Ballards Croft
John Westwood 2016

April 2009
The earliest Deeds, in 1813, shew that the land formed part of the close of pasture ground called 'Pillory Mead or 'Ballards Croft'. Part of this was copyhold and belonged to the Manor of Crondon held by the Mason family. The freehold portion had been inherited by Philip Berington from his father Thomas Berington who had purchased it from Cornelius Butler. The Berington family lived at Greenwood and in 1813 Philip Berington sold the land to John Kent for the sum of £35. John Kent built a house and other outbuildings on the land and held it at his death in April 1851 (1781-1851). He died intestate and the property was granted in equal shares to his son Edward Kent (who had gone to live in New York) and his daughter Catherine, wife of William Perry. The 1841 Census shows that John Kent (60) and Frances Kent (25) both lived at 'Ballards Croft' and had "independent means". Edward Kent and trustees acting for Mrs Perry sold the property to William Makings, blacksmith, (who had as guarantor for the copyhold part, T. M. Gepp) for £140. Makings paid £20 and raised the balance of £120 by mortgage from William Davis.
The 1851 Census shows William Makings (50), blacksmith, wife Mary Makings (40), son Frederic (18) also a blacksmith, Martha (12) and Lucy (10). Although by the 1861 Census only William Makings now 60, his wife Mary along with a Granddaughter Susan Porter aged 8 remained at the property.
The 1851 Census shows William Makings (50), blacksmith, wife Mary Makings (40), son Frederic (18) also a blacksmith, Martha (12) and Lucy (10). Although by the 1861 Census only William Makings now 60, his wife Mary along with a Granddaughter Susan Porter aged 8 remained at the property.
William Makings died in August 1867 (1801-1867) leaving all his property to his youngest daughter Lucy who sold the premises to William Joseph Brown in September 1867 for £240. The property now included a blacksmith's shop built by William Makings.
In 1867 the Beringtons had gone from Greenwoods, which was now owned and occupied by Mr William M Mott who was there until about 1880 when it was acquired by Mr Henry Heywood who sold it to Mr R A Ellis about 1899 or 1900.
According to the 1871 Census, William Joseph Brown was 43 and a blacksmith, his wife Harriet (37) son William (12), Ellen (8), Fanny (6), Thomas (4) and Harry (2). Also residing at the house were Alice Brewer (14) a domestic servant along two other blacksmiths - Walter Brewer (19) and William Tylor (20). In 1881 there were two more children; Caroline (9) and Joseph (6). By 1891 only William J Brown, his wife Harriet, Caroline then 19 and a drapers assistant and Joseph (16) along with Mary Hobart a domestic servant of 13 years old.
By 1901 (Census) only William J Brown now aged 73, his daughter Ellen (38) and granddaughter Elizabeth (9) remained at the house with Arthur Cable (15) a farm worker and Rose Day (14) a general servant.
William Joseph Brown held the property until his death in August 1902 (1828 -1902), having made his will in 1897 he left the house to his eldest daughter Ellen Brown, spinster. In 1906 Ellen Brown married Edmund John Beal. In 1937 Ellen Beal made a will appointing her brother Harry Brown and Bert Lester of Hove, Sussex to be her Executors and Trustees. Ellen Beal died in April 1939 (1863 - 1939) at the age of 76.
In September 1939 Harry Brown and Bert Lester sold the property to Herbert Sharp of Ware and Mabel Burton and Reginald Burton of Hendon for £940. These purchasers apparently changed the name to 'Binley House' and Mrs Mabel Burton resided there until December 1948 when the property was sold to Mr J L H Falls for £5,075 and it reverted to its original name of 'Ballards Croft'. Mr Falls and his wife were killed in an air accident at London Airport in October 1950. Barclays Bank, as Trustees for Mr Falls, sold the property in April 1951 to Dr I G Wickes for £4,900. Dr Wickes held the property until December 1957 when he sold it to Mr John Eric Tudor a dental surgeon for £5,350.
In 1968 Mr John Eric Tudor sold the property to Mr Gilbert Smith and Mrs Lillian Smith for £14,000.
Mr and Mrs Smith lived in 'Ballards Croft' until 2007 when his was bought by ourselves.Notes: In 1955 Dr Wickes entered into an agreement with Mrs Barker of Auckland House (The Old Post Office), whereby Mrs Barker opened up a window facing 'Ballards Croft' and Dr Wickes agreed to her having unobstructed light and she agreed for the window to be glazed with opaque or Flemish glass. Mrs Baker agreed to pay 2/6d per annum for this, if it should be demanded.
In 1935 the Electric Supply Company agreed with Mrs Beal to erect a stay pole in the garden at a rent of 1/- per annum.
Mr Falls took out a mortgage with Cecil Harmsworth King and Miss King in 1948 for £3,197. (Mr Falls full name was John Lucas Harmsworth Falls)
In September 1939, two fields comprising part of Mrs Beal's property were sold by Harry Brown and Bert Lester to George Henry Webster, Nuseryman, of Stock.
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