Dyer’s Cottage has a very long documented history, both of the building and its occupants.
Originally a 17th century farmhouse, it was subdivided into 5 cottages at an unknown date. These were rented to Master Dyers at the Dye Works, previously across the road, by the Wainhouse family.
At the time of the earliest censuses, the cottages were known as Top of Washer Lane, then Wainhouse Buildings. John Edward Wainhouse commissioned both the tower and his own house (West Air, now the Grade 11 listed Wainhouse Tavern) to be built in the 1870’s and added the distinctive porches to the four south facing ones and many more of his properties locally.
Several of these cottages were bought from his estate by James Kenyon, the owners’ great great grandfather, whose ancestors had lived in the cottages since 1777 but maybe earlier. He himself was born in one of them in 1843 so held a strong affection for them which has continued by his descendants until the present day.
Initially a dyer, James Kenyon successfully expanded his property portfolio but sent his 6 children to work at a very young age. His 5 daughters were employed in the local textiles mills and his son became a joiner. He was very disappointed that none of the three daughters who got married was attracted to a wealthy suitor but he did allow each of these three married daughters to live with their families in one of the cottages in Upper Washer Lane. No doubt they paid him rent though!
Only Dyer’s Cottage has remained in the family and benefitted from a huge renovation in 2014.