The Story of Palmerston Villa - The Last of the Paramors

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The Last of the Paramors

But now we must return to the Paramors. Daughter Elizabeth never married and lived at Palmerston Villa all her life. Her mother died in 1885 when Elizabeth was 33 and her father died five years later.

Caroline Fittall, a widow twenty years her senior came to live with Elizabeth as her companion. Later, presumably when Caroline died or became too infirm, Elizabeth continued to live alone until her death in 1933 aged 70.

After a century and a half Elizabeth Paramor was the last of her line to live in Palmerston Villa. In 1921 she wrote a will of leaving “all her property estate and effects whatsoever” to the three daughters of “her late friend Frederick Bridge”. Frederick was an auctioneer who towards the end of the nineteenth century lived in Mongeham Road near Redberry Cottage (Now Champlain’s Well). Elizabeth was quite a private person and probably had few friends. Henry Fowler told me that he remembered her as “a matronly figure ‘like Miss Marples’ as she walked in the village. She kept herself to herself and had little to do with people in the village”.

Aerial_Palmerston_VillaOlive Holdstock, the eldest, sold her interest in the property to her two spinster sisters, Ivy and Ianthe Bridge. On inheriting the properties in 1934 the Bridge sisters had them valued. The valuation included descriptions of the dwellings. Palmerston Villa at that time had an outside lavatory and water provided from a pump. The five dwellings in Palmerston terrace shared a pump. The shop was occupied by Mrs Emily Jacobs, widow of William, a bootmaker. She paid a rent of 5s 6d. It had previously been occupied by George Howland, a harness maker who took over the shop from the grocer, Foreman. Palmerston Cottages also shared a well.

The field behind Palmerston Terrace was being run as a market garden by Henry Fowler. Henry was later to buy Fairfield farm and conducted his market garden business from there. Earlier the market garden behind Palmerston terrace had been rented by James Rigden.

They tried to sell Palmerston Villa first to the baker next door, George Piper, and then to Fred Hutton. Fred was a milkman for Farrant’s Dairy which was situated on the opposite side of the road, in ‘The Vale’. He set up his own dairy in about 1934 delivering to customers he had canvassed while working for Farrant.

There was much correspondence between Piper, Hutton and the solicitors for the Bridge sisters. In essence Piper was not interested as he thought the property overvalued. Hutton felt much the same. He was concerned about the state of repair, and although “we like the place very much” repairs would cost “anything up to £200 over the next few years, there’s the roof, walls,(side and rear) front room floors and fence”.

However Fred did rent the property from the Bridge sisters until the end of the war. He continued to run his dairy there for many years. I still find bits of broken milk bottle in the garden. I am sure that he was also responsible for the piggery at the bottom of the garden, in a converted Anderson shelter. The occasional pig jawbone is still being unearthed. After the War Fred moved to the shop (formerly Scotts) on the corner of St. Richard’s and Mongeham Roads  before building the shops a bit further along St. Richard’s Road. He bought the land next to forge cottage where the old forge used to be and built his dairy there.

MemoriesIn 1946 Palmerston Cottage was sold to Brian Lyndon Lawrence of The Old Rectory, Great Mongeham for £950. In December of the following year it was sold on to Kenneth Sydney Archer from Kingsdown for £2,500. The following May Archer sold the house to the Church Commissioners for a parsonage for £3 000. They had sold the parsonage next to the church and needed accommodation when a new vicar was appointed just after the War. The Rev. Tonks of Walmer had been looking after Great Mongeham as well during the War. It was probably Lawrence who was responsible for the improvements made, such as renovating the roof, replacing windows ans putting in a brick surround fireplace in the dining room. The new vicar was Rev. Knight. He later emigrated to New Zealand.

In1952 the house was sold to Joseph Barwick for £1,500. The conveyance included a couple of unusual conditions. The Church Commissioners required that the dwellinghouse should not be "called or designated 'The Rectory' or 'Great Mongeham Rectory' or by any other name which might suggest that the said property is occupied by the Incumbent of the said Benefice". Another covenant required thatbuilding should not "be used as or for a place of amusement, tavern, inn or public house nor shall any spirituous or fermented liquors at any time be sold on the same property". In 1962 he sold just under half of the land to Hilda May Brooks who built a house on the land. We bought the house from the estate of Joseph Barwick in 1985. The photo above shows the house as it is now. 


#1 J.P. Hollingsworth 2013-01-24 13:17
Interested to read about the Paramors. Can there be any connection made between them and the Paramors who owned a brewery in Margate in 1880s?
Best wishes,
#2 Jim 2013-01-24 14:22
Not that I am aware of. It would be interesting to try to trace all the strands of the Paramor family. I believe they originated from Huguenot refugees who settled in East Kent in the 17th century. There have been Paramor(e)s in Great Mongeham since the early eighteenth century, not to mention all the other Paramor(e)s in East Kent.
#3 Grant 2013-10-08 04:53
Most interesting to only just discover my Grand Father Archer owned that historical property for just a little while and hence contributed to a tiny part of its history; not a Paramor though(!). But he decided to make a life for himself in Australia after that.

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