Marsh House stands at the western edge of Freeman's Marsh, adjacent to Cobbler's Lock on the Kennet and Avon Canal.
It is approached by means of the ford across the River Dun, on the old road from Hungerford to Savernake across the marsh.
Catherine Bancroft has kindly supplied several captioned photographs of her family and the local area in the 1930s and 1940s.
Her father, David Abbott, has kindly shared (Mar 2012) some reminiscences of the time he lived with his grandparents Herbert and Ruth Cook
between 1940-47. The house was then called "137 The Marsh". There was no running water (a pump in the kitchen), no electricity (candles, Aladdin lamps and Tilley lamps were used), and
there was a privy in the garden.
Herbert ran a smallholding, with six cattle, and a few pigs and chicken. He ran the mild round in the Oakhill and Froxfield area. He was also
Overseer of the Marsh, and was responsible for reducing the nettles and keeping the marsh tidy.
David's mother worked for Mr Munford at the Hungerford Printing Works.
remembers Mr & Mrs Hunt in Lock Cottage by Cobblers Lock, the Bartholomews (retired farm worker) and the Brinds (with their daughter June) at 135 and 136 The Marsh - the two nearby
thatched cottages. At The Barracks were maybe 4-6 families. One child sadly drowned in Marsh lock.
In 1944 small landing craft trained on the canal and marsh. David was
invited to have a ride on one, and the Americans gave him chocolate and a banana - his first during the war. There were steam lorries still along the A4 road. The only taxi in the area
was run by Mrs Perdue.
His grandfather was able to shoot rabbits on the common to help feed the family, and also a few duck in the withy beds.
They both helped the Hollands
at Hopgrass farm during the harvest.