The White House on the River Colne near Wivenhoe

John Stewart

White House Cottage, also known as Copyhold or Copywood Cottage, close to Whitehouse Beach, Wivenhoe.
Photo from the Wivenhoe Memories Collection

This photo is of the house known as White House near Alresford Creek in which old Granny Welham lived. This photo must be after the railway went through to Brightlingsea in 1865. The cottage was pulled down many years ago although Bill Sadler who used to be a fireman on the Crab and Winkle line (the train line from Wivenhoe to Brightlingsea) remembers stopping his train at this cottage to shovel some coal over her fence!

It  is from this cottage that Whitehouse beach  on the River Colne near Alresford creek is so named.

A contribution from Alan Hughes: Hi, I’m a descendant of the Welham’s of Alresford. This picture is confusing me. It says it is at the Ford but is next to the railway line. Ford Lane and the Ford itself are not next to the railway line? Can anyone provide any help on this? All the early census returns give the Welhams living at versions of the same place The Copyhold, Copyhold, Copyholds and Copyhold cottage. Does anyone know where this was as I cannot find it on any map?

Answer 1:  This house was on the River Colne next to Alresford creek,  heading towards Wivenhoe, next to the old Wivenhoe-Brightlingsea railway line. It would have looked out to the Fingringhoe nature reserve.

Answer 2:  Copywood cottage was beside the Brightlingsea railway line (Known as the Whitehouse). It once belonged to Copywood Farm.   Thanks to Ken Newbury

Ken Thank you so very much for your reply and the information. You have cleared up something that I have been trying to find out for years. Am so grateful to you, Regards Alan Hughes.

Walter Horice Welhem And Lily Murrel Welham are burried together In plot number F178 in Wivenhoe Cemetery.  Thanks to Ken Newbury for more information.

Hi Ken Thank you so much for all the info provided. I am trying to find the links of Walter to my tree. I have found some info re the White House being built in about 1900 on the original Copyhold site in a book The Essex Coastline – then and now by Matthew Faulty and James Garon which is very informative about the Alresford / Wivenhoe areas. If you turn anything else up then would be very grateful. Once again thanks for everything. Regards Alan

Hi Alan.  I have traced Walter Horace Welham born 1887 at Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk. He married Lilly Murriel Handley in Colchester in 1918. Walter died at Wivenhoe in 1951. Walter’s father was William Arthur Welham who was born in 1861 at Fort St. George Madras, India. He married Blanche Agnes Stevens and died in 1918 at Colchester.
William’s father was Walter Welham, born 1824 at Long Melford, Suffolk, he died in 1890 at Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk.
Walters father was William Welham who was born in 1792 at Long Melford , He married Charlotte Ducesett in 1817 at Long Melford.  He died at Woodbridge, Suffolk in 1850.  William’s father was also William who was born at Long Melford in 1735.
William’s father was also another William.  He was born in Long Melford in 1709 and in 1734 he married Ann Stanhope.
Hope this helps, John Admin

Hello.  My mother was a Welham and also had family that lived at the White House. Stories of windows rattling as trains went by!  She is 83yrs old & has very good memory for family history. I believe the David Welham mentioned was a relative on Was this a typical farm cottage

This page was added on 20/11/2015.

Comments about this page

  • Just discovered this fascinating page as I am researching my Welham family history. My grandfather was William Horace Welham and his father was Samuel Welham 1856-1898 who perhaps lived in this cottage??

    By Rodney Welham (05/01/2024)
  • Walter Horace Welham and his wife Lily Murrell (nee Handley) lived at Elhanan, Alma Street, Wivenhoe from the late 1930’s and were my grandparents.
    Prior to that they lived at the Rowans on Arlesford Road. At no time did they live at the mentioned White Cottage, but there were many other Welhams in Essex.
    John Admin has the rest of it about right as this family came from Long Melford, then Fort St. George in India and Bury St. Edmunds in Suffolk.

    By Margaret (nee Welham) (03/01/2016)

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