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The Old Court House Shillington

The Old Court House April 2015
The Old Court House  April 2015

The Old Court House was listed by the former Ministry of Works in 1961 as Grade II, of special interest. The listing notes: "reputedly a former court house". If it was it was a manor court house serving either the Manor of Shillington alias Aspley Bury or the Manor of Aspley alias Aspley Bury. Both were in the hands of the Musgrave family by the middle of the 17th century.

The property is dated to the early 17th century and is of timber-framed construction with colourwashed brick infill and a clay tile roof. It has two storeys and a three-room plan. A two-storeyed lean-to addition stands at the right-hand gable end with single storeyed additions to rear.

Sale particulars for the Shillington Manor Estate (essentially the two manors mentioned above) with a considerable amount of land in various parts of the parish comprising in all 842 acres date from November 1898 [BS782]. Shillington Manor was the centre of Lot 2 which included Kettledean Farm, Apsley Bury Farm and The Old Court House. The total acreage was 511 acres, 1 rood, 5 poles. The Old Court House is simply described as two cottages and gardens in occupation of James Hallworth and Frederick Ingram.

The Rating and Valuation Act 1925 specified that every building and piece of land in the country was to be assessed to determine its rateable value. The valuer found [DV1/C62/76] that the owner was Sir James Hill and the occupier James David Hallworth whose rent was £12 per annum including buildings to the rear which have since been pulled down.

The house comprised two living rooms, a kitchen, a parlour and four bedrooms. The valuer commented: "Timbered, would make a very nice weekend place" a later hand adding: "Been done up as week end worth £25, open fireplace in sitting room".

A wood and corrugated iron barn and mixing house stood outside. At the rear were a wood and corrugated iron cart shed and chaff house, a piggery, a stable ("rough"), an open hovel, a loose box, a piggery and a stable for one (all "rough") – this whole collection of buildings is summed up as - "Bad".