The Berkswell Society
Sunnyside House

This house was built in 1732 by a local Berkswell carpenter - William Thompson, and later by the Barratt family. In 1845 it was owned by a single, 60-year-old man named Thomas Tranter. On 22nd November 1845, he was found brutally murdered with a shattered skull, and the house ransacked. A local man – James Read - was charged with his murder but was acquitted. He was re-arrested two weeks later charged with stealing Tranter’s clothing and pawning it! He was found guilty of larceny. The judge was non-committal regarding the murder but clearly thought Read was guilty and sentenced him to 7 years transportation to Tasmania although he spent the first 5 years in prison in Gibraltar. He was released in 1852 but his whereabouts after that is not known.

View from road only.


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