Earliest information: c.1470
Original estate: Hungerford
Common Rights? Yes (for "131 and 132"). Norman Hidden noted "2 Common Rights in 1847". (Frontage 85ft inc passage; each [divided in 1969] 2 horses and 4 cows)
Date of current building: Early 18th century
Listed: Grade II
Note: The numbering of this property has changed over the years, sometimes 131 and 131a High Street, sometimes 131-132 High Street. It has variously been known as Bridge House, Bridge Villa, The Bridge and Bridge Gardens. In Jan 2018 it was restored to Bridge House, 131 High Street.
Tuckhyll -> Harrold -> Maye -> Sutton -> Withers (James, weaver) -> Sutton -> Carpenter -> Treherne -> Tubb -> Pearce -> Riley -> Matthews -> Astley -> Troup / Hope -> Pihlens
Description of property:
From Listed Building records: House. Early 18th century with 19th century additions. Tiled roof, red brick front, sides painted render gables and grey brick with red dressings, moulded timber eaves cornice, moulded brick band at first floor and rubbed brick flat arches. Two storeys and garret. Two 18th century glazing bar sashes with exposed frames on each side of central door on both floors, early 19th century brick bows each with two glazing bar sashes and two storeys high, flank the main block. First floor door reached by Pedestrian Bridge (q.v. also Grade II listed).
Dr Hope says the front of the house was built c1770, and deeds show the bow windows were built c1812.
Notes by HHA Buildings Group, 19 Feb 1984:
This medium sized detached two and a half storey town house is situated in the heart of Hungerford adjacent to the Kennet & Avon Canal. The main house is built of red-brick in Flemish bond with a plain tile gabled roof. It dates from circa 1770, although older buildings including a dairy and malthouse lie behind it to the east.
The cutting of the Kennet and Avon Canal in 1799 had a great influence on this property. Land on the north side of the property was purchased from the owners in order to allow the canal into the centre of the town. The old line of the High Street, which had passed close to the front of the house was diverted up over the new canal bridge.The the ornate wrought iron bridge carrying pedestrian access to the first floor was added soon after, and the attractive bay windows on the north and south frontages of the main house were added, perhaps c1812 according to Dr Hope.
The West front elevation features Georgian vertical sliding sash windows either side of a central wooden moulded portico with a rectangular fanlight above. The windows have gauged brick arches. The eaves are brick. There is a rough inscription "1815" on a brick to the left of the front door (relevance unclear!).
The chimneys are of brick, and include ridge and near ridge positions.
To the south lies a block formerly a pair of small cottages and stables, now converted to kitchen area and garage. The old pit for mending axels can be seen. Over the garage is an arched Neo-Gothic window added in 1974 replacing a hay loft door. The original archway is clearly visible from both the garden and High Street sides.
To the north, adjacent to the canal, is the oldest part of the house, which incorporates part flint walling , a mullioned window with horizontal ?sliding leaded lights. There is a filled timber window frame visible from the tow-path. The interior of this block reveals an exposed timber with chamfered stops. The adjacent dairy lies between here and the malthouse.
The malthouse is probably older, and is dressed in Bath stone.
On the first storey, in the east wing, is an attractive bay window which was added in 1911. On the east front of the main house is a fine Regency marginal window. Other features seen from this east side are tile hanging, slate tiling, a hipped roof, and boarded eaves.
The staircase of the original house has been blocked, to allow the conversion of the house into two dwellings. It was a straight run on the right hand side of the main hall, rising to the first floor in a long straight flight with a bannister on the left. Two subsidiary flights of three steps each led to front and back rooms.
Dr. Hope comments that the old WC was like a throne on a platform — an enormous mahogany bench with a handle you pulled up, was fed from an open tank on the roof. Old Willis the builder used to say it was the first WC put into a house in Hungerford, and when the handle was pulled, down came leaves and all! The powder-alcoves in the front rooms, no doubt, housed the commodes before the WC was built.
All doors are panelled, either four or six panels with moulded architraves. Other interior features include ornate cornices and panelling in the ground floor reception room to the left of the front door.
There were two wells.
