When Simone Whitfield commissioned Building Beginnings to research the history of her Newport house, she never expected to discover that it was almost twice as old as she thought.
Jill Ming of Building Beginnings found the house on a map of Newport and surrounding area drawn by William Hill in 1681. The house and its land were given to the poor of Newport by a mystery benefactor in the 17th century and remained in the care of the parish until 1932, more than 250 years later.
Simone was delighted with the result saying ‘I had no idea the house was so old. Our neighbour’s house has a datestone of 1820 and we thought ours was about the same period. It just shows how much can be found out about the history of your house.’
Jill Ming said ‘It’s rare to find a collection of beautifully drawn maps from this period in such good condition. Thanks to the wonderful resources at Shropshire Archives and their very helpful staff I was able to access coloured maps of the manors of Newport, Church Aston, and Longford showing Simone’s property. The maps contain an immense amount of detail including houses, fields, and the names of the people paying rent to the lord of the manor. It really was an astonishing find.’
There may be even more surprises in store as there is more research still to do and Jill is hoping to discover the benefactor who donated the land for the benefit of the poor of Newport so many years ago.