Lovelocks is a large house just off the old Turnpike road north of Hungerford Newtown leading to Shefford Woodlands and Wantage. When the M4 motorway was built, this section of road was abandoned in favour of the new stretch leading to the M4/A338 intersection.
The information in this article is largely from research carried out by John Lovelock of Slough in 2002, along with Pat Gray (using information from John Brown and Mr J Franklin). The article also brings together information from other parts of the Virtual Museum.
The 18th century:
The Lovelock family had lived in Newtown since at least the 18th century. Some of the family lived in Avington.
In 2002 the then owner Major Hanbury contacted John Lovelock and explained that parts of the Lovelocks House are probably several hundred years old.
There are three Sun Fire Insurance Policy held by the Lovelocks in the late1700s:
Vol. 261/251 Policy No. 389954 15 October 1777: Edward LOVELOCK of Newtown in the parish of H. Berks yeoman, on his household goods in his house only, at Avington Farm Berks, brick and tiled: £100.
Utensils, stock in Nags Stable and barn adjoining, brick and tiled: £150.
In the Barley barn having 2 middies and calves pens adjoining: £160.
In the oat barn near: £80.
In the carthouse stable near. Brick and tiled: £90.
In the wheat rickyard: £250.
In the hay rickyard: £100.
In a carthouse and stable adjoining near: £20.
In Radley Bottom Barn distant: £40
Ricks and stacks near: £10.
There were further policies from 1781:
Vol. 290/317 Policy No. 440908 22 March 1781: Francis LOVELOCK of Avington yeoman [long list of house. barns, stock etc] in Avington.
House at Newtown parish of H. in the tenure of John DIBLEY gent. Brick and tiled: £200.
Vol. 290/318 Policy No. 440909 22 March 1781: Edward LOVELOCK of Newtown in the parish of H. yeoman, on his now dwelling house, granary. well-house, shop and woodhouse all adjoining, brick and tiled: £200.
Household goods. Wearing apparel.
[long list of outbuildings and yards]
House only, distant, in the tenure of John CLEMENTS, shoemaker:£10.
3 tenements near, in the tenure of William PURTON, Thomas LOW and William MIDDLETON £10 each = £30.
Tenement only, near, in the tenure of William Jacob in Shefford parish: £10.
Tenement in said parish in the tenure of John Cook, brick and tiled: £20.
Shorts: double barn, skeelings and stable adjoining in parish of Kintbury, in his own tenure: £80.
Tenement near, in the tenure of William Edwards: £10.
Utensils and stock in Bowling Green Barn in the parish of Avington: £30.
Utensils and stock at Radley Farm, Avington [and in other buildings]
In Gray's Barn [list]
Utensils and stock in dwelling house near, brick and tiled.
All thatched except as above.
Total £ 1600.
These suggest that Francis and Edward Lovelock were significant property and landowners, and that they insured a dwelling house in Hungerford Newtown insured for £200.
The land in the 19th century:
John Lovelock looked at the Hungerford Inclosure Award 1820. The map indicates that Francis Lovelock owned the land where Lovelocks House now stands.
Francis had acquired the land from John Pearce in February 1805. The enclosed land extended eastwards to Norbin's Wood and I believe that the northern boundary was the Parish Boundary with West Shefford. Land to the north was owned by the Marquis of Downshire (Devonshire?). Francis Lovelock is also mentioned as an allottee in the Lambourn inclosure award of 1806 then known as the township of Chipping Lamborne. He owned land near Stanconbe Down.
No building is shown but Francis also owned unenclosed land to the south upon which a building is marked roughly where Lovelocks Cottage stands today. Francis also owned land on the west side of the Hungerford to Wantage Turnpike Road and two buildings are shown but these do not appear on later maps.
There is a carved wooden mantelpiece in the Drawing Room dedicated to Francis Lovelock 1751-1834. John Lovelock believes that there is a connection with Francis Lovelock Coxe on the Eddington Estate.
Major Hanbury added that there is a family crest above the Stable Block but he does not know whether it is connected with the Lovelock's.
John Lovelock added: "I have been unable to find out whether or not Francis married and also have not found a record of his burial. It could be that he moved away from the Hungerford area after his father died but the dedication to him in the carved mantelpiece at Lovelock's House would indicate that he continued to live in the area and possibly at Newtown Lodge.
I also have a hunch that one of the Lovelock ladies (daughter of Francis or Edward Junior) married one of the Coxe family. We know that the Coxe's lived at Newtown Lodge early 19th Century and Francis Lovelock Coxe JP was at Eddington House. His middle name was probably his mothers' maiden name."
(The 1830 Pigot Directory lists Francis Lovelock, esq, of Evington (presumably a misprint for Avington). He died in 1834.)
Francis's father had died in 1780 and his Will refers to Freehold and Leesehold property in Hungerford Newtown, Chipping Lambourn, Hidden, West Shefford and Avington.
There is also a Will for Francis's elder sister Elizabeth, dated 1785, which states she lives in Avington.
Newtown Lodge built c1820-1830:
It would appear therefore that the present Lovelocks House was built sometime between 1820 and 1841 possibly by Francis who was Eliza's uncle.
Rev Charles Coxe is listed in Pigot's 1830 Directory at Hungerford Newtown and is also listed in the Electoral Register of 1832 voting at East Shefford. In order to vote Charles had to own property in the area so the Poll Book may indicate where this property was.
In the 1841 Census Newtown Lodge is recorded and the residents were Charles Coxe (60), Clergyman, Eliza Coxe (55), Susan Coxe (25), Caroline Coxe (20) and Francis Coxe (20), along with four servants and one agricultural labourer. Eliza died in August 1866 age 83 and is buried in Avington. Susan Elizabeth died in February 1903 age 91.
