No 22 Church Street, Violet Cottage

John Roadley

The cottage was probably built mid-C19th and occupied by the Runham family who were in Church Street by 1861. Mark Runham senior (1805- 63) was a shoemaker at least since 1839 in Harston

His son Mark Runham (1838-1903) was originally a shoemaker like his father. In 1850 he married Mary Ann Ashby, the daughter of Josiah A Smith Ashby, the shopkeeper of 1 Church Street. By 1881 he was a farmer of 7 acres – renting land on the other side of the road opposite Lilac Cottage and had meadows behind the house, where the Footpath houses are now built.  The meadows had a pond and they kept cattle there. In 1901 he ran his own market gardening business living at Lilac Cottage.

Mark’s son, William Smith Runham (1871-1936) was recorded in the 1901 &1911 Census as a Market Gardener of Lilac Cottage, Church Street. After his death the property was sold, as shown by the 1937 sales details.

Later Beatrice Ashby, a relative, bought the property and rented it out to the Whitchurches. Around 1956 she had it refurbished and lived there herself until her death in February 1978.

Mark & Kate Hartley & family lived in the cottage from 1980s to early 21st century. They sold off their garden which was built on to create 22A Church Street and to provide a new garage for them off the new entrance – see photo above.

This page was added on 04/12/2023.

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