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May Tree Cottage in 1938/9, the possession of the Kindertransport Girl
May Tree Cottage in 1935. The view from the High Street, Shrivenham
An aerial view of the cottage. Photo by Neil B. Maw
An aerial view of the cottage. Photo by Neil B. Maw

May Tree Cottage - Shrivenham

May Tree Cottage was purchased by Andrew Willmett in 2001. It is a charming building and has been well maintained. Daphne Willmett called in to the Heritage Centre at the Memorial Hall to show us an interesting photo of the cottage that was taken in the late 1930s. It was taken by a young lady as yet un-named, who was a 'Kindertransport child.'

The Kindertransport was an orgainsed rescue effort that took place during the nine months prior to the outbreak of the second world war. The UK took in nearly 10,000 predominantly Jewish children from Nazi Germany. The children were placed in British Foster Homes, Hostels, Schools and Farms. 

The young girl stayed at May Tree Cottage for several months before continuing onwards to Argentina. She obviously treasured her stay at Shrivenham as this rather crumpled photograph was shown by her grand son when he visited the cottage. The Willmetts were  delighted to meet him and took a scan of the photo.

We also have another photo of the cottage taken a little earlier in 1935. This is a view from the High Street which shows open agricultural land where the Co-op shop now stands. There is a note on the back of the photo dated 1999 that says the property was called then 'Old Thatch.' But from 2001 it reverted to May Tree Cottage. 

Included in this listing are two aerial photos of the cottage. The buiding that lies alongside the road was shown on the Barrington Estate Map of 1866 to have been a Blacksmith's workshop. We hope to have more information on that and the cottage to add shortly.



  • Year:
    1935 - 39
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We are always on the look-out for more information about Shrivenham and district. If you have old photos, know of historical facts, old documents (especially deeds) please contact us...

If you would like to view any item please visit the centre on Tuesdays & Thursdays between 10 am - 12 noon. We can also open outside of these hours with prior arrangement.