Charles Coxe died in February 1846 age 66. It was probably at this stage that his son James Thring moved to Newtown Lodge and remained in the house until his death circa 1900 (or was it earlier, c1860?).
The Burmester family, c1860-c1947:
In 1910, Captain Burmester, a retired army officer, acquired Shefford Woodlands Wesleyan Methodist Chapel from trustees, with the aim of converting it for use by the Church of England. Stephen Waldron junior had given additional land, so it was surrounded by lawn. Captain Burmester poured money and love into the building, extending it by adding a north transept as a vestry, a south transept for a harmonium, as well as a porch on the north side. The new church was dedicated by the Bishop of Oxford on 28 Feb 1911. Captain Burmester was, according to John Brown and Mr J Franklin in 2002) a very large gentleman who rode a bicycle.
He added much of the church furniture and also several beautiful stained glass windows. One of the windows shows Lovelocks House. His hobby was carpentry and as well as carving the pulpit, he carved the pews as memorials to the 11 officers and men lost in the 1914-18 war.
Mrs Burmester played the harmonium for services and trained the choir.
Follow this for a paper on Shefford Woodlands Church, by Dr Hugh Pihlens, 2018, which includes photographs and much more information.
Newtown Lodge becomes Lovelocks, c1900:
According to the Property Deeds the property was changed from Newtown Lodge to Lovelocks House in or around 1900. The Garden Cottage on the Estate is called Lovelocks Cottage.
Oliver Brown was a stable lad there around 1920 (see Audio Archives - Oliver Brown with Fred Bailey and Betty McCubbin, 1986).
During the Second World War Italian Prisoners of War were housed on the estate, where they received good treatment from the Bermeisters. Later on it was a Land Army hostel.
Owners in the 20th century and later:
Soon after the war it was occupied by the Trencham(?) family, the builders.
In 2002 Major & Mrs Hanbury lived in the house, with a family named Lima in the Cottage.
The 20th century:
I visited the Berkshire Record Office last Thursday and examined the transcripts of the Avington Parish Register. The Register confirms that Francis Lovelock was a Great Great Uncle of Captain Burmester who lived in Lovelocks House ( formerly Newtown Lodge) at the turn of the 20th Century.
The link is as follows:
On the 27th March 1780 Ann Lovelock ( sister of Francis ) married James Butler of Newbury. James and Ann had a daughter Eliza Ann who on the 8th August 1808 married Charles Batson Coxe of East Shefford ( later Rector of Avington and East Shefford ).
Eliza and Charles had at least seven children including Francis Lovelock ( later of Eddington House ), James Thring ( who lived in Newtown Lodge c 1848 - 1900 ) and their youngest daughter Caroline Mary.
A plaque in Shefford Woodlands ( formerly East Shefford ) Church notes that Caroline married Major General Arnold E Burmester. They had a son - Captain Arnold Charles who married Alicia Coxe.
It is still a mystery why Captain Burmester dedicated his carving in the Drawing Room at Lovelocks to his Great Great Uncle Francis Lovelock and renamed the house because Francis died 23 years before he was born.
My next line of enquiry is to establish where in Avington Parish Francis lived. 19th Century Directories only list two farms - Manor and Radley. I am hoping that Poll Books for the period have survived which will indicate where he lived and property he owned in the area.
Last Friday I visited the Centre for Oxfordshire Studies in Oxford Central Library and copied the 1901 Census entry for Newtown Lodge ( copy enclosed ). The property was unoccupied at the time of the Census. I also copied the entry for Eddington House which I thought you might like for your records.
Family History of Lovelocks:
The Lovelocks website added: "A Francis Lovelock, son of Edward and Anne, was baptized at Hungerford on 9 April 1751. Perhaps he is the man to whom the Drawing Room mantelpiece at Lovelocks House is dedicated.
We also have a mention of the Will of Edward Lovelock, dated 1780, that mentions property at Newtown. Clearly the house in question."
(Researched by Pat Gray from the Parish Registers 1870 -1953:
01.03.1873 Elija Lovelock married Matilda Liddiard
25.12.1877 William Lovelock married Flora Stagg
18.05.1904 Mary Ann Lovelock buried. Age 51 years
12.04.1912 William Lovelock buried. Age 55 years
05.08.1915 Joe Lovelock buried. Age 76 years
20.12.1915 Gwendoline Lovelock baptism
27.01.1920 Andrew Philip Lovelock buried. Age 16 months
24.04.1920 Sydney George Lovelock married Rachall E Cummins
03.05.1920 William Walter Lovelock buried Age 9 years
21.03.1929 Flora Lovelock buried. Age 77 years
21.03.1930 Edgar Henry Lovelock buried. Age 33 years
05.05.1934 Raymond William Lovelock married Frances Emily Hopkins
08.09.1934 Elijah Lovelock buried Age 86 years
25.10.1934 Janet Lovelock baptism
05.10.1935 Ronald William Lovelock baptism
06.02.1937 Matilda Lovelock buried. 84 years
04.12.1953 Denise Julie Lovelock baptism
See Other Lovelock Wills, including:
- John Lovelock of Warminster, Wiltshire, Blacksmith, 1658
- Edward Lovelock of Woolston, Berkshire, Yeoman, 1659
- Edward Lovelock of Newtown, Berkshire, Gentleman, 1780
- Elizabeth Lovelock of Avington, spinster, 1786
- Elizabeth Lovelock of Bloomsbury, 1764
- John Lovelock, mariner, 1757
- Mary Lovelock of Langdon Hills, Essex, 1778
- Nathanial Lovelock of Aveley Essex, Farmer, 1756
- Noah Lovelock Grange Farm, Shaw, Yeoman, 1759