The Villa - Time-line from 1832 to the present.





The Villa is a typical Thomas Telford style Wharf Cottage built in 1832-33.  It was built together with The Wharf building and warehouses.  Telford died in 1834, so the canal project was to be his last work.  The Villa was primarily used as an office by the Wharf Manager and the octagonal front windows gave him views up and down the canal's length.

The 1841 Tithe Apportionment descibes The Villa as a "House, Office, Weighing Machine and Garden".  It was neighboured by "The Sutherland Arms Inn" (now Bridge House) and "Wappenshal Wharf and Warehouses" (now, simply, The Wharf).  The Landowner of all three buildings was listed as The Duke of Sutherland, with the Duke listed as occupier of The Villa and The Wharf.

Between 1832 and 1922 it is not clear who lived at The Villa, if anyone.  Should you have any details, please get in touch!   

In 1962, The Villa was purchased by Col M P Burton who restored the house and set out the structure of the garden and borders.  This is the earliest picture we have of The Villa.  Note the bricked windows (to save window tax, which was levied at the time) and triple chimnies.  Heating was via "little wenlock" wood/coal burners, and the centre one is still used today.

This picture opposite was taken in 1963 as "The Villa" was being renovated.  The view is again from the canal side.  The soil used in the garden was "surplus" from sugar beets cleaned down the road at Alscott.

This is a view down the right of the house down the driveway.  The furthermost building was the old weigh-house containing the Weighing Machine described in the 1841 Tithe (now in the grounds of Bridge House following sale of some of the Villa's plot in the 1950s).  Unfortunately, the weigh-house was knocked down around 1980 although some of the original brick flooring remains within the grounds of the Villa.

The villa around 1970, with restoration complete.  The staked tree is a newly planted willow which is now fully grown.  On the left you can see small branches of an Ash tree which now stands at 80 feet.

A photograph of Mrs Col M P Burton by the working water pump at the back of the house.  A conservatory was built in 1980 (and replaced in 2003) which now encloses the pump.  The pump draws water from an old well which lies in the middle of the driveway area.  The pump still works today, although the horse trough was now been moved outside the house.


The Villa as it stands today is shown on the left.  Both The Villa and The Wharf are classed as grade 2 listed buildings in recognition of their historical interest.