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Presented by Margaret Craddock
Gilliatts - Harpurs Lodge

Mr William H Gilliatt (known as Billy)
Mr William H Gilliatt (known as Billy)

Harpurs Lodge, a remote farmhouse, stood at the end of Blackberry Lane on the Wold.  It is now demolished.  Prior to its sale, around 1920, the farm belonged to the Harpur family and formed part of the Burton Latimer Hall Estate and for several years, until the turn of the century, was farmed by Mr William Henry Gilliatt. In those days it was hard to make a living on the Wold.  At Harpurs Lodge water was never plentiful and the family had to rely on wells for their supply.  A succession of dry summers and poor harvests brought the Gilliats almost to the verge of ruin.

The Gilliats, later that year, moved into Burton Latimer and lived at No 1 Church Street where they continued to supply milk and make butter and ice cream.  Mr Gilliat died in 1926 aged 64 years but his widow, Sophia, lived on until 1956 when she died on September 7th, aged 92.  Her eccentric son, William (Billy), lived with her and was a familiar figure in the town with his bicycle, which usually carried several buckets full of scraps for his pigs.  Billy kept a small-holding in North Close, Kettering Road, a field near the former A6 railway bridge which is now the site of the present A14 junction. He died in 1968.

In the Wartime Survey in 1943, it was shown that Billy had 6.25 acres where he kept 12 sheep, 2 pigs, 1 goat and 361 poulltry.

Click here to read further information about the Gilliatt family. This smallholding was detailed in the Wartime Survey in 1943

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