At Fiddington House

In some ways the local lunatic asylum seems an odd choice for a postcard, but no doubt the Burgess family knew if they were on to a reasonably good thing. Certainly they produced quite a few images of Fiddington House. As far as we of the present day are concerned this is all to the good for it gives us a chance to gauge something of the extent of the business. This shot shows house, extensions and rolling acres, together with the small lake that was a part of the scene.

Fiddington House and grounds - early 20th century

Fiddington House and grounds – early 20th century

It’s good to see the lake was fenced off. With people with a variety of mental health issues, it might have constituted a considerable risk to life otherwise.

The lake was fenced to prevent any accidental drownings

The lake was fenced to prevent any accidental drownings

We rather hope the ladder left leaning on the building was adequately supervised as well.

The House. Was a window cleaner in the area?

The House. Was a window cleaner in the area?

At times, not all of the residents at Fiddington House were closely confined. Jonny Maddox has been mentioned before as a resident who was often seen out and about in the community where, by and large he was liked. This image will predate him, though for he is remembered by older village residents now. This picture is more like 100 years old.

We can gauge, from the range of the building, that there was plenty of space for residents. Fiddington House certainly wasn’t on the scale of county asylums, like the one at Roundway, but it cared for quite a number of people who may have been finding life hard, or, often, for people who were proving hard for relatives to cope with.

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5 Responses to “At Fiddington House”

  1. Norman merritt Says:

    I was one of the workers on the site demolishing and putting up the
    New houses for Hamilton homes from west bury
    The old house was stripped of cast fire surrounds floor boards
    Oak panels staircases roof tiles doors anything salvageable and then sold off in an on site auction
    So bits of the old house are still around in other buildings
    The weirdest item found was in the outbuilding workshop coffins
    Complete with lids (empty I’m pleased to say)
    And my mate while stripping the floorboards found the remains
    Of a velvet draw purse containing 7 cartwheel pennies of George 111
    The lake was to be a feature of the new army estate and was dredged but then it was decided that water and lots of army kids
    Was not a good mix and it was filled in
    While dredging the lake many items were pulled out thrown in over the years one I remember was a World War One German Mauser
    Rifle minus the wooden stock
    That was flung back in the lake and is now buried under 7 feet of
    Earth along with all the other items dredged out
    Happy days

  2. Norman merritt Says:

    As a kid growing up.in easterton I remember Johny Maddox he would ride his bike around the villages carrying with him his bible
    He was a very religious man and his main goal was to catch as many of us as possible in a group and read us passages from the
    Bible I must have been about 7at the time
    We got caught a few times but we were very street wise and would
    Always post a lookout and if the call rang out (run its mad Maddox)
    We would all run and hide until he was gone a bit mean I hear you
    Say but we had to much to do we had stones to throw at tin cans
    Up the lane carts to build and ride. Footballs to kick dens to build
    Back then the whole village was our playground and there was a
    Wonderfull bond between all the kids we looked out for one another
    We would run errands to the shops for some of the elderly ladies
    Who could no longer manage the hill and if they offered us money
    We were told we were not to take it it was a real community then
    With some lovely character.s
    Our own little school with miss window as our head teacher the big
    Pot belly stove roaring away on a bitter winter morning miss window
    Stood directly in front and the kids in the back of the class teeth
    Chattering hoping she might move and let some heat back to us
    All in all I would not change any of it they were hard times but you
    Grew up with the ability to think for yourself and to appreciate others
    Something I think is sadly missing today

  3. Jim Spencer Says:

    My dad had a 1937 Hillman Minx with a mascot on the radiator cap of a nude lady leaning forward.
    One day I remember Mr Maddox calling in and my dad suffering a long lecture about the morals of having this mascot exhibited on the car!! I still remember the car registration – CYV779.
    We all used to say hello to Mr Maddox but would then quickly move on..

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