You are in [Places] [Eddington] [Hardings and Saw Mill site]

On the south side of the junction of the A4 Bath Road with Folly Hill is now (2013) the site of Garden Art+, vendors of antique and reproduction garden ornaments and architectural artifacts.

The history of this large piece of land is not yet fully researched, and the following summary does need further clarification.

Part of Cottrell's Iron Works:

Levi Cottrell opened his iron works on premises on the north side of the Bath Road in c1869. See Cottrell's Iron Works.

It seems that Cottrell's made us of some buildings and adjacent land on the south side of the road, as the photograph of the Eddington territorials in 1908 shows a Cottrell's signe on the buildings in the background.

Hardings Steam Traction:

Cottrell's Iron Works closed in 1911; their main site became a motor business called Eddington garage. It seems that the sheds on the south side of the Bath Road were taken over (?rented) by Harding's Steam Traction Company, and it thought that they operated here until the end of the First World War, closing c1918.

Barr's Timber Yard and Saw Mills:

Norman Barr has kindly helped (Aug 2013) with information on this phase. He tells me that the freehold was owned by the Baker family of Buckelbury. In c1918, Norman's grand-father Henry Barr bought a parcel of trees a few miles south of Hungerford, and had the idea of setting up a saw mill to handle them. He obtained a lease on this land, and began the saw mill that would operate there for the next 70 years or more.

Two of Henry's sons, Henry William Barr (Norman's father) and Cyril Percy Barr joined the business, which became known as Barr & Sons.

In the early days, timber was transported by horses and carts, but after some years they obtained a steam lorry (?a Fowler).

Norman remembers that the original crane was replaced by the one still standing in he 1950s. The "new" crane (with a jib standing over 50' high) had been made by Anderson Grice Ltd of Glasgow. Originally it was entirely a manual crane, and for very heavy timbers, four men were needed on the jib winch, with another to turn the turntable. It was later converted to electricity, as can be seen from the modern photograph of the winch platform.

In c1934 they bought a Foden "tractor", with a five cylinder engine. (Norman understands that this particular lorry has been fully restored, including the Barr & Sons sign writing).

The very large horizontal saw was made by Guilliet, of Auxerre in France. The old steam engine was removed from the now unwanted (?Fowler) steam lorry and converted to drive the saw. Much later, it was further converted to electricity.

The Barr & Sons timber yard continued to operate until 1989 when the costs of Health and Safety legislation and the lack of profitability of small timber yards forced its closure. (With thanks to Norman Barr).

Garden Art and Garden Art+:

The site is now used for the vendors of antique and reproduction garden ornaments and architectural artifacts, owned by Travers Nettleton.

There are plans (May 2013) for part of the site to be used for an "Artisan's Collective", with 22 units let to a range of craft based services.

May 2017: Barr's Yard Artisan Collective opened, with seven purpose built units currently used by JAX Jeans, Honesty Coffee Shop, Grape Smith, Garden Art Plus, Wendy Lewis Flowers, Cricket Fine Art, and The Generous Gardener.

Photo Gallery:

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- Garden Art+, Aug 2013

- The Eddington Territorials, with Cottrell's Enginerering workshops in the background, 1908.

- An early Hardings Steam Wagon

- An early Hardings Steam Wagon

- A Hardings Steam Wagon in Everlands Road

- The Anderson-Grice crane, standing amongst sale items in Garden Art+,

- The Anderson-Grice crane, standing in Garden Art+, Aug 2013

See also:

- Cottrel's Iron Works

- "Artisan's Collective for Barr's Site?", NWN 23 May 2013.

- "Big plans for former sawmill", NWN 23 Jul 2013

- "Barr's yard Artisans' Collective", The Advisor, 14 Nov 2014

- "Opening party the best Barrs none", NWN 11 May 2017.