School Lane 1881 Map
This is a short length of Lane, not quite 150m, which connects with the Main Road by the old Shop at the bottom of Ship Hill and to Church Lane, and forms the third side of a triangle with the Main Road and Church Lane.
It is clear that this is the centre of the settlement from the earliest times, With the Church, the old Manor House (Bishops Palace just to the North), the 16th century Old Ship cottages, 17th century Old Post Office, Stocks Farm and the now demolished Alms House all around the triangle.
School Lane would have only been known as such from about 1858 when the school was built. What the name was before that currently hasn’t been discovered so we can only speculate - perhaps Stocks Lane?
Stock Farm and Meadow 1839
This farmstead was set in the middle of the village off School lane. It is difficult to date, the earliest mention being 1839 although it has all the signs of being much older.
If indeed that is the case, then Saxon would be most likely. The name could be derived from either the old English Stoc meaning a secondary settlement - this usually applies to more outlying places away from the centre, so Stocc is more likely meaning a tree trunk or stump or stumps perhaps on piece of cleared land.
Map of 1839 showing the Farm area
Stock Farm map 1896
In this map you can clearly see the buildings split into three
Stock Farm area, 2011
Stock Farm area 1947
Shows Holberry Cottage with adjoining barn and donkey shed , The larger (also known as) Holberry Cottage to the left.
In 1968 Mum, Dad me and my brother moved into the renovated cottage. Prior to renovation it was two very small cottages called Holberry Cottages. Two up two down, no bathroom and outside W/C.
Because of the confusion with the much larger Holberry Cottage next door, the name was changed back to Stocks in 1968.
Holberry Cottage c1869 with the Ray Family
Robert Ray was a road surveyor and died shortly after this was taken, aged 75 his wife Rebecca was 30 years his junior. The two children are probably their daughters, Laura and Selina.
Rebecca and the girls were still there two years later and had two servants. In the 1881 Census, Rebecca, now 56 was living on the income from a cottage property. The girls, in their 20’s and both unmarried had a boarder and a 16-year-old boy servant described as a cowboy living with them.
In the 1891 census, they had no servants just a lodger a clerk in holy orders. Rebecca died in 1894, leaving the girls still spinsters at Holberry.
In the 1901 census, both sisters were described as cow keepers with their 10-year-old nephew Donald now living with them. Laura died at 55 in 1910.
In the 1911 census, Selina and her nephew Donald and a domestic servant girl Dorothy Shepherd 15 years old were living at Holberry . By 1924 Selina had moved to Winchester where she died in 1928. By 1924 Patrick Connell Sharp and his wife had moved in, and 1931 William Hillary was living there. I think that was Bill Hillary’s father who latterly lived in Bighton lane.
The Old Post Office School lane. One of the oldest buildings in the village, chiefly 17th & 18th Century
The Post House or Office was not in the early times a dedicated building, but simply the house where the Sub Post Master or Mistress lived and where the post would be delivered to. In Bishop's Sutton’s Case this would have been from from New Alresford - who in turn received it from Winchester. For example in 1885 most of the local post would have been collected in Alresford and further away would arrive at Winchester by train in the early hours to be dispatched to Alresford, sorted to arrive at Bishop's Sutton by 6.45am and again by 1.30pm (delivered around the village at 11.40am and again at 7.30pm). Each time letters would be taken back from Bishop's Sutton to Alresford for sorting and delivering.
It seems that the post office moved across the road to the old shop by the 1890’s and was for a short time in the 1940’s at the Mill lane end of the village before returning to the shop where it stayed until the 1970’s when the shop closed. The Old Post House was a tied cottage to Bishop's Sutton Manor Farm until it was sold and is now a private dwelling.