- Bridge House, 131-132 High Street, Feb 2007
- "Bridge Villa", c1895
- "Bridge Villa", decorated for Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee, 1897
- "Bridge Villa", c1900 [William Softley Parry]
- Dugdale and Barbara Astley (later Mrs Hope), c1900
- The canal bridge and "Bridge Villa", c1905
- The canal bridge and "Bridge Villa", with festive decorations, possibly for the Visit of King George V, October 1912. [S Hawkes, High Street, Hungerford]
- Ground floor plan, by John Brooks, 1984
c.1470 (NH) It is possible that the site of this house corresponds to that in the Hungerford rental of c.1470 which is attributed to John Tuckyll (who had been Constable of Hungerford in 1458) at a quit rent of 8d; ...
1552 (NH) ...and to John Harrold as two tenements in 1552.
<1584 (NH) Robert Maye and Thomas Withers, shoemaker (see 1584/5 below)
1573 (NH) The town survey shows no Sutton, but a Christopher Withers who holds one messuage, garden and backside in freehold, quit rent 4d, which has been let to John James. John James weaver died in 1582.
Sutton family, c1584-1613:
1584/5 (NH) In January 1584/5 John Sutton, husbandman, bequeathed in his will (D/S August 1585) to the use of his wife Agnes during her life and after her death to his youngest son Thomas, his "house, tenement and garden, backside and close" with all rights of common "which I did lately purchase of Robert Maye, cooper, and of one Thomas Withers shoemaker."
1591 (NH) The position of this house in the survey of 1573 corresponds exactly with that in 1591 of the freehold owned by Agnes Sutton, the widow of John Sutton (who died 1585) and his son Thomas. It is described as one toft and tenement on the East side of the High Street, The word 'toft' is used to describe a plot of land on which a building stood or had formerly stood, with rights of common attached to it.
As the quit rent was given in the surveys from 1573 onwards as 4d, whereas the site earlier had carried a quit rent of 8d, it seems clear that the original property may have been rebuilt or otherwise divided into two tenements by 1552.
1609 (NH) The town survey shows the property now owned by Thomas Sutton, his mother presumably having died, the other details of the tenement remaining unchanged.
1613 (NH) Thomas Sutton died in 1613 and after this the Sutton family seems to have disappeared from Hungerford.
?Carpenter family, 1613-1642:
1613-76 (NH) The lack of any town rent rolls between 1610 and 1676, combined with the interruptions during the Civil War period in other records, make it unclear what happened to this property after the death of Thomas Sutton in 1613. One possibility is that the property may be identified as (or part of) the land and premises owned by Thomas Carpenter, dyer.
Carpenter died in February 1625/6. Although a copy of his will seems to have been lost, an inventory was taken of his goods (Wilts R.O, Dean of Sarum) and administration was granted to his widow Alice "during the minority of Seth Scott, the nominated executor".
Seth Scott, 1642-1672:
1642 (NH) Sixteen years later, in 1642, the Hocktide Court Book records (in Latin) that "to this court came Seth Scott and claimed as son and heir one messuage with meadow and purtenances in Hungerford, lately in the tenure of Richard Treherne, devised to him by Thomas Carpenter, and showed the will in the handwriting of Thomas Carpenter dated 29 July 1625 (1 Chas I), and (Scott) paid his relief" i.e. his admission fee on acceptance.
- (It is possible that the property had been held by John Goldsmith who died in 1641 and that Seth Scott's claim was consequent upon his being Goldsmith's 'son and heir',).
- Little is known concerning Seth Scott, although he remains freeholder of the property in Hocktide court records from 1643 to 1672, when his property "one messuage and five tenements (land holdings?) was transferred to Abiam Tubb.
Tubb family, 1672-c1789:
1672 (NH) Abiam Tubb I, cutler, acquired the property. There were many Tubbs in neighbouring parishes. In 1664 a son "Biam" (presumably an abbreviated form of Abiam) was born, "the son of Biam" (Abiam I) and in 1667/8 "Will", another son of "Biam". These were the earliest records of the name in Hungerford, but it remained a prominent local family in the town for the next three hundred years and more.The parish register has no record of Abiam Tubb's birth or his marriage. The first reference to Abiam Tubb in local records appears in January 1661/2 when he stood surety in a bond for widow Ann Garney alias Cooke, in which he is described as "cutler".
The name Abiam is not, as might at first sight be thought, a poorly scripted form of Abraham. It is repeated in the Tubb family in later generations - Abiam Tubb II born 1664 and Abiam Tubb III born 1702.
