There have been many stories written about Yarnton. Here are a few:

  1. Bygone Yarnton - Joan Roe (1912-1998)
  2. Grandmothers Tales - Joan Roe (1912-1998)
  3. Recollections of a childhood in Yarnton in the early years of the Twentieth Century - Mary Wesley (nee Lambourn)

A photograph of Ivy House, Woodstock Road, can be seen in the Photo Gallery of the website.  Thanks to John B. Orson who supplied the photograph and notes.


September 2018

Sophia Jane Lay

We have recently received the following information and photographs from Terry Pearson, Sophia's grandson.  

The birthday card, addressed to Sophia Jane Hastings at Windmill Hill Farm, Yarnton, was franked January 1901.

One photograph shows Sophia Jane Lay.

The group photo shows (he thinks) four generations ... taken circa 1937, taken outside the front door of Quarry House, Long Han(d)borough. Terry's late brother Anthony – on the right in the photo – was born in January 1936 – so, he guesses the date of the photo as circa 1937 as he looks approx. 1 to 2 years old.  If that date is approximately correct, that would put Jane Hastings (nee Putt) at approximately 80 years old – which looks about right. Jane Hastings was born in 1857.  She passed away at Windmill Farm (Windmill Hill Farm?, as per handwritten address on Sophia’s 1901 birthday card) in Yarnton in 1942.

Standing:  Sophia Jane Lay (nee Hastings) (his grandmother), Sybil Alice Pearson (nee Lay) his mother

Seated:  Jane (he thinks) Hastings, nee Putt, (his great-grandmother, mother of Sophia Jane), Anthony Cecil Edward Pearson (his brother)

Extracts from Terry's emails appear below:

I hope you are able to open/view the attached images of the delightful birthday card, addressed to Sophia Jane Hastings at Windmill Hill Farm, Yarnton – which is the reason I Googled your website earlier today!  The card was among my late mother’s belongings.

Cecil Lay married Sophia Jane Hastings at Yarnton Parish Church on September 24th 1901. My grandmother was Sophia Jane Lay (nee Hastings) who lived at Windmill Hill Farm. I noticed the mention of the Hastings family in the childhood recollections on the website. Sophia married Cecil Lay of Long Han(d)borough. 

I have also attached a copy of the newspaper obituary published soon after Sophia’s death in August 1972 which nicely summarises her life.  She was 94 years old when she passed away.

My mother was Sybil Alice Pearson (nee Lay), one of the daughters of Cecil and Sophia Lay (nee Hastings).  She was born in Kidlington in 1907.  She passed away in 2007, a few weeks before what would have been her 100th birthday.  They certainly bred them to last in that family – I hope I have inherited the appropriate genes!


Many thanks to Terry for contacting us and sending the images and information