Little John's Cross House formerly the King William Inn
Littlejohn was the name of a local land owning family in the 15th Century. This family used Littlejohn's Cross the mark their estate and this cross was described as a 'granite boundary stone from the 15th Century'. A document dated 1537 refers to 'Lyttelljohnes Cross'. In 1915 a report stated the 'Little John's Cross originally stood against the hedge at the roadside, it was placed inside the garden wall for safety'.
The house in whose garden the cross stands today was recorded under different names and used for several different purposes over the years.
In 1841 it was recorded as John's Cross and occupied by Samuel Day, an agricultural labourer, and his family.
In 1851 the house appears to be an inn as William Bolt, an inn keeper, and his family resided there. Two other families are also recorded as residents headed by William Sellick and Robert Sellick both farm labourers. The name of the house is recorded as John Cross House.
In 1871 Samuel Tozer, an Inn keeper, and his wife are the residents and the house is named Little John's Cross.
In 1881 the house is named King William Inn and Samuel Tozer remains as the inn keeper. There are three lodgers residing in the inn all working as timber haulers.
Somewhere between 1881 and 1891 the inn must have closed as in 1891 Henry Cann, a market gardener, and his family are now the residents. The house name was recorded as Little John's Cross.
In 1901 and 1911 Henry's wife Annie Marie Chase Cann, now a widow, has taken over the running of the market garden with her two sons. Her brother is also residing in the house and helping with the market garden.
In 1922 Mrs A. Cann continued to reside in the house and it seems to have still been running as a market garden. The house was described as a stone-built and slated dwelling house named Little John's Cross formerly The King William Inn.
The house contained three bedrooms, a box room, two sitting rooms, a kitchen, a back house and a coal house. Outside there was stabling, two stone built and slated stalls; a waggon house and a stone and tile linhay. The land was in three enclosures and consisted of fruit and market gardens and a grass paddock. The total area covered just over seven acres.
Copyright © Rowena Kirkpatrick