|When Charles Jeggo retired in 1900, he moved into a cottage
in the village: 20, Church Road, Lilleshall, where he remained until
he died in 1912.
The present (2004) owner, Ron Falder, has lived in it for about 30 years, and emailed this photograph taken in 2002. He wrote, "When we bought the property it was (and still is) called 'Acacia Cottage'. The house was owned by the Sutherlands until the break-up sale of the estate which occurred in, I think, 1914. The property was bought by the then tenant, George Adams, who was the retired head gardener of the Sutherland estate."
The "Lilleshall Hall" handout of the National Sports Centre confirms this date. "The 5th Duke ... sold some 250 acres of the Lilleshall Estate retaining the Hall itself and 50 acres of gardens".
Ron also kindly supplied a photocopy of those chapters of a book which are about the cottage:
"There was electric light but no power plugs. No hot water, no sanitation. We found a two-seater earth closet near the pigsty, which was rather daunting after living so long in a modern house, but we were told there was no sewerage anywhere in the village but it was promised sometime soon (hopefully)! We peered in through a tiny ivy-covered window at the back of the house, but it was so dark, we could see little.
"There must have been nearly a quarter of an acre of garden with a farm gate at the far end leading into the lane, a small paved yard, with a pump and a coach house (with a very wavy roof short of a few tiles) and a wide drive from the gate. This was for the gardener's pony and trap which he drove every morning to superintend his army of under gardeners at the great house.
"Inside were the manger and hay racks, as found in any old stable, a cobbled floor with a drain, a post with several ponies' names painted on it, a ladder on the wall to a loft where we found large apple trays for winter storage and an ancient, very ancient, wheel chair! There was also a small building with a copper (wash boiler) and a slab for salting the pig. Two dark old sheds inside the farm gate, for tools and for fuel, completed our first survey.
"There were three bedrooms with pretty little tiled cast-iron fireplaces, a wide landing with a large wardrobe cupboard, a curved staircase, not too steep or dangerous.
"Inside the front door was a narrow hall dividing the two living rooms, one obviously the parlour, which was where the old lady had lived, as it was in reasonable condition. The dining room had a red tiled floor (these being laid directly on bare earth, as we discovered later). The rooms were light, as they both had windows on two sides, but the small narrow kitchen was very dark, as the roof sloped down over a tiny narrow window with an old brown sink beneath. In a corner was an ugly old boiler, but the caretaker was quick to tell us not to attempt to light it, as it always filled the place with smoke!
"Then, the jewel in the crown, at the end of the kitchen, a door and, inside, a bathroom! The bath was huge, with a wide mahogany surround. It was green at the end, under the taps, and there was a T-shaped lever to lift to let the water out. We were told that when the Duchess had a new bath, she gave this old one to her trusty head gardener, but he had never been able to use it as the faulty boiler for the hot water only produced smoke instead.
"The Duke was very good to his cottagers, so we were told, but was reputed to stand up in his pew on Sundays before the organ had finished playing and scan the pews of the congregation to see if any of them were missing and woe betide them next morning if they were! The Duchess had given the fine organ, which is still there."