1676 (NH) (QR) Abiam Tubb is listed as liable for a quit rent of 4d for a house in a position in the list which corresponds to that held by Sutton in 1619 (probably 132/131 HS).
1680 (NH) In the 1680 Hocktide Court list of freeholders there is no entry for Abiam Tubb, only for "(--) Tubb widow".
1680 (NH) Another list of commoners in 1680 includes the name John Tubb.
1690 (NH) Abiam Tubb appears again as freesuitor, and in 1700 John Tubb. At some time early amid the jumble of entries, Abiam Tubb I died, but no record of his death or burial occurs in the parish register.
This first Abiam Tubb and his widow were succeeded by John Tubb; of whose relationship to Abiam Tubb I we are not sure. In the Constable's Accounts he too is described as "cutler", and from at least 1700 (I have not inspected the Accounts earlier than this date) until at least 1736 he is the officially appointed Keeper of the town clock, for which he received a small honorarium. This post was no sinecure; it involved cleaning and repairing, and general maintenance. We do not know the date of John Tubb's birth, but by 1730 he is described in the accounts as "old Tubb".
What was the relationship of John to Abiam I? An older son who was born and baptised in another parish? A younger brother? We do not know. Why did the property descend to John and not to "Biam"? What happened to Biam? We do not know this either. The non-appearance of some of the Tubb family in records where we might expect to find them creates an image of the family at this date as close bound, somewhat secretive, perhaps separated from the main stream of other burgesses by religion, or politics, or self-interest.
Whatever the explanation, John Tubb appears in all the Court rolls between 1682 and 1737 as holder of the original 'Tubb' property. Between 1685 and 1692 John Tubb was responsible for the town clock.
1724-48 Abiam (single), John (single), William (married) Tubb, master cutlers.
1738 (NH) In 1738 John's son William Tubb, paid his "relief" at the Hocktide Court to be entered as freesuitor in place of his father John. The parish register has no burial registered for him, at that date, but records a John Tubb buried 1746/7.
1738/9 (NH) William Tubb senior died in 1738/9 and disappears from the list of freesuitors to be replaced by his son Abiam Tubb III. Little is known of the early life of Abiam Tubb III. The earliest references are found in the Constable's Accounts for 1735/6 and 1736/7 when his name is entered for "work done in Mill Mead". Accounts post 1736 have not been searched.
1743 (DD) John & Abiam Tubb mortgaged to Moses Burch (ironmonger).
1753-61 (QR) Abiam Tubb for his house, q.r. 4d. He is also recorded as a tenant of the manor of Hopgrass, presumably arising from this ownership of property in Charnham Street. He also owned 97-98 High Street, and was recorded as "cutler, mealman and moneylender".
1754 (NH) Abiam Tubb III was witness to the will of the ill-fated William Cheyney who was murdered in 1754.
1763 (NH) Abiam Tubb III was a defendant in a court case involving Hungerford mill; he is described as a "mealman".
1763 (NH) Abiam Tubb III was overseer of the will of Robert Rosier, and in 1764 was overseer of the will of ?..? for Hobbs.
1768 (NH) Abiam Tubb III appears on the Berkshire Poll Book as freeholder with messuage and land, occupied by himself.
c.1770 (HH) New west frontage added c.1770. Oldest part of house is north side (by the later canal towpath) where lead mullioned windows, flint and brick wall. As well as house, there was a dairy, malthouse (later clad in Bath stone, brought by canal) and part of north boundary wall along the towpath. Also coach house and stables.
1774-90 (QR) Abiam Tubb [amended to] John Pearce, for house, q.r. 4d.
1777 (NH) Abiam Tubb III died in 1777, and in his will (dated 1777) he bequeathed the house where he lived (i.e. 132/131 HS) to his nephew John Tubb, the son of Abiam Tubb III's brother William. He was also left another house in Hungerford in which William Alexander lived, and 3 acres and forty poles of land lying by Hagges paths.
- "I give and bequeath to my Kinsman John Tubb, the son of my brother William Tubb and Sarah Tubb, all that tenement I live in with the appertanences thereto belonging with 4 cow commons on the Port Down, and likewise the tenement that William Alexander lives in I give it and the appertenances thereto belonging to give it to my Kinsman John Tubb & to his lawful living issue lawfully begotten" [ with a reversionary right to Thomas Tubb].
