Rare 18th Century Cottage in Peterborough Listed Grade II
Canary Cottage at Knarr Farm near Thorney, Peterborough, has been listed at Grade II by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) on the advice of Historic England.
A reminder of life in the Fens in times gone by
Built around 1750, Canary Cottage is a rare surviving example of a mid-18th century fenland cottage and is thought to have been built shortly after the drainage of the local fens.
A characterful local landmark, the cottage’s distinctive yellow door and windows were painted in the early 20th century by the Dixon-Spain family who owned a number of different farms in the area. They used a colour coding scheme to identify their buildings and machinery.
Simple home to farm workers
The cottage has been home to many generations of farm workers and has witnessed more than 250 years of agricultural development. It offered basic living conditions with a sitting room and kitchen on the ground floor, two bedrooms upstairs and an outbuilding housing a storeroom and toilet. Amenities consisted of an open fireplace, gas lighting, mains water and a gas-powered water heater connected to the only tap in the cottage.
Last occupied in 1965
Canary Cottage was renovated and re-thatched around 1960 but has stood empty since 1965, when it was vacated by Ken and Thelma Wright, who met as workers at Knarr Farm in the late 1950s and lived in the cottage for the first five years of their married life.
I am pleased that the Secretary of State has agreed with our recommendation to list Canary Cottage, a rare surviving example of a mid-18th century Fenland cottage. By protecting it we are helping to ensure it can be enjoyed by future generations, helping them to understand life in the Fens in times gone by. Tony Calladine, Regional Director for Historic England in the East of England