Kingswood Heritage Museum has unearthed this photo in its archive, and wants to learn more about it. It is apparently a “squatter’s cottage” somewhere in the Kingswood/ Mangotsfield area, but where? And do you know of any other similar properties? The photo was taken by J.A. Hamilton of Staple Hill – is that a clue as to its location?
These cottages were a product of the old common law doctrine of Squatter’s Rights, important in the days when few people owned property and it was commonplace for workers to move regularly in search of work. The rights are said to date back to the Peasants’ Revolt in 1381, and required the squatter to erect a dwelling and have a fire burning in its hearth within twenty four hours.
Although the law has changed over the years, many of these dwellings went on to be rebuilt and added to, becoming substantial properties, like the one in the picture. Kingswood Museum is renewing its exhibitions during its winter break and wants to feature a new display about squatters’ cottages.
if you can shed some light on the cottage, please call Kingswood Heritage Museum on 0117 960 5664.None right now - check back soon