History of Croft Cottage circa 1540
Croft Cottage is one of 5 grade II listed buildings in Godshill, Hampshire. It was built in the 16th Century as a medieval hall house. It had a central hall that was open to the roof, and would have had a fire to heat the cottage on the floor in the centre of this hall, with smoke and sparks exiting through a hole in the thatched roof! By the 20th Century the cottage, that was originally built with 3 bays, had reduced in size to 2 bays with the east bay no longer in existence. In 2008, the current owners, the Waygood family, sympathetically rebuilt this missing bay using substantial oak timbers sourced locally in the New Forest.
Mr Edward Roberts MA. (oxon) an architectural historian and national expert in timber framed buildings, stated the following in a 2004 report, “this house was built of substantial timbers by a professional carpenter. It is an important house, given the relative scarcity of good framed buildings in the New Forest. It is quite likely to have been built between 1550 and 1600”.
A local historian, Jean Westlake, in research for her book ‘The Story of Godshill’, published in 2005, stated “My research from written documents and Wills housed in the Winchester Record Office and Breamore House, show that a lease to John Goose was given in the 35th year of the reign of Henry VIII (1544) which indicates that the cottage was built and the holding established earlier still, and being lived in by the Goose family”. Jean Westlake, herself, was married in the cottage in 1960 on midsummer's day. At the time it was the village Dame school and was also being used as the Quaker Meeting House. This cottage has a lot of history.