- Meldin Cottage, Lesbury, Northumberland

The birthplace of Edward Archibald Groves -


    No more than about 4 miles from Alnwick, the seat of the Duke of Northumberland, lies the tiny village of Lesbury. Down the main road in Lesbury, stands a row of three stone semi-detached cottages, these being Meldon, Rose and Jasmin cottages. Meldon cottage was the birthplace of my father, Edward Archibald Groves on the 24th March, 1917.  Bear in my mind that I had no record whatsoever of the precise birthplace of my father, other than scant information extracted from the memoirs of Edward Groves, coupled with a single, solitary B&W photograph.





Images below show Meldon cottage, Lesbury, circa 1917, adjacent to a second view of all three cottages, photographed on 12th April 2004.  In the earlier of the two photographs, along with the eldest of the family, Margaret Groves (third from left, in line with the doorway), and Joan Groves, are the six boys from Queen Victoria School, Dunblane, Scotland, these being Alfred Osborne, George Groves (front, extreme left), Thomas Groves (back row, second from right), Alfred Tout, David Mitchell, and George Mitchell. Most of the structure of the cottages appears to have remained intact, save replacement of the roofing, windows and doors. The dark stone patch above the doorway of Meldon cottage is clearly visible in both photographs.



Adjacent to Meldon cottage is Rose Cottage, the occupants around 1917 being Mr and Mrs Thompson. James W. Thompson was a joiner and undertaker who carried on his business at Rose cottage. A Roman water pump, a listed building I've been told, lies to the left of the cottage. The pump can clearly be seen in the photograph below.  It was referred to in my grandfathers' memoirs.



"I had almost forgotten to mention that before leaving Lesbury our youngest son elected to be born there! He does not remember anything about this beautiful old-world village, but I can assure him that if ever he has the good fortune to visit it, I am certain he will fall in love with it. He was christened inside the cottage from a large cut glass bowl by the local Padre and named Edward Archibald Groves." - Edward Groves


Image below of Meldon cottage, its name plaque clearly visible.





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