The Unicorn Malthouse, Heytesbury, Bequeathed In The Will Of Elizabeth Flower, 1761

Wednesday 21st February 2018:

Kathy Tompkins, who lives in Bournemouth, 
writes ~

"Hi Danny, 
I have been following you for a few years, as I have close links to Sutton Veny, Heytesbury and Warminster, and am able to trace my ancestors back as far as the early 1700's. Curiously this morning I have found a will on pertaining to my 6th G Grandmother, Elizabeth Flower (nee Young) who was married to Obadiah Flower (there are quite a few of them in my family tree). In the will dated 1761, it is made mention of the Unicorn Malthouse in Heytesbury and I was wondering if you had any information about this? I  have attached the will for you to have a look at. Any information will be gratefully received. 
With kind regards, Kathy."

Danny Howell replies ~

Thank you Kathy for sharing your discovery. Fascinating to see a reference to the Unicorn at Heytesbury in a primary source. 

For the benefit of readers of, Elizabeth Flower's last will and testament commences: 

"I Elizabeth Flower of Heytesbury in the County of Wilts Widow do publish and Declare my last Will and Testament in manner and form following (that is to say) First I Give Devise and Bequeath unto my son Thomas Flower and his Heirs and Assigns All that Messuage or Tenement Malthouse Stable Garden situate at Heytesbury aforesaid commonly called or known by the name of the Unicorn and now in my possession with Appurtenances and every part thereof To Hold the same unto my said son Thomas his Heirs and Assigns for and during all the remainder of my Term Interest and Estate therein . . . "

 Elizabeth Flower's signature 
on her will of 1761.

 Signatures of those who witnessed
Elizabeth Flower's last will and testament.

Danny Howell adds ~
The Unicorn beerhouse at Heytesbury is recorded in the Commercial Directory of 1842 (that's 81 years after the date of Elizabeth Flower's will, so it obviously continued to trade for a long time, still serving the locality). It was situated at the eastern end of the village and it is generally believed that its site can be identified today as being near or on that occupied by a 5 bedroom freehold detached house with the name 'Unicorn Cottage' and the current address: Park Lane, Heytesbury, BA12 0HE (on the corner of Park Lane and Park Street). Unicorn Cottage was substantially extended and improved circa 2001. The road rising up the hill at the eastern end of Heytesbury - on what was the old A36 road from Park Street to the junction with the turning for Chitterne, but no longer a through-road since the A36 (Heytesbury Bypass) was realigned alongside of this - was once known as Unicorn Hill because of its proximity to the Unicorn beerhouse. Elizabeth Flower's will shows that the Unicorn, in 1761, was not only a beerhouse but also had its own malthouse plus a stable and a garden.

 The Salisbury road (Unicorn Hill) on the east
side of Heytesbury, pictured circa 1905.
The former Unicorn Beerhouse is on the right.

 The former A36 on the east side of Heytesbury
 photographed by Danny Howell 
on Wednesday 21st February 2018. 
Unicorn Cottage on the right.

The lower section of Unicorn Hill is now 
closed to motor vehicles and the rest is
now realigned and part of the A36
Heytesbury Bypass.

 The end of the old road.

The view west down Unicorn Hill,
Heytesbury, as depicted on a
postcard produced circa 1910.

View west along the old section of the
road at Unicorn Hill, 
photographed by Danny Howell 
on Wednesday 21st February 2018.
Unicorn Cottage on the left.

Unicorn Cottage,
Wednesday 21st February 2018.

Unicorn Cottage in 2014,
about 13 years after it was
extended and modernised.

The name sign at Unicorn Cottage.
Wednesday 21st October 2018.

Unicorn Cottage,
Wednesday 21st October 2018.