WHATEVER HAPPENED TO WANSTALLS?
The Society Committee recently got a question about “Wanstalls” in Greenstreet/London Road. The enquirer’s family name, Gould, shows up in our records (see table below). But the questioner really wanted to know if other photographs exist that show Wanstalls. I have tried through this article to set out what little we know of these buildings and their associations and contributions to our historic communities.
Do you have stories of other families living there or running businesses from there?
“Wanstalls” homes were built by (or on behalf of) the Wanstall family who have very strong links with Lynsted Parish, Greenstreet, and Teynham Parish. Several headstones sit in Lynsted Church graveyard that record those links with Lynsted Parish since the 18th Century (see draft family tree from the link at the end of this short article). Some of the memorials are very impressive. The first record in the churchyard is for Henry, son of Thomas of Womenswold/Harrietsham; from Harrietsham, Henry is recorded as a “Gent”. So, relatively important and likely to own land and properties in the area. He married Ann Brown, also of Harrietsham on 12th October 1770.
However, it was Henry's brother, William, whose line extends and expands in the Parish and nearby - see the draft family tree to understand just how important this family was locally. Henry had one daughter only [who may have married Rev Hopkins Fox (widower) of Teynham in 16 November 1792].
Henry Wanstall’s land-owning included Lynsted Windmill (which I take to be the old “Union Mill” that once stood by Mill Road/Claxfield Lane – there is still a flat ‘shelf’ where its foundations sat before it fell over - this was a smock mill (without staging). It went under the hammer in 1808 at The Swan - this inn was the mediaeval/half-timbered one that fronted onto Greenstreet where the current Swan’s carpark now sits.
Not everything is rosy though. In 1812, Henry is declared a bankrupt butcher and his estate is settled by other Wanstall family members – in particular John Wanstall, of Teynham/Nouds Lane (Bishops).
We then see the family name "Wanstall" as a Lynsted Parish overseer in 1833 – William Wanstall, as an “overseer”, was usually a person of standing in a community responsible for managing the poor of the parish. He would direct the poor, destitute and sick to “the workhouse” if they were local to our Parish. In Lynsted Parish used to be a workhouse at Bumpit, until the Faversham workhouse was extended and took on responsibility for the 'poor of the Parish' from nearby Parishes. You can get a flavour of who went to workhouses by referring to the Census data for both the Faversham and Milton Workhouses.
The Wanstall family holdings included cherry/fruit orchards on Greenstreet, Cellar Hill and Bumpit. It may be speculated that Wanstalls was originally built over part of the cherry orchard(s) and small-holdings held by the families? The two sites identified as "Wanstalls" in 1925 are now occupied by more modern homes.
On 17th May 1869, after the death of William Wanstall (Draper in Greenstreet), a significant auction took place at Dover Castle Inn that included four lots adjoining the London Road/Greenstreet with a mixture of orchard land and several “dwellings” and “cottages”. These may have include "Wanstalls" but the names of property and plots are not mentioned in newspaper extracts.
Coming forward to the 20th Century, Fire Reports contain references to members of the Gould Family tenanted in Wanstalls. Fire Report of 23rd December 1927 - Mr A R Gould insured; Fire Report of 20 February 1930, part-insurer - Mrs Alice E Gould.
We also learn (22nd February 2015) that another family historian with local interest, Barbara Burns (researching Henneker and Millen families), knows that her maternal Grandparents - James and Anne Henneker (nee Dodd), lived for a time in Wanstalls (Ref: 1908/9 Directory) before moving to Cowper Road, Sittingbourne by July 1909. Barbara Burns's family links with our communities also takes in Claxfield House and Sharsted Court for which she kindly shared some family album images. Those images can be seen here.
“Wanstalls” – in a 1925 Directory - shows two sites sharing that name. The one most often referred to (and the largest) is the westernmost three-story tenement. The street layout is shown below.
Lynsted Lane Junction with London Road
|George Inn: Edward James Palmer||George Inn|
|Fire Station: Teynham and Lynsted Fire Brigade (Tel:4)||Fire Station (rear of George Inn)|
|Kemsley, George Ernest, shopkeeper|
|Ferrell & Baker, motor and cycle engineers (Swan Garage)||Swan Garage|
|Swan Inn: James William Branchett||Swan Inn|
|Filmer, Frank Blackman, butcher|
|Greenstreet Co-operative Society's boot repairing depot||Boot repair depot|
|Maidment, Charles Samuel, watchmaker and jeweller|
|Hunt & Sons, Messrs., Hardware Stores||Hardware Store|
|Packham, George Henry|
|Thomsett, William Henry, fish merchant and shopkeeper|
|Kemsley, John R., boot repairer|
|Christmas, Mrs (Sunnyside)||Sunnyside|
|- Mount, William|
|- Cox, James|
|- Turner, John|
|Hales, Alfred, plumber and decorator (Evergreens)||Evergreens|
|Ashbee, Charles Henry (Laurel Villa)||Laurel Villa|
|Whittle, R.A., house furnisher|
|- Sherwood, Frederick James|
|- Gould, George William|
|- Gould, Mrs. Alice Emily Letitia, butcher and grocer|
|- Cornwell, George|
|- Butler, John|
|- Jupp, James|
|- Gambell, David|
|- Gambell, Sidney William|
|- Jemmett, Mrs Rose Elizabeth|
|Kemp, William Ernest, saddler and harness-maker|
|Stanley, Arthur (Ivy Cottage)||Ivy Cottage|
|Henderson, Dr. James Porter (The Hollies)||The Hollies|
|CHAMPION COTTAGES:||Champion Cottages 1-5|
|1 Smith, John|
|2 Holloway, John Alfred|
|4 Coveney, Daniel Walter|
|5 Filmer, Ernest Reginald|
|Bray, Albert (Matilda Cottage)||Matilda Cottage|
|Lawrence, Charlie George, butcher|
|Stevens, Alfred John (Norfolk Cottage)||Norfolk Cottage|
The only close-up images we have are taken from family scenes captured to the rear of the tenements - thanks to Roy Woodward showing family scenes connected with the Friday family. One postcard in our collection shows the larger Wanstalls in Greenstreet - no real detail but it does show where “Wanstalls” sat. The images show outside toilets at the bottom of the garden and sheds that may be used as workshops or stores. Gardens did not spread far back from properties along Greenstreet as the neighbouring land was valuable small-holding and other agricultural land.
From the family album shots (from Roy Woodward), below, Wanstalls was still standing in 1965, so any photographs to complete this story would be very welcome. We hope you enjoy this snapshot.