1781 (CL) John Tubb.
1784 (NH) John Tubb mortgaged 132/1HS to John Pierce (?Pearce).
1785 (QR) John Tubb.
c1792 (NH) John Tubb died without issue. The property passed by reversionary right to Thomas Tubb. On his deathbed Thomas entrusted John Fox to take care of his widow Mary (nee Kent) in respect of her dower arising from the rents of his property (I do not know whence I obtained this information, alas!).
John Pearce, c1789-1812:
1792 (UD) Pearce, gent.
1795-04 (QR) John Pearce for his house "late Abiam Tubb's", q.r. 4d.
1798 Kennet & Avon Canal cut through. This resulted in great changes to this part of the High Street,
- Several houses were demolished to make way for the canal and canal basin: (from 1796 CL) the houses pulled down were those of G.Dubber, Mrs. Lewington, Mrs. Patty Lewington, William Marchant, .. Spearman, and H. Head. Rights sold by Canal Co. to John Willes, Esq.
- The brick road bridge was built to take High Street over canal. Prior to the bridge being built, the High Street ran in front of 130 High Street, 131 High Street, 15 Bridge Street etc. This resulted in the road to the north of the canal starting to be called "Bridge Street".
c1800 Shortly after the canal was built, the Regency wrought iron tracery porch and bridge were added.
1805-17 (QR) John Pearce (amended to George Ryley) for his house late Abiam Tubb's, q.r. 4d.
1810 Kennet & Avon Canal fully open. Bath stone used to dress malthouse, and to make wall along northern boundary. Slate was brought along the canal for 19th century roof extensions.
George Ryley, 1812-1826:
1812 (DD) John Pearce sold to George Ryley (solicitor, according to Humphrey Hope).
1812 (HH) Addition of the bay windows to north and south fronts (said to have been paid for by the Canal Company?).
1815 Dated brick on left of front door with 1815 scratched on it
1818-23 (QR) George Ryley for his house late Abiam Tubb's, q.r. 4d.
1819 (EA) George Ryley.
John Matthews, solicitor, 1826-1847:
1826 (DD) George Ryley sold to John Matthews (solicitor)
1832 (QR) George Ryley and John Matthews for house "late Abiam Tubbs", q.r. 4d.
1836 (QR) John Matthews for house "late George Ryley's", q.r. 4d.
1841 (CS) Thomas Hulbert (25) -attorney.
1844 (PD) Matthew & Hulbert - attorney's, High Street.
Henry Edward Astley occupier, 1847-1864:
1845 Henry Edward Astley was much involved in the disputes surrounding the establishment of the Gas Company in Hungerford.
In 1846-47, Messrs Toms & Matthews, the owners of the large Manor Brewery further up the High Street at Manor House became bankrupt. Lambourn Brewery was auctioned on 21 May 1847 (see Berkshire Chronicle, Sat 15 May 1847). Their much larger business and properties in Hungerford were also advertised for sale by auction in the Berkshire Chronicle, Sat 15 May 1847): "Hungerford, Hinton and Lambourn, Berks and Wilts. Valuable Freehold & Leasehold Messuages or Dwelling Houses, Land & premises. Mr Barnes has received instructions from the Assignees of Messrs Toms and Matthews Bankrupts, to Offer for Public Competition at the Three Swans Inn, Hungerford, on Tuesday the 15th of June next, at Two for Three o'clock in the Afternoon, (subject to such Conditions as shall be then produced), the following very desirable Freehold and Leasehold Property, in Lots:-"
Lot 5 appears to be 131 High Street, and is described thus: "A very convenient Messuage or Dwelling House, situate on the East side of High-street, Hungerford aforesaid, containing breakfast and sitting room facing the garden, dining room, and library, spacious entrance hall, butler's pantry, two kitchens, underground cellars, larders, and excellent offices on the ground floor, drawing room, and five good bed rooms, dressing room, and patent water closet on the first floor, and two commodious attics above; excellent coach house and harness room, 3 stall stable, and two loose boxes; spacious and highly productive Garden, with greenhouse and woodhouse, and a small Paddock containing 1a 37p adjoining.
