21st July, 2020 Saltmarshe 2, Point of view 20.

The old black-and-white photo above is scanned from Susan Butler’s booklet (s.p.b.). It shows the west end of the hamlet of Saltmarshe with the centre-entrance, end-stack Joiner’s Cottage standing beside the lane and attached to it a single-storey centre-entrance, centre-stack old cottage (surviving but no longer lived in). Although not visible, the Hall stood/stands beyond the woodland in the middle distance. The flood-bank of the River Ouse is a public right of way (as it is for most of the way up to York) and as the Hall stands near the Ouse bank the south front is clearly visible from the bank pathway.

The single-storey cottage is an increasingly rare example of a ‘baffle-entry’ cottage ground-plan with its free-standing central fireplace (usually built of brick to reduce fire risk) with a fireplace on either side, one heating a ‘parlour’ the other the ‘service room’. If the cottage had a sleeping room in the loft stairs might be built up the side of the central fireplace. On entering through the central entrance there might be partitions on either side with doors, one to the parlour the other to the service room. The Yorkshire Vernacular Buildings Preservation Group (this may not be their exact title) seeks to study and preserve modest historic buildings and cottages (some years ago members came to study 51, Fleetgate in Barton which although not having a baffle-entry ground-plan does retain an early brick central fireplace and stack).

Although the Joiner’s Cottage was clearly an estate cottage with its ornate bargeboard and ‘rustic’ front porch the Saltmarshe family do not appear to have imposed a standard estate cottage design, other estate cottages (once) having varying features.

Interestingly the First Series one inch O.S. map for the area (my copy being Cassini Historical Map, 1824-1858, sheet 106) shows a cluster of lanes leading from Laxton south to Cotness Hall and Saltmarshe while the 1903 map (Cassini again) shows the lanes still existing but only one coloured orange to denote a road. The modern map (Landranger sheet 106) shows just that one road now existing the others lost to post-Enclosure arable fields. A common story.

(to be continued)

Point of view 20 – It has been clear now for some years that the old class divisions accorded to British society – working, middle and upper – no longer reflect the reality (although its hard to not cling to them as easy points of reference). Do we then have a classless society or do we need to revise our terminology? (to be continued)