Skip Navigation
 
 

Welcome to Bedford Borough Council

Home > Community archives > Carlton > Wykes Farm, Carlton

Wykes Farm, Carlton

This page was written by volunteer Pamela Hider

It is unknown when or why the name Wykes became attached to the farm. It can be located on a site layout plan dated 1907 (below). Pipers Lodge can also be seen in the lower right hand corner and to the left of the Lodge are the buildings of Fishers Farm.

Wykes 2

Sale plan 1907 (BMB14/A49)

Eden Brothers

When the Fishers Estate came up for sale in 1907, it was bought by the Eden brothers, Harold and Gerald. Gerald also took on the tenancy of Faulkner's Farm in the Marsh. When Wykes became available just a few years later, the brothers purchased it, as it was so close to Fishers and Gerald left Faulkner's. The Rating and Valuation Act 1925 specified that every building and piece of land in the country was to be assessed to determine its rateable value. The assessment made by the valuer visiting Fishers Farm [DV1/H18] in 1926 also included Wykes. The house was described as stone & slate and comprised living room, kitchen & scullery with 3 bedrooms upstairs and closet and barn outside - 'Fair House. Water pumped from well'. The buildings consisted of 'Malting, 3 pig styes, Cow house for 3, Calf place and hovel.  No water here. Not good buildings. Malting thatch'. Whilst Harold and his family moved into the Fishers Farmhouse, Gerald and his family moved into the Wykes Farmouse. In 1932, the brothers dissolved their partnership and Gerald moved to Dungee Farm on the Podington road. Harold then took over sole ownership of Wykes Farm (Z1521/1/16/2). Until very recently it has been occupied by Harold's son and family, followed  by Harold's grand-daughter and her family.

Historical Barns

Just as the barn at old Fishers Farm was thought to have been the place where John Bunyan preached in the 17th century and indeed where Bunyan's  great grand-daughter lived in the house there in the 18th century, so does Wykes barn have its own story to tell. The deeds are in the private ownership of Harold's grand-daughter, who was born in the farmhouse and only recently left it. She tells us not only that the house dates from 1613, but that the barn, itself, was once an earlier dwelling dating back to the 1460s (in the reign of Edward IV). The barn became a Maltings in the early 19th century before it became just a barn. In the mid 20th century, a stray cricket ball dislodged some of the barn's stonework, revealing two Tudor windows which are now in a museum. They had probably been blocked up to avoid payment of Window Tax (in force from 1696-1851).

 Wykes Barn 1

Wykes Barn 2

Wykes Farm barn September 2019 

If one draws an imaginary line between the three points on the 1765 map below, one can see a triangle with the church tucked in the centre. These estates, Carlton Hall, Stayesmore & Fishers form a triangle of wealth and power which centuries ago gave rise to the village of Carlton. Being grouped around St. Mary's Church also lent them spiritual legitimacy.

Jefferys with 3 dots

Jefferys map 1765