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Stonepits Close

Stonepits Close is a field near Sherington Bridge that was used originally to provide stone for crushing to make a road surface in the days before tar macadam. The field is owned by the Parish Council and is now let on an annual tenancy. It used to be looked after by Trustees but became within the control of the whole council in 1904. The periods of tenancy, the rent paid and the tenant are given below.

From		To		Trustees			Let to		Period			Letting Price
11.04.1895	16.04.1896	E J Jefferson, F J Field	Joseph Harty	05.10.1895 - 29.09.1896	2.15.0
16.04.1896	16.05.1897	F J Field, O Oldham		Joseph Hartup	29.09.1896 - 28.09.1897	4.12.6
16.05.1897	16.05.1898	F J Field, O Oldham		J E Jefferson	29.09.1897 - 28.09.1898	4.12.6
16.05.1898	16.05.1899	F J Field, O Oldham		G G Fleet	29.09.1898 - 28.09.1899	5.00.0
16.05.1899	16.05.1900	D Harding, J Hayter		James Joyce	29.09.1899 - 28.09.1900	7.02.6
16.05.1900	16.05.1901	D Harding, J Hayter		Albert Umney	29.09.1900 - 29.09.1901	7.02.6
16.05.1901	22.11.1904	D Harding, J Hayter		Frederick Lines	29.09.1901 - 28.09.1904	8.15.0
22.11.1904	18.09.1907	E J Jefferson, J Hayter		Henry West	29.09.1904 - 29.09.1907	9.10.0
								Henry West	29.09.1907 - 29.09.1910	7.17.6
								J. E. Moore [a]	29.09.1910 - 29.09.1913	8.10.6 
								J.E.Moore	29.09.1913 - 29.09.1916	9.10.0
								J E Moore	30.09.1916 - 30.09.1919	7.15.0
								No record	30.09.1919 - 30.09.1920	
								J E Moore	30.09.1920 - 30.09.1923	13.05.0
							No record in minutes*	30.09.1923 - 	
*After this date the letting of Stonepits was dealt with at the Annual Parish Meeting
[a] John Edward Moore of the Mill House, Sherington

Repairs sometimes had to be made and in the winter of 1909/10 1.3.6d was spent on the repair to the gate to the field.

In February 1944 Mr B G Fisher, of Mill House, asked if the Council would sell Stonepits. The answer was a holding one and the Parish Award was sought from the Rector. There was some investigation into the Title to Stonepits and once this was resolved it was decided that the field was not to be sold.

The question of the sale of Stonepits Close came up again in March 1947 when it was decided that a public meeting should be held to decide its future ownership. The meeting was called for 29th April 1947 where, if necessary, a ballot would be held. No record, unfortunately, is shown of the result of the meeting.

Once again the question of the sale of Stonepits arose in January 1951 when Charles E Bull asked "if Council would sell him part of Stonepits being the roadway from his house to the bottom of Mill Lane". The Council replied that they would rather sell the whole parcel rather than a part and, in March 1951, offered it to Mr Bull for 300 provided the purchase was agreed by 29th September of that year. The offer was not unanimous in Council and Mr C J Smith resigned after having opposed the sale. Later in the year the Charity Commissioners said that there would be technical difficulties regarding the sale in view of the terms of the Inclosure Award of 1797. Nothing further happened to this scheme of sale until August 1952 when Mr Bull requested the Council to sell a portion of the field for a road to Charlesberry Kennels. The Council decided that it would be prepared to consider letting a portion rather than selling it.

The Council agreed (by a 3:2 vote) in December 1952 to offer a 21 year lease of a portion of the field for 5 per annum. Mr Bull replied some three months later that his solicitor had advised that 2.10.0 per annum was a more realistic figure. Upon receiving this news the Council decided not to continue with the offer.

By November 1953 the lease of Stonepits had passed to Mr J W Cook who requested that the Council erect a new gate at the entrance. J Line (Church Road) were requested to submit an estimate for this gate but Line's advised that they could not supply the gate and so one was ordered from Calders of Boston, Lincs, for 11.15.6.

In January 1967 a dispute blew up when Mr C E Bull sought right of way to Mill House across Stonepits, a piece of 'common land' The Council examined the Parish Award and felt that Mr Bull had no right of way. The problem being caused by the position of a gate. In reply to the Council Mr Bull said that it was 'ridiculous in every way' He was asked to prove his claim to right of way, the Council stating that the gate in question was in the same position as it had been since 1954 and before. In response to the Council Mr Bull (in May 1967) said that he had 'photographic evidence that' the gate was in anew place. He stated that they, the owners of Water Lane Farm and Mercers Farm, had a right of way. He continued that if nothing was done he would not be responsible for any damage to the gate. It was felt that all this was because of some jealousy, to which the Council asked the Clerk to write to the Association of Parish Councils for advice.

The Association suggested that they meet with the Council but in the meantime they should write to Peter Gardner at Water Lane Farm asking if his deeds included Mill Lane as those of Mill House may not do so. At this point nothing else is minuted about the whole question; whether it even got resolved or not - which is a shame and what should not happen with official minutes.

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Latest Revision: 31 December 2006