, parochial property vests in the churchwardens and overseers; whereas, the word " vest" does not occur in the statute, but the churchwardens, &c. are merely empowered to " accept, take, and hold," which implies, not an obligation, but an option. The same words are found in Gilbert's Act, 22 Geo. 3. c. 83. s. 21. But it is clear, that the legislature uses them in a different sense from the word " vest," which is employed in other statutes, e. g. to give them a property in parish securities, (54 Geo. 3. c. 170. s. 8,) and in moveables, (55 Geo. c. 137. s. 1). The same term is found in 5 & 6 Will. 4. c. 69. s. 8. Now, it is plain, from section 25 of 59 Geo. 3. c. 12, that the churchwardens and overseers were not contemplated as necessarily representing the parish in respect of all lands, &c., in which it might be interested, for the language used is in the disjunctive, and refers to land belonging to the parish, or to the churchwardens or overseers, or to either of them. Without terms expressive of something equivalent to a" vesting" of the property, it is contended, that it was optional with the parish officers to take it, and that they are not liable until it has been actually conveyed to them.
Erie, in reply. - "No case has been cited as an authority to defeat the operation of this instrument as a demise; and Doe v. Groves is conclusive upon the point, unless the proviso at the end of the instrument interferes with it; but as to that, nothing is more common in long leases than a power to purchase during the continuance of the lease. Moreover, whereever money is to be expended on the premises, the leaning of the Court always has been to treat the contract as a demise.
[Parke, B. - "Is there any case where it has been so considered, though the parties merely "agree to demise," and provide for a future lease?] That precise combination does not appear in any of the cases.
Lord Abinger, C.B. - "What has been urged by Mr. Barstow is very ingenious, but we are inclined to consider the question as to the effect of the statute, settled by Doe v. Hiley. We will, however, consider both points. Cur. adv. vult.
On a subsequent day - Lord Abinger, C.B. said, that as the intention of the parties was not to be controuled by the mere circumstance of a stipulation for a future lease, the question was, whether they intended a present demise, or only an agreement for one: and the Court were of opinion, that the instrument was to constitute a present demise; for, on a different supposition, the time of the half-yearly reservations of rent might fall after the end of the year's tenancy, to the prejudice of the landlord's remedy; and it was not to be supposed that such a result was contemplated; neither was there such uncertainty, with regard to the covenants, to be introduced in the lease when executed, as to shew that the parties postponed till then an arrangement as to such covenants, or considered that anything was left unsettled at the time of their agreement. With respect to the other point, the Court thought that the case was one within the statute, in conformity with the decision of the case in the Court of King's Bench.
Judgement for the plaintiff.
(1) 15 East, 244.
(2) 8 Bing. 178; s. c. 1 Law J. Rep. (n.s.) C.P. 73.
(3) Cro. Eliz.486; s.c . Nov, 57.
(4) 1 Term Rep. 735.
(5) 5 Term Rep. 163.
(6) 5 Term Rep. 165, n.
(7) 13 East, 18.
(8) 3 Taunt. 64.
(9) 10 B. & C. 885; s.c. 8 Law J. Rep. M.C. 105.
(10) 4 Ad. & EL 274; s.c. 5 Law J. Rep. (n.s.) K.B. 45.
(11) Ibid. 478.
(12) 5 B. & C. 433.
(13) 4 Ad. & EL 520; s. c. 5 Law J. Rep. (n.s.) K.B. 116.
(14) SBing. N.C.508,perTindal,C.J.; s.c.6 Law J. Rep. (N.s.) C.P. 91.
1836 Old Moore's Almenac: The "Green Dragon" in the "High House" was one of a dozen or so inns listed on the important Bath Road. It seems that when it re-opened as an inn, it was renamed The Green Dragon, rather than the Three Tuns.
1836-1840 Approximate date when the Green Dragon closed.
Residential and commercial (c1840-present):
1841 Census: James Morris (40), relieving officer, wife Ann, 1 son, 1 daughter.
1851 Census #70 William Martin (61), relieving officer. (Note: unsure at present)
1861 Census: William Rowland (37), solicitor, wife Harriet (29), 1 son, 4 daughters, 3 servants.
1871 Census #78: William Cottrell (27), civil engineer, wife Sarah (29), 1 daugher, 2 servants.
1881 Census: #77: William Cottrell (37), agricultural engineer, wife Sarah (38), 2 daughers, 2 servants.
1891 Kelly Dir: William Charles Cottrell, "The Firs", Charnham Street.
1891 Census: #74: Edward Hawkins (31), "Living on own means", wife Kate (29), 3 daughters, 1 governess, 1 nurse, 1 servant.
1895 Kelly Dir: William Charles Cottrell, "The Firs", Charnham Street.
1900 Barbara Hope: Col Willes moved here from Hungerford Park.
1901 Census: "The Firs". George Willes (60), Retired Army Officer (Col in yeomanry), wife Susan (54), 4 daughters and 2 servants.
1903 Kelly: "The Firs", Col George Shippen Willes, County Magistrate.
1906 Cosburn's Dir: Col G S Willes, (JP), the Firs.
1911 Census: #134: "The Firs": George Shippen Willes (70), wife Susan (64), 2 daughters, 2 servants, 11 rooms.
1916 Cosburn's Dir: Col G S Willes (JP), "The Firs".
1920 Kelly Dir: Col George Shippen Willes (JP), The Firs, Charnham Street.
1939 Blacket's Dir: Vacant, "Charnham Lodge".
1940 Blacket's Dir: L F S Blake, "Charnham Lodge".
1950-c1985 Mary Bellis Antiques. Mary and her husband, an accountant, came here after the 2nd World War (Robert James).
1988 Mary Bellis Antiques (Edwin Wilson and David Gill). "Very large stock of highest quality 15th to 17th century oak furniture and works of art, shown in period room settings".
1990s Charnham Close Antiques.
2010 Beedham Antiques Ltd.