Button Snap

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Button Snap
General information
Type cottage
Location Westmill, Hertfordshire SG9 9NN England
Coordinates Lua error in Module:Coordinates at line 668: callParserFunction: function "#coordinates" was not found.
Completed 17th century
Technical details
Floor count 2

Button Snap is a 17th-century cottage in northeast Hertfordshire. It is on a rural gravel road west of the village of Westmill. It has been listed since 1967 as a Grade II building in the British Listed Buildings scheme.[1]

Button Snap cottage, located about 1,200 feet (370 m) northwest of Cherry Green Farm and Fancy Hall, is significant for several reasons. First, it has changed little, excepting for a possible later extension, since it was built. It is therefore a good example of a traditional cottage with a roof of thatched straw. It is described in the British Listed Buildings website as, "Timber frame roughcast on plastered red brick sill." A number of other thatched-roof cottages, known as Cherry Green, exist nearby.[2][3]

This cottage has a unique history. It was originally owned by Francis Field, the uncle of the writer Charles Lamb. In 1812 Field's widow conveyed this property to Lamb, who lived in the cottage until 1815, when he sold it. Lamb mentioned this house in an essay, "My First Play."[4] Lamb even apparently gave the cottage its name of Button Snap.[5]

The cottage has two ceramic plaques on either side of the front door that tell of its connection to Lamb. A small bust of Lamb is next to the road (at the verge) in front of the cottage, as well.[6] This cottage was privately owned for many years. In 1947 the owner presented Button Snap to the Royal Arts Society. Two years later the Society sold the property to the Charles Lamb Society, which leased it to tenants. Because of rising costs of maintaining the structure, it was sold in 1985.[7]


  1. Brisith Listed Buildings website, at http://www.britishlistedbuildings.co.uk/en-161356-button-snap-westmill-hertfordshire#.VhNsMJWFPIU .
  2. British Listed Buildings website.
  3. British History Online website, at http://www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/herts/vol3/pp397-402 .
  4. Waymarking.com website, at http://www.waymarking.com/waymarks/WM9MP0_Button_Snap_Cottage_Westmill_Herts_UK .
  5. Hertfordshire Genealogy website, at http://www.hertfordshire-genealogy.co.uk/data/places/places-w/westmill_/westmill-button-snap.htm .
  6. Waymaking.com website.
  7. Deborah K. Hedgecock, A Handlist to the Charles Lamb Society Collection at Guildhall Library, (Richmond, England: Charles Lamb Society, 1995) , at http://www.charleslambsociety.com/docs/Deborah%20Hedgecock%20-%20(supp%201995).pdf .