Also a truly valuable Close of Meadow or Pasture Land, containing about 3a 0r 32p, lying immediately behind the above premises, and only divided by an occupation road.
The above Property is at present in the occupation of Mr H Astley, Solicitor, and may truly be said to be one of the most convenient houses in the town, and is peculiarly adapted for a private residence.
There are valuable Common rights also belonging to this Lot, and a Pew in Hungerford Church. The Fixtures to be taken at a valuation."
1847 (CL) Assignees in bankruptcy of John Matthews (owned) - H.E. Astley (occ) [Double Commoners Rights]
It appears that Henry Edward Astley bought the property at the auction.
1847 Norman Hidden noted in his records that the property had "2 Common Rights in 1847".
1847 (PO) Henry Edward Astley, solicitor.
1847 (HH) Henry E. Astley (b. 1817, 8th child of Rev. Wolvey Astley, Rector of Quenington, Glos) came to Hungerford in 1847.
1847 Henry Edward Astley was Steward of the Town & Manor from 1847-1885.
1850 (Brian Sylvester) Henry Edward Astley was initiated into the Hope Freemasons' Lodge Newbury on 20 Sep 1850.
1851 (CS) Henry Astley (32), solicitor.
1853 Henry Edward Astley was commissioned into the Hungerford branch of Royal Berkshire Yeomanry as a cornet.
The Crimean War: For an interesting insight into the Crimea War, have a look at the attached pdf collection of letters from Harrington Astley Trevelyan to his aunt Eliza Latham, 3rd daughter of Rev Wolvey Astley, Rector of Quenington. The four letters, dated Sep, Oct, Nov and Dec 1854 are remarkable! [With thanks to Dr Humphrey Hope]
1861 (CL) Assig. of J. Matthews (own); H.E. Astley (occ)
1861 (Humphrey Hope) Henry Edward Astley, born c.1837, was commissioned in Hungerford branch of Royal Berkshire Yeomanry as a cornet. HH has the uniform and accoutriments.
1863 (Humphrey Hope) Henry Edward Astley, aged 46, married a widow Mrs Benjamin Keen (who already had two daughters of her own), of nearby Faringdon House, 128 High Street. Henry and his new wife had only one child, Henry d'Oyley Astley. b.1865. [One of Mrs Keen's daughters married John Cottrell, brother of George Cottrell of the ironworks in Eddington. He allegedly became alcoholic, was ruined financially, and drowned in Sydney Harbour. The other daughter married a very large brewer in Essex].
Henry Edward Astley, owner 1864-1886:
1864 (DD) John Matthews sold to Henry Edward Astley.
1864 (BD) Henry Edward Astley. - Town Clerk.
1881 (CS) Henry Edward Astley(64) - solicitor. "Bridge House".
1886 (HH) Henry Edward Astley died 19 Apr 1886, aged 69. Son (Henry d'Oyley Astley) aged 21yrs was not yet articled, so office run by Mr. Barnes, solicitor from Lambourn until he qualified.
- His obituary, NWN 22 Apr 1886 and
- NWN Funeral report, 29 Apr 1886. (both kindly sent by Brian Sylvester, Oct 2018).
Henry d'Oyley Wolvey Astley, owner 1886-1940:
1891 (CS) Henry d'Oyley Wolvey Astley - solicitor. "Bridge Villa".
1896 (CL) Henry d'Oyley Wolvey Astley (Owner & Occ)
1902 (T&M Register) Henry d'Oyley Wolvey Astley (owner
1903 (KD) -do- Town Clerk.
1911 Bay window added to first floor of east wing.
1914 (CL) Henry d'Oyley W. Astley
1920 (KD) -do- "Bridge Villa"
c.1932 (QR #11) Henry d'Oyley Wolvey Astley Esq. for "House formerly Tubbs then Geo Ryley then J Matthews late Henry Edward Astley", q.r. 4d.
1939 (Blacket's) 131: Henry d'Oyley Wolvey Astley. Lucas and Marshall, solicitors.
1939 (KD) -do- "The Bridge"
1940 (HH) H.d'O.W.A. died in August (Aged 75yrs).
- More on the solicitor's practice: Charles Lucas & Marshall continued the practice, later moving to 28 High Street, which had previously been Adnams corn & seeds.
