Gwen Greenough

Gwen Greenough came from an old Upton family. The first mention I can find in the parish register is in 1724 with “Henry ye son of Henry and Elizabeth Greeniph baptiz.”, followed in 1733 by: “Will son of Henry and Eliz Grinif baptised April 8.” Gwen’s mother was a Winter, and this family goes back even further to an entry in 1596. It reads, “Thomas the sonne of Robert Winter baptiz 9 Sept”. This is followed in 1598 by a daughter, ffrancis, and in 1602 “Lewes Winter widow was buried 23 April.” Since parish registers only became a legal requirement in 1588 it is quite possible that Robert Winter was living in the village well before this date. From then on Greenoughs and Winters continued to live in Upton. It is always sad when the old names die out, and Gwen was the last Greenough to live here.

Gwen Greenough’s grandparents, Elijah and Mary Winter, lived in the cottage that used to stand at the bottom of the Holloway (Alden’s Lane). It burned down one night of November 5 and there is no trace of it now. Her father, Daniel, married Charlotte Winter (“all the Winter girls were good looking”) and worked on Humfrey’s farm, the old Manor Farm.

Nathaniel Humfrey, of Upton Lodge, by the turn of the twentieth century owned nearly the whole village including the three large farms. Manor Farm was his “middle farm”, and the farmhouse stood at the bottom of what is now the garden of Corderoys. The bailiff who lived there when Gwen was young was George Simpson, and Gwen remembered him and his wife with affection. A later bailiff was Lelius Corderoy, who lived and farmed in Blewbury. He was bailiff when the farmhouse was burnt down in the fire of 1933. The farmland included the east side of Stream Road, where Cedarwood and Willows now stand. There was a granary at the present Willows and a great barn in the Cedarwood garden where the Harvest Supper was held, with Nathaniel Humfrey presiding.