Shropshire stalwarts still in same house after 140 years and seven generations

A Shropshire family has resided in the same house for almost 140 years and seven generations – and counting.

Mary Juckes outside the house
Mary Juckes outside the house

Helen Noblet (née Tootill), from Rushbury near Church Stretton, has a line of relatives dating back to 1882 when the original owners – Eliza and James Farr – moved into the property.

The house has been passed down through the years and is currently home to the sixth and seventh generation of the family, Helen and her son Edward Noblet.

Mrs Noblet said that the property had been extended throughout the years, but not much, with the outside toilet remaining in place until the early 1970s.

A picture of the house from the 1930s
The house as it is today

It was originally a toll house – one up, one down – dating back to the 1700s.

"It remained as a two-bed, with three main rooms downstairs until we extended it in 2015, adding an extra bedroom and downstairs room," she said.

Mrs Noblet said that the village has remained much unchanged with the addition of some new houses and conversions.

Eliza and James Farr moved into the property in 1882, when James was working as a farm bailiff; they had two sons, Jesse and Charles.

An approximate timeline of inhabitants is as follows:

  • 1882 - Eliza and James Farr moved in

  • 1898 - Charles Farr married Mary Marsh and lived with Eliza and James.

  • 1900 - Charles Farr and Mary Marsh lived in the property with their daughter Maggie and also Eliza Farr

  • 1909 - Mary Marsh died, Charles moved to Liverpool and Maggie stayed in the house with her grandmother Eliza

  • Eliza resided in the house until her death in 1930

  • 1937 - Maggie Farr who married Geoff Juckes resided in the house with their daughter Mary Juckes

  • 1957 - Maggie Farr and Geoff Juckes lived in the property with Mary Juckes and Linda Taylor

  • Maggie lived in the property up until her death in 1988

  • 2009 - Helen Noblet (née Tootill) moved into the property 12 years ago

Eliza Farr, who originally lived in the house
Mary Marsh, of the second generation to have lived in the house
Maggie Farr, of the third generation to have lived in the house
Mary Juckes, of the fourth generation to have lived in the house
Linda Taylor as a child, of the fifth generation to have lived in the house
Helen Tootill as a child, of the sixth generation to have lived in the house

Six generations of the family have also attended Rushbury C.E. Primary school, starting with Mary Marsh - all the way up to Edward Noblet who is a current pupil.

In an entry to a local book – Wilderhope to Wall – put together by the Rushbury and District Records Trust at the turn of the millennium, Maggie Farr explained her earliest memories of starting at the school:

"I remember sitting at a long desk with steps to it, slates and slate pencils were used for writing on and rubbed out with a damp cloth or sleeve.

"The classroom was heated by a coal fire which had a guard round it and when the children got wet feet coming to school, socks were hung on the guard to dry when we put slippers on from out of a cupboard.

Edward and Helen Noblet

"Children had to walk to school, there wasn't a car or a taxi to bring them, some of them had to walk a long way.

"Sometimes after heavy rain there would be bad flooding on the road by the manor house and then the children were fetched by horse and cart."

Staff and pupils of Rushbury C.E. Primary School have recently celebrated its bicentenary with a special event and the unveiling of a plaque.

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