- More on the Astley family: The Adnams were related to the Hopes: Henry d'Oyley Wolvey Astley married Catherine Richens. Her sister Susan Jane married John Adnams. Henry d'Oyley Wolvey Astley's son was Edward Dugdale Astley, b.1897, educated at Charterhouse, entered for Oriel College Oxford to read law, but WWI interupted studies - joined 1st Royal Berks Regiment, became Captain, killed in France June 1918, aged 21yrs.
Henry d'Oyley Wolvey Astley's daughter, Barbara Astley, married W.K.T. Hope, born and brought up in Wellingborough (father a dental surgeon, died 1910 in his 50's, his 2 sons not yet qualified to take over, studied at Middlesex Hospital. During WWI served RAMC cheifly in Egypt and Palestine. His younger brother was killed in RF Corps. 1919 his uncle, a dental surgeon in Wimpole St., recommended him to a practice in Newbury - WHT Hope bought a share of the practice in St. Johns Rd Newbury from Dr. Rooke, who practiced there for a few years before WWI. His children were Dr. Humphrey Hope, and Lady (Cordelia) Troup.
Various obituaries from Aug 1940 mention his great service to the town: 46 years as Town Clerk, local magistrate, Clerk of the Board of Guardians, Rural District Council, fireman, Freemason. See the obits, including NWN 8 Aug 1940 (kindly sent by Brian Sylvester, Oct 2018).
Requisitioned for workers of Vickers Armstrong, 1940-53:
1940-53 House requisitioned for workers of Vickers Armstrong, arms factory.
Undated (T&M Register) Executors of Henry d'Oyley Wolvey Astley (owners)
1947 (CL) 131: Void
1952 (CL) 131 Void
1955 Dr. Humphrey Dugdale Astley Hope & Mary Hope.
1956 (CL) 132: Humphrey Dugdale Astley Hope
1963 (CL) 132: Humphrey Dugdale Astley Hope
<1968 (T&M Register) Humphrey Dugdale Astley Hope (owner)
1968 (T&M Register) Barnara Katherine Hope, Cordelia Mary Troup, Humphrey Dugdale Astley Hope (owners);
Property loosely split into two, c1968:
The main house was re-arranged internally to enable the Troups and the Hopes to each have part of the house, using some temporary doors and partitions in place at times. (Humphrey Hope and Cordelia Troup were brother and sister).
131 High Street:
1968 (CL) 132: Humphrey Dugdale Astley Hope
1970 (CL) 132: Humphrey Dugdale Astley Hope
1974 Hayloft door of stable block replaced by Neo-gothic window.
1976 (CL) 132: Humphrey Dugdale Astley Hope
1983 (CL) 131/2: Humphrey Dugdale Astley Hope
1984 (CL) 131/2: Humphrey Dugdale Astley Hope
1985 (CL) 131/2: Humphrey Dugdale Astley Hope
2000 (CL) Humphrey Dugdale Astley Hope
2005 (CL) 131: Humphrey Dugdale Astley Hope
2008 (CL) Dr Humphrey Hope
2011 (CL) 131: Humphrey Dugdale Astley Hope
28 Dec 2015 Dr Humphrey Hope died. See "Absolute stalwart of the town", NWN 7 Jan 2016.
132 High Street:
1970 (CL) 132a: John Anthony Rose Troup
1976 (CL) 132a: John Anthony Rose Troup
1983 (CL) 132a: John Anthony Rose Troup
1984 (CL) 132a: John Anthony Rose Troup
1985 (CL) 132a: John Anthony Rose Troup
2000 (CL) John Anthony Rose Troup
2005 (CL) 131a: John Anthony Rose Troup
2008 (CL) Vice Admiral Sir Anthony and Lady Troup
2008 Sir Anthony Troup died 8th July 2008
2009 Lady Troup died June 2009.
2011 (CL) 131a: Peter Morgan
Property restored to single dwelling, 2017:
David & Alex Pihlens, owners, 2017-present:
2017 (March): Sold by the Hope and Troup family to Dr David and Mrs Alex Pihlens, who restored to single dwelling.
Jan 2018: Naming and numbering reverted to Bridge House, 131 High Street.
Key to sources:
BD = Billing's Directory
KD = Kelly's Directory
CL = Commoners' List
HH = Dr. Humphrey Hope
NH = Norman Hidden
QR = Quit Rent Roll
CS = Census