Squatter’s Cottage, Smithbrook

At Smithbrook there is a very pretty cluster of cottages round a pond – a lively sight in the autumn when the bulrushes are brown and velvety. Just above this, half-way up the hill is a Squatter’s Cottage on a typical squatter’s site – near a spring and trees, with a hedge behind the cottage and with a long narrow garden tapering to a point. This was “squatted upon” in the early days and was bought by The Lord of the Manor. In those days to claim possession of a piece of land one had to put up a hearth and a roof in 24 hours, after which the squatters could not be turned out.

From Notebook of the history of Lodsworth by Mrs Hammick and Mrs Sandell of Lodsworth Women’s Institute 1947, WSRO AM 21/2/1. The notebook contains a photograph of Squatter’s Cottage.