On the Trail of William Woodley; Worlds End

This the copy of this found I have found to day (British Bee-keepers Journal Jan 1897).
This the copy of this found I have found to day (British Bee-keepers Journal Jan 1897).

If you have been following my blog, you would have seen this photo before, however this copy is the best one I have found so far. I found it in the British Bee-Keepers Journal of January 1897 and you can find it on the internet.   I recently made a visit to Worlds End and this is what I found.

1. Worlds End Chapel 2. Worlds End Farmhouse 3. Barn associated with Worlds End Farmhouse 4. Trees 5. Rickyard 6. Mrs Woodley 7. Mr Woodley
1. Worlds End Chapel
2. Worlds End Farmhouse
3. Barn associated with Worlds End Farmhouse
4. Trees
5. Rickyard
6. Mrs Woodley
7. Mr Woodley

Above is the 1897 photograph which I have annotated with numbers, so the land marks I talk about can be cross-referenced (ok it’s a bit odd that Mr and Mrs Woodley are referred to as landmarks)

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View of Garden Cottage (tiled frontage) this was William Woodley's home. Table at the front of red brick house has marmalade for sale.
View of Garden Cottage (tiled frontage) this was William Woodley’s home. Table at the front of red brick house has marmalade for sale.

The 1896 photograph was shot at the rear of Mr Woodley’s home (Garden Cottage, Worlds End).  The photo above is the current street-view of Garden Cottage; the tiled house is Garden Cottage.  The dwellings either side I believe would have been part of the curtilage of Garden Cottage.

Garden Cottage: this dwelling is so well preserved as if time has stood still since the 19th Century. A credit to the owner :)
Garden Cottage: this dwelling is so well preserved as if time has stood still since the 19th Century. A credit to the owner 🙂

This is a closer shot of Garden Cottage.  It appears that it has extended at the back quite significantly and I would suppose in Mr Woodley’s day his home would have consisted of just the front element.  Nonetheless, this dwelling retains its historic charm.

This is the part of the front garden of High House, which is next-door and to the north of Garden Cottage. High House also abuts the access road to Chapel Court.
This is the part of the front garden of High House, which is next-door and to the north of Garden Cottage. High House also abuts the access road to Chapel Court.

Moving northward, the adjacent dwelling is High House.  Notice the sign in the front garden is for honey; I wonder if the people who live there know about Mr Woodley and the 1896 photograph?  The lady in the salmon-coloured top struck-up a conversation with me and led me to the Chapel stone.

The stone once belonged to the Chapel which was located at World End. This stone is set into the wall which abut the access road to Chapel Court. It is believed that the Chapel was sited where to access road is today.
The stone once belonged to the Chapel which was located at World End. This stone is set into the wall which abut the access road to Chapel Court. It is believed that the Chapel was sited where to access road is today.

There is an access road which abuts High House and serves a cul-de-sac of the group of dwellings called Chapel Court.  There is a wall running along the north-side of this access road and built within in it is the original name-stone of the Chapel.  In the 1909 article which I refer-to in an earlier blog the writer refers to the Chapel (see 1 in the annotated photograph above):

The portion of a building on the right is a Wesleyan chapel, but Mr. W. and family regularly attend Beedon Church, in the parish of Hampstead Norris, three miles from his own village.

 

This is the access road for Chapel Court. It is believed this is where the Chapel would have been sited.
This is the access road for Chapel Court. It is believed this is where the Chapel would have been sited.

The Chapel would have sat on this access road; see number 1 on the annotated 1896 photo.

Worlds End Farmhouse.
Worlds End Farmhouse.

Follow the Oxford Road north for 30 metres and you will come to Worlds End Farmhouse.  I wish now that I had taken a photograph of the front.  Nonetheless, I hope you share my affinity for this lovely sign.  See number 2 on the annotated 1896 photograph.

The rear of Worlds End Farmhouse. Notice the two storey extension on the near side of this dwelling.
The rear of Worlds End Farmhouse. Notice the two storey extension on the near side of this dwelling.

There is a footpath to the north of Worlds End Farmhouse which follows the boundary of World End Farmhouse, Chapel Court and makes a beeline to Beedon Common which is the the south-west of the Farmhouse.  See 2 on the annotated 1896 photograph.  Notice in the 1896 photograph the two-storey extension and its chimney – this is still present today!  Luckily, Worlds End Farmhouse is a listed building and most of its original appearance has been preserved.  Also observe, that the barn (3) in the 1896 photograph which was adjacent to the Farmhouse is no longer there.

DSC06751

 

Is this oak tree one of a pair of trees which was in the photo taken of Mr Woodley in his garden with a multitude of beehives?
Is this oak tree one of a pair of trees which was in the photo taken of Mr Woodley in his garden with a multitude of beehives?

I believe the two large trees you can see (one is an oak) were present in the 1896 photograph see 4.  What do you think?  Beyond the trees is Chapel Court which is where the rick-yard would have been, see 5.

These wild flowers are growing next to the footpath that runs from Worlds End Farm house to Beedon Common.
These wild flowers are growing next to the footpath that runs from Worlds End Farm house to Beedon Common.

These Ox-Eye daisies were some of the wild flowers growing along the footpath.  I like to think that back in Mr Woodley’s day, wild flowers would have been more common than today.  The wild flowers I saw were perhaps a small glimpse of the quality and diversity of flora Mr Woodley’s honeybees would have foraged on.  This must have made for some amazing honey!

 

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3 thoughts on “On the Trail of William Woodley; Worlds End

    • I think most of of the hives have bees in them. Mr Woodley was a commercial beekeeper and did produce a significant amount of honey. I also think that in those days the agricultural land was extensively farmed (multitude of crops) as opposed to today where land is intensively farmed (think mono-crops). So the bees would have more, varied and consistent flow during the honey season than today. As such, I would speculate in 1896 you could get away with packing that amount of hives into such a relatively small area.

      • That is my thought too, that there must have been much more forage around them to support all those hives. We’ve lost a lot of wildflower meadows. Nowadays I don’t think so many hives in that small a space would do well.

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