100 continuous years of Coggan generations living in Stratford sub Castle - page 5

Sale of the farm and change of landlord

Sale of the farm picture 1.jpg


Consequently, the piggery business and the animal feed mill (Coggan Milling Company) both ceased, becoming Parsonage Close and Millers Close respectively, but the raising of store cattle could continue, based from the barn on the church side of Parsonage Farm Cottage. Pat and Audrey were now tenants to the Hospital Trust. Mark Salter continued to work for Pat until 1992.

In 1984 Doris Coggan decided to sell the entire farm. It sat on the market for some time, before being bought by The King Edward’s Hospital Trust for London. This was a major blow to Pat and Audrey, but, in hindsight, could have been much more devastating than it was. The Trust had no interest in farming, but proceeded to sell off all residential development areas. This proved to be just the farmyard area. The fields between Old Sarum and Stratford Road are classified as “Green Belt” and only agricultural buildings are allowed on it. Similarly, the fields to the south west of Stratford Road, and behind the current houses, are water meadows, and too low lying for housing development.

Sale of the farm picture 2.jpg


Zig zag lines are visible on the roof of the large building in PF2 and Richard wonders if they are WW2 camouflage markings.

Spitfire spares and supplies were stored in a barn at Parsonage Farm but Kerry O'Connor, the author of the village website article about the local Secret Spitfire sites has pointed out that zig zag markings weren't usually applied to land sites, only to shipping.

In Richard’s youth there was a staddle stone barn located just behind and to the right of the double gates in the above photos.

Any other thoughts or comments?

Does anyone have a memory or photo of that barn?

crop from Farmyard conversion Parsonge Close from hopper.jpg


1985. Another view from the feed mill hopper shows the three houses in Parsonage Close almost completed and ready to be sold.  

Just visible on the right of the photo is the end of the back of the roof of the barn shown in PF1. The Barn, Parsonage Close was restored/converted into a house and is a Grade II Listed building.

Richard has a memory of his father (Pat Coggan) telling him that when the barn pictured in PF1 above was being restored in the 1980's, it was discovered that the gable end was one metre out of vertical. 

The owners have confirmed in September 2021 that this was indeed the case and that remedial work was carried out to correct this.

Prior to the sale of the farm, and conversion of the farmyard, day to day life consisted of feeding 400 pigs twice a day, and a dozen or so young calves, housed in the cattle pens, now converted to a house, just to the left of photo PF.1 . Six cows were kept in the field across the road, and brought into the cattle pens twice a day to be suckled by the young calves. There were up to 200 steers and single suckling cows and calves in the rest of the fields. During winter time the cattle would also be fed once a day with hay and a feed supplement.


After the sale of the farm, there were only the outside cattle to look after. This gave Pat more time to explore other interests. He became a local magistrate during his sixties until compulsory retirement in 2000 at age 70. Among the organisations Pat was involved with were St Nicholas Hospital Almshouses, the Hatcher Society, the Family History Society, the National Farmers Union, Salisbury Chamber of Commerce, Salisbury Cathedral steward, the Old Dauntsean Association, Lackham Agricultural College.

Fire in the barn (church side of Stratford Road)

A fire in the north end of the barn started at about 2 am on Saturday 17 November 1990. Mark Salter (pictured) who was the stockman for 20 years, helped to rescue farm machinery and about 100 hay bales. 

Fire in barn Nov 1990.jpg
Machinery pulled from barn Nov 1990.jpg
Remaining hay in barn Nov 1990.jpg

Pat and Audrey’s 50th wedding Anniversary


June 20th 2003 was Pat and Audrey’s 50th wedding Anniversary. To celebrate,  they had a large family and friends gathering on the Saturday in the Reading Room. On the Sunday, after church they organised a morning tea for the St Lawrence church community, of which they were so much a part. Richard, Susan and Simon had come from Australia for the event. Below in a slide show are a few photos Richard took at the Sunday morning tea.

Golden wedding pic 1
Golden wedding pic 1

press to zoom
Golden wedding pic 2
Golden wedding pic 2

press to zoom
Golden wedding pic 9
Golden wedding pic 9

press to zoom
Golden wedding pic 1
Golden wedding pic 1

press to zoom
Pat & Audrey with Richard, Mary & Phil (1).jpg

Image - Back L to R: Richard, Mary and Phil.

In front Pat and Audrey


This photo was taken over the 50th anniversary weekend. It is one of the last family photos taken before Pat’s first stroke in January 2004. Audrey cared for Pat for 8 years, until he passed away on 15th December 2012.


After Pat’s death, Audrey lived a further 12 months in Parsonage Farm Cottage. She then moved into Kent Cottage with Phil and Babs for about 2 years, before being offered a flat at Matrons College, in Salisbury Cathedral Close.

Audrey was very happy in this beautiful setting within the Cathedral Close. The family have just recently realised the significance of this location for Audrey, being about 50 yards from where her maternal grandparents Harry and Frances Brooks lived, at 60 High St, Salisbury. This was also a sub post office, run by the family. Harry was the younger son of Henry Brooks, who has recently been the subject of public attention as the creator of the oldest known photograph of a family (his own) at Stonehenge. See https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-wiltshire-58058188

and https://stereoscopy.blog/2021/06/21/henry-brooks-salisbury-photographer/


Towards the end of 2018 Audrey’s health deteriorated, and she no longer felt capable of living on her own. She moved into Milford House at Laverstock, where she remained until being hospitalised, a week before her death on 5th June 2021

A twist in the tale

Richard emigrated to Australia in 1979 to marry Susan Turner. Susan was the third generation of the Turner family to marry an English partner. Susan’s mother Patricia emigrated from Leicester to Australia as a teenager, with her mother, brother and sister. Susan’s paternal grandfather, Lance Turner had emigrated from Yorkshire in 1919, after serving in the British navy during WWI. Lance came to Australia on his own, and never visited England again.


In 2008 Susan & Richard moved back to the UK, to work for a few years. During this time Susan began exploring the English side of her family ancestry, as part of a U3A group. She discovered that, while her grandfather was born in Yorkshire, his parents (both teachers) had moved there from …. Salisbury!


Delving further, into her grandfather’s history, Susan discovered:

  • His mother, Susan Foyle was born at Wilton and married Arthur Turner (an Art teacher born 1855) at St Mary and St Nicholas church in Wilton, in 1884. Her father Simeon was working as a servant to John Swayne (Clerk of the Peace) on the night of the 1861 census in Salisbury. Her mother Georgina Hill was born in 1821 at Pentridge, Wiltshire

  • Arthur Turner was the son of Edmund (a tailor journeyman) and lived at 70 St Ann Street in 1871. Arthur’s mother Betsy Cadley (?) was born at Anstey in 1822/24. Arthur’s older sister, Emma, may have worked at Fisherton House, in Salisbury


So, the irony is, Richard Coggan’s Australian wife’s family came from Salisbury, 100 years before Reginald Coggan moved to Stratford-Sub-Castile, Salisbury!


(If anyone has any information about Susan’s family in Salisbury, she would be most interested in hearing about it)