Darlington Cottage, Sydney Buildings

Darlington Cottage today

Notes from the oldest title deeds held by Edward Horesh’s solicitors Stone King, seen by CJM on 8th December 2009 by arrangement with their Mr Ashton with the permission of Mr Horesh.

The oldest document is a Deed of Gift dated 18th October 1819 between Walter Harris, builder, and his only son Joseph Harris, who was living on the land at the time. The gift was "in consideration of ...natural love and affection". It involved a plot of land 30ft. wide where it fronted on the road, 115 ft. long on its south side and 113ft. long on its north side.

Next, in February 1823, was a Lease of the plot and a dwelling house to Mr Edward Wilson of Barnard’s Green in the parish of Great Malvern. Later in the same year Joseph Harris sold the property to Mr Wilson, price not stated.

There is nothing in these deeds that confirms or refutes the contention that Darlington Cottage has an old part that was built well before any of the other houses at the northern end of Sydney Buildings. A really old building of some sort could have escaped mention and mapping, but it seems more likely from the involvement of the two Harrises that Darlington Cottage was one of the original houses built during the first wave of development following the release of land for that purpose by William Harry Earl of Darlington in June 1812. In other words it is likely to have been built around 1815. Note that the Harrises are listed in the Bath Directory for 1819 as living at No 1 (Walter) and No 2 (Joseph) Sydney Buildings.

Chris Morrissey

February 2010

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