My ancestors’ house

Recently I discovered that my 6 x great grandparents, John and Mary Gibson, were given the house and estate of Woodredon, at Waltham Abbey in Essex, by Mary’s mother, Mary Greene, widow of London goldsmith Joseph Greene. Joseph died in 1737 and must have left a considerable fortune to Mary, since in the following year she purchased Woodredon from the Earl of Bedford, and ‘immediately conveyed it to her daughter and son-in-law’.

In my earlier post about Woodredon, I included a photograph of the present-day Woodredon House, a late-Victorian construction which is now a care home. However, the house owned by the Gibsons was the property about 400 yards to the south-east, now known as Woodredon farmhouse, a listed building that today seems to be the office building for Woodredon Equestrian Centre.

According to the British History Online website, this ‘mid-18th century red brick house with a pedimented porch’  in all probability ‘represents the house as rebuilt by the Gibsons’. I found this photograph of the house on the equestrian centre’s website:

There’s an aerial view of the house, with its associated buildings, on the British Listed Buildings site:

It’s quite something to see images of the actual house where my Gibson ancestors lived, and where my 5 x great grandmother Elizabeth Holdsworth, nee Gibson, must have spent much of her childhood. Given the modest surroundings in which later generations of my family lived, I still find it difficult to believe that the Gibsons really were my ancestors: a subject I’ll say more about in another post.

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