No 12 Pickwick

A great deal is known about this house which has been subject to a number of recent studies. No 12 Pickwick is an early-mid 18th century Georgian middle class house paired with No. 14. It has features of ‘polite’ architecture but with re-used 16th century timbers throughout. Some of these timbers have apotropaic markings – to guard against ‘evil’.

The earlier ‘kitchen’ block was probably originally a brewhouse/wash house or back kitchen, perhaps of late 17th century date: it features a timber mullion window and late 16th/early 17th century fittings, probably re-used from elsewhere. Interestingly there is also what appears to be a wig cupboard (see below!)

Detailed historical research has provided details of owners and tenants throughout its history:

  • In 1756 the owner was Edward Mitchell a clothier and a leading local Quaker and sometime elder of the Society. In 1754 he was recorded as a bailiff of Corsham Court and in 1761 as coroner of Corsham. In his will of 1761 he was described as ‘Edward Mitchell senior, gentleman’.
  • Dr. Daniel Ludlow MD and his wife Catherine were tenants in the house and are recorded as having paid hair powder tax in 1796 and 1797 – note the ‘wig cupboard’ referred to above! Mr. Ludlow was also listed a physician in Corsham from 1793 to 1798.
  • In 1800 another medical man, William Saintsbury, surgeon lived there.
  • Septimus Kinnear, the Warwickshire and England cricketer was born in No. 12 in May 1871.

Read the fascinating dendrochronology (tree-ring dating) study of the timbers

Read Ellen Leslie’s excellent study: ‘The History of 12 Pickwick’

Read the Wiltshire Historic Buildings study of this historic building

Learn about Pickwick’s Hair Power Tax Records

Find out more about the Mitchell and Stump families

Discover the story of Septimus Kinnear

With thanks to ‘A History of Pickwick and its buildings’ [unpublished] by John Maloney