These two cottages on Broad Lane in Bramley are Grade ll listed and are thought to date from around 1800, writes Mark Stevenson.
In 1841 a Sarah Merritt lived here back then they are described as a house, barn and garden and not as two separate dwellings.
Sarah owned all of the land between Calverley Drive, Broad Lane and Calverley Lane which was at the time called Whitecote Hill Lane.
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In 1841 Sarah, aged 65, is described as ‘independent’ – it makes no mention of a husband but she is living with Martha Merritt aged 10 and Edward Merritt aged seven, possibly her grandchildren.
A Thomas Merritt lived just down the road on the corner of Broad Lane and Whitecote Hill, maybe the children were his?
What a tantalising nugget of information. So many questions, which end was the barn? Does independent mean widow with money? Was she married or born a Merritt?
None are easy to answer the footprint of the building is just a rectangle when Sarah was living there so hard to tell where the barn might have been. I have seen men described in the same way ‘Independent’ so not sure if she was a widow or just had money. As for her name who knows there were just as many unmarried mothers then as there is today so hard to tell