Is a very, very, very fine house
Our House, 1905
This is our house. Welcome! It was built in 1883 by John Palmer Benstead (7th June 1828 - 24th February 1887). John was the illegitimate son of Elizabeth Benstead, who married Richard Folker, a farm labourer, in 1834. In the 1841 census John Benstead is recorded as a farm labourer, living alone in Heacham. He then worked for Thomas Savory at the Old Bakehouse in Ladies' Walk and married Mary Ann, his employer's daughter, in 1851. They had seven sons and four daughters, though one of these was stillborn.
Mary Ann, and John, had a bakery in the Market Square from 1851 until Alma House was built, at a cost of £900. In the 1860s and 70s the population of Snettisham was 1,233 and there were four other bakers in the village
Our House, today
When John died the business remained in the family. The photograph of the house in 1905 shows Frederick and Emma Benstead with their young son Bob. Apparently he took over the business from his brother Tony some time before 1930, and maintained it until his retirement in 1967/68. He married Nellie in the 1920s and had a daughter, Mollie, in 1927 and a son, Alan, in 1930.
Bob Benstead made bread, cakes and pastries, using a coal fired oven in what is now the kitchen.
The kitchen as it is today - formerly the bakehouse - some of the ironwork is original.
Bob delivered to Snettisham and the neighbouring villages of Sedgeford, Fring, Ingoldisthorpe and Dersingham. He had a cart and a donkey, which lived in this shed:
Many years ago, when Graham Nash was living in Laurel Canyon at Joni Mitchell's house, she brought home some flowers one day, and he composed a song, which he entitled Our House:
The village also has a handsome 17th century Old Hall, built, like our house, of carstone (quarried just up the road) with brick dressings:
Our garden, earlier this year
Amanda, stuck at the top of our stairs
From Amanda's window