The house is still there sandwiched between other properties and is close to the road so that the only way to fully take in its splendour is to stand on the opposite side of Eltham Hill and gaze at it between passing traffic.
But just a century ago it was still set well back from the highway behind a stone wall and sixty years earlier commanded fine views at the rear across open land.
It is the sort of house that will suit the life of a man who described himself as a wine merchant. It had eleven rooms and still looks elegant although some of its past glory has faded a bit.
Now I know John and Elizabeth were in Queenscroft by 1841 and may have been thee on the hill by 1837.
In that year John was listed as paying land tax in Eltham and two years later is in the tithe schedule.
And it is of the tithe schedule that I want to write about today.
Tithe schedules were drawn up in the late 1830s and early 1840s and allow you to track the people of Eltham because the list is linked to a map and the map precisely pinpoints where they lived.
So John Garland rented just over two acres of land from the Crown upon which was his house and garden, a pleasure garden, pigsties, yard, knife and coalhouse, stable and yard, another garden with a building and an acre of meadowland.
|The tithe map showing Queenscroft at number 41|
His house, garden and pleasure garden are numbered on the schedule as 41 and this corresponds on the map to Queenscroft which is pretty much opposite Sherrard Road, while the stable and yard were listed as number 64 and the meadow land as number 70.
These last two were just a little to the east of the house and are now the gardens of houses on Kings Orchard.
And of course all the other great and wealthy and not so great and less rich inhabitants can be placed around Eltham and comparing these too the census returns and street directories it is possible to follow our people around the place, judging whether their fortunes have waxed or waned by where they lived.
But the tithe schedule and map are just the start, for there are also tax records and electoral registers all which both anchor men like John Garland but shed light on his prosperity and even his political opinions, because according to the 1854 poll book he voted Liberal in the General Election of that year.
Sadly Elizabeth is rarely touched by these records as are few other women. Most of the names on the tithe schedule are men, as are the entries on the tax records and of course no women qualified for a parliamentary vote.
|Queenscroft in 1909|
But as ever it will always be easier to track men and especially men of substance, and so I shall return to the Garland’s.
He died in Eltham in the January of 1854 and was buried in the parish church Elizabeth his wife survived him by another twelve years.
Location; Eltham, London
Pictures; Queenscroft, 1909, from The story of Royal Eltham, R.R.C. Gregory, 1909 and published on The story of Royal Eltham, by Roy Ayers, http://www.gregory.elthamhistory.org.uk/bookpages/i001.htm
Queenscroft today from the collection of Jean Gammons and detail from the 1844 Tithe map for Eltham courtesy of Kent History and Library Centre, Maidstone
*Queenscroft, that house on Eltham Hill, http://chorltonhistory.blogspot.co.uk/search/label/Eltham%20in%20the%201840s