Jasmine House in 2006


A Brief History of Jasmine House

The above sketch map shows the plots of land that have, at one time or another, been associated with Jasmine House, Main Road, Long Bennington.

In 1794 Long Bennington was enclosed. The open fields and common land was converted into individual plots of land called allotments. Landowners, and commoners who had rights to the land before enclosure, were allocated one or more of these allotments.

The enclosure map of 1794 shows that Jasmine House, No70 and No.72, now stands on part of a large allotment (2 acres, I rood, 5 poles) numbered 130,  and a small allotment number 200.  Allotment 200 was once part of the village green. The front garden of Jasmine House is part of this allotment.

Allotments 130 and 200 were awarded to Robert Mellegan (Melligan), and it is probable that Robert Melligan built Jasmine House a few years after the enclosure award.

When it was first built Jasmine House had only two downstairs rooms, a front room and a dinning room/kitchen. The house would have had a portico type front porch facing north, and a small hall.

In 1851 the house was occupied by a member of the Malligan family, one Samuel Malligan. Living with Samuel was 73-year-old Christina Melligan. Christina was probably the wife of Robert Malligan and Samuel his son. Also living with the family were 25-year-old Elizabeth Harrison a housekeeper, and 16 year old William Newback a servant. Samuel appears to have been unmarried.

Samuel Malligan  was a butcher by trade and he appears in the Long Bennington trade directories for 1849, 1855 and 1856.  The present kitchen of Jasmine house, was probably built by Samuel for use as a butchers shop. The male servant William Newback would have assisted Samuel in the butchery business.

The 1851census return, and subsequent census returns suggest that, by 1851, an additional dwelling house had been built to the north of Jasmine House on the plot numbered 72 on the above sketch map.

Twenty years later the 1871 census shows that Jasmine House was occupied by 73-year-old John Suthern a landowner and his 43 year old niece Francis Miller. Also living in the house was Sarah Wormsley a 16 year old servant.

In 1881 Jasmine House was in the occupied by 30-year-old George Smith a farmer of 41 acres and his 38-year-old wife Luzzelda. It is recorded that George employed 3 men and 2 boys on his farm. Fourteen year old Maria Hessett, a servant, was also living in Jasmine House.

A hall replaced the portico doorway in front of Jasmine House some time towards the end of the nineteenth century. The original doorway to the hall faced north but this was later altered to face the Main Road.

 In 1900 Jasmine House and No. 70 were both owned by Wm Walker. Robert Jackson owned the plot numbered 72.   Robert Jackson’s name appears in the Long Bennington trade directories many times between 1842 and 1901. He is described variously as a farmer, malster or corn merchant. It is possible that the small plot of land to the east of No 72 was once attached to No.72. This small plot of land is shown separated from the Royal Oak field by boundaries on a map attached to a conveyance dated March 1949. Also there is evidence that there was once a gateway between No 72 and this small plot of land. The small plot, however, is shown as part of the Royal Oak field on a 1900 map.

Some time between 1900 and 1919 Wm Walker acquired No 72, minus the small plot to the east. The building on the No 72 plot is said to have been “Tinpan Walkers workshop”. The trade directories show that Wm Walker was a tinsmith. He first appears in the Long Bennington trade directories in 1861. The bricks used in the construction of the workshop building, suggest a date circa 1890. The workshop may have been built on the site of the dwelling house suggested by various census returns.

When William Walker died in 1919 William Robert Walker, school master and son of Wm Walker sold Jasmine House, the workshop and No 70, to Christopher Marshall. At the time of the sale, Mrs Hornsey and Wm Kirton were tenants on the property but it is uncertain who was living in Jasmine House and who was living in No 70.

Christopher Marshall died in 1932. Under the terms of his will Jasmine House was left in trust to his wife, Sarah Marshall, for the duration of her life.  On the death of Sarah, Jasmine House was to be sold and the proceeds shared among his children Mary Jane Hunt and George Marshall.

Sarah Marshall died in 1948 without having made a will, her married daughter, Mary Jane Hunt, was granted administration of the estate. At the time Mary Jane Hunt was living in Jasmine House and may have been living there some time before the death of her mother.

In 1948 number 70 was transferred to Mary Jane Hunt and her share of the state was reduced by £200 to compensate.   George Marshall had the right, under his fathers will to buy Jasmine House for £400. In 1949 George Marshall exercised his right and bought Jasmine House. At the time George was a joiner and lived in Colston Bassett. It is around this time that electricity was installed in the house. Mary Jane Hunt moved to number 70.

George sold Jasmine House a year later in 1950 for £1400 making a profit of £1000. At the time of the sale George had moved to Long Bennington and was living in a house called Colston in Church Street. The purchaser of Jasmine house was Frederick William Brunt, Milk Bar Proprietor; Frederick was living in Jasmine House, probably as a tenant, at the time of the sale.

Frederick William Brunt sold Jasmine House a year later in 1951 for £1625, to Charles Alfred Witcomb. Charles was a tool room fitter at the time of the sale. He later took over his father’s motor garage at the north end of Main Road.  Fredrick Witcomb installed a water supply in the house, a upstairs bathroom (without a lavatory), built a downstairs lavatory, replaced both downstairs fireplaces and fitted a modern kitchen sink. The attics, this time, had fallen into disrepair and were unusable as accommodation. A door was fitted across the attic stairs partitioning the attics from the rest of the house.

Charles Alfred Witcomb sold Jasmine House as a two bed roomed house to Brian & Joan Widdowson in 1974 for £10,000.  Immediately after the sale the house was treated for woodworm, re-roofed, damp- proofed, re-wired, a fitted kitchen installed, a lavatory fitted in the bathroom, a third bedroom made above the kitchen and a solid fuel central heating system installed.

The attics were restored to bedrooms in 1980.

 A cupboard between the ground floor and the second floor was converted into a shower room in 1986.

In 1984 the South Kesteven District Council proposed that part of Main Road in Long Bennington, between the Reindeer and the Old White Swan, be made a conservation area. The proposal was, supported by the residents of the Old White Swan and Jasmine House. But it was vigorously opposed by most of the other residents of Main Road affected by the proposal.  The council resolved the problem by arranging for the properties in the proposed conservation area to be listed under the Town and Country Planning Act of 1971. Jasmine House became a listed building on the 16th of August 1984.

The solid fuel central heating in Jasmine House was replaced with a gas central heating system in 1990 when gas came to the village. Gas fires were also installed in 1990. The kitchen was enlarged and re-fitted in 2002/2003.