The cottages numbered 40 & 42 High Street, Shrivenham, are very picturesque and fit very well into the surrounding properties. But a closer inspection of the foundation stones gives away that they are younger than one might think in that they both have damp courses. We have the evidence from two sources that they were in fact demolished in 1912 and rebuilt. The late Bill Knapp, a Shrivenham resident and builder, stated in an interview carried out in 1992, that one of the original cottages was a Sweet Shop and that both were bebuilt to look old. (See full interview in N661). Another life-long resident, Bill Hammond said the same in his interview (See N782).
We have two photographs that confirm this evidence. The first is a shot taken looking west up the high street, but just takes in the corner of the original number 42. The second is a photo of the west end of Ivy House opposite the cottages, dated from 1910, and if the picture is enlarged, just over the top of the gate, the window lintels show the difference. And to cap it all, a picture of the damp course.
Unfortunately, this means that the description of the cottages in the DofE listing are incorrect and perhaps they should be de-listed. SHS have sent the relevant information to Historic England.
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...
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