Milton Rectory

In the village is a yard called “Barrack Yard” or “Anchor Terrace”, which is occupied today by 19/21 Green Street. This land formerly belonged to the Rector, and part of it was exchanged at the time of the Enclosure for a tenement and piece of ground known as Pluck’s Close in Pluck’s Lane. An old Rectory used to stand somewhere near to Anchor Terrace, but tradition has it that it was burnt down about the end of the 18th Century.

A new rectory was built sometime in the 18th century on six acres of land in Plucks Lane, bought from the Montgomery family of “Mortimers”. The land that was sold to the Church Commissioners had previously consisted of a “yard” which was predominately a small poultry farm. It comes as no surprise the name of Plucks Lane may well have been connected to the poultry farm, but for obvious reasons was later changed to Rectory Lane! The farm and yard were created during the 18th centuary, and the tenant farmer’s house occupied the site of the Victorian wing of the rectory (the side facing the garden). Two terraced cottages formed the rest of the rectory, which faces the road up to the driveway entrance. There were seven or eight outhouses and barns within the immediate area of the rectory.

By the time the Reverend Hubbard (1959-1967) and his family moved to the rectory, a number of these outhouses had been demolished. Sometime around 1898 a Parish Room was built, although this building was quite separate from any other buildings. The Rev Hubbard used one outhouse of those that remained as a coke and coal shed, and the other as a henhouse for at least eight hens.

There were also two ancient outside toilets or “privies”, complete with wooden seats and probably used by earlier rectors and their families before modern lavatories were installed in the house. You can click here to see a diagram of the building lay-out. The southwest corner of the quadrangle was the site of other outhouses but had been removed before the Hubbards moved to the rectory. Curiously, the previous occupants had dumped all their domestic waste in the area and created a very large middan. A contractor was employed with a lorry and crane to remove the rubbish and one can still remember the sight of old tins, toothpaste tubes and old oil lamps discarded amongst the rubbish dump.

Before the present firm of architects bought the rectory, and before them the James family, there had been two garages built to the back of the cottages. There was also an old washhouse and a bake house. The Hubbard family did not use the cottages/rooms nor did they rent them out at all. At the far end of the cottage nearest the gate, rooms had been occupied by a Mrs Baxter, but Reverend Hubbard gave her notice to quit before taking up his new post as rector of the village. However, her rooms forever smelt of tobacco, as Mrs Baxter was a fervent smoker.

The garden was professionally landscaped in the late 19th century and a number of interesting trees were planted, including Holm Oaks and other tall trees similar to those of the Californian Redwoods. Sadly, many of these are no longer standing, although some that remain are listed with a Preservation Order. The lower half of the garden was sold off during the 1960s (much to the displeasure of Mrs Hubbard) to a building firm by the name of Adkins & Shaw, who then built a string of houses on the south side of Rectory Lane. The garden area was originally part of a much larger orchard. At the very bottom were a fisherman’s cottage and fishponds. The ponds may have been made into an ornamental garden pond later when they were no longer required for keeping fish for the table. Since then they have been filled in, and the fisherman’s cottage has not been lived in since the 1950s and is now derelict.

Before the new houses were built, the stone wall followed the roadway and continued all the way down the road to the stream. A glasshouse at one point had been erected on the south side of the wall. Unfortunately, the wall was demolished and the road straightened at the time the houses were being built so the cars can go even faster!

To see more photographs of the Rectory (and the village) taken between 1959 and 1962, visit the Hubbard Photograph Album site.