In 1912 Mr Uzzle lived at Hillside. Then the house and garden were described as in “fair repair” with a small hall, kitchen, sitting room, 2 bedrooms, 2 attics, a washhouse between 4 and well water.

The buildings were valued at £163 and the site at £5. The property and land was owned by Cannell, Edwin Kemp and Manchester.IMG_9885

Frederick Blake also lived on the land in a stone and tile cottage in “good repair” with kitchen, bedroom, small attic and well water. The building was valued at £91.

We know this because of a nationwide survey of land organised after the 1909 “People’s Budget” of Lloyd George. Lloyd George had introduced a national pension and wanted new Dreadnoughts to counter the rise of the German navy. The plan was to pay for it all with taxes on windfall increases in land values.IMG_9886

The House of Lords held the budget up for a year. The tax did not go ahead, though the Lords was never able to challenge a money bill again. But the Inland Revenue did continue with the survey.

Twelve million forms were printed. Some 95,579 field books from the survey, each with details of 100 properties, are still held in the National Archives.

The Bristol and Gloucestershire Archeological Society manages the database at glos1909survey.org.uk. The database contains some material from The National Archives but most has been transcribed from records in Gloucestershire Archives, which also holds working copies of the maps (reference D2428/3) published with their permission.

Kingscourt and Hillside are on Map 7 in box 49. Details of cottages and houses around the Kings Head pub can be found here. Hillside is numbers 69 and 67.

We are indebted to Dr Anthea Jones of the Archeological Society for help interpreting the maps and how they link to individual house information. The key is to look for the hand-written numbers in red ink.

The map from Bowl Hill, King’s Court, Rooksmoor to South Woodchester has been damaged, but each of  the houses and cottages along The Street in King’s Court are still clear… including the Nags Head Inn “beer house and off license” that used to be next to the school.

In the valley further up towards Rodborough Common, overlooked by the cottages higher up The Street, was Little London next to the old quarry. Here, reckons Dr Jones, was a squatters’ camp.