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Speedsdairy Farm Chicksands

Speedsdairy Farmhouse was listed by English Heritage in June 1989. It dates from the early or mid-17th century with a later 17th century extension and dairy to the rear. The range is, in front, clad in brick and was rebuilt above ground level between 1820 and 1830 otherwise the building is timber-framed with roughcast render sitting on a brick plinth. The roofs are 19th century slate and the left-hand bay is probably a 19th century extension. The property comprises two storeys.

The property stands close to the hamlet of Beadlow and the parish boundary between Campton and Chicksands and the parish of Clophill. The farm formed part of the Chicksands Priory Estate. In 1771 it was leased to William Bevan [O45]. The lease is dated 1763 and was for twelve years at £299 per annum; the farm comprised 355 acre, 37poles [O107]. In 1774 a new lease was made with Benjamin Bevan at a rent of £256 per annum [O110]. In 1835 the tenant was Joseph Bevan [O47].

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 valuer visiting Speedsdairy Farm [DV1/H39/70] found it still owned by the Osborn family; the tenants were A and J Mossman whose rent, fixed in 1912, was £350/19/- per annum for 412 acres. The valuer commented: "Useful Farm. Some high land, but parts very rough. Some useful grass land but lower end of farm floods badly. House and buildings old and rather poor repair. Farm much damaged by game. Top end of Field No 25 very rough and poor, may be ploughed up soon". A second valuer, on 3rd January 1927, wrote: "Bad homestead – Thatched Barn. No Bath Room. Poor House. Lot of bad land – Rabbits, woods. General note for Chicksands grass generally is very woolly".

The farmhouse comprised two living rooms, a hall, kitchen, scullery, dairy, washhouse, earth closet and lumber room with six bedrooms; one room downstairs and two upstairs were not used. The valuer noted: "Old house, fair repair". The homestead comprised the following:

  • North block: five-bay cart shed and trap house; wood and tiled nag stable and granary; wood and tiled ten bay bullock sheds; small pigsty;
  • East block: large barn and mixing place; brick and tiled stabling for eight horses and similar for four horses;
  • South block: cowsheds; stables for eight horses and two horses; three-bay open shed and calves; house; large wood and thatched and wood and corrugated iron barn; two good brick and slate washhouses.