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Moat Farmhouse - 72 High Street Eaton Bray

72 High Street - Moat Farm - March 2012
72 High Street - Moat Farm - March 2012

Moat Farmhouse is a fine old building. It was listed by the former Department of Environment in September 1980 as Grade II, of special interest and was dated to the 17th century. The ground floor is timber framed with plaster rendering whilst the first floor is timber framed with brick infill between the timbers called nogging. The roof is composed of old tiles. A later west wing dates to the 18th century and is built in whitewashed brick with an old, hipped, clay tiled roof.

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. Eaton Bray, like most of the county, was assessed in 1927 and the valuer visiting Moat Farm [DV1/C235/52-54] found it was owned by W. Wood and occupied by his brother, F. Wood.

The house comprised two living rooms, a kitchen, a scullery and three bedrooms; it had one bay window. A barn stood outside. The valuer commented: “Old and bad. Eaves low” as well as “+1 bay (neglect)” and “Poor place”.

There was also, as the name suggests, a range of farm buildings “all poor”. By the house stood a weather-boarded and tiled lean-to shed, a corrugated iron two bay open shed, two hen houses, another open shed, a large weather-boarded and thatched two bay barn, a weather-boarded and corrugated iron cattle shed, a weather-boarded and tiled stable (“disused”), a three bay open shed and a meal house: “All in bad condition”.

The farmhouse was no longer a part of a farm. The only land attached to it was now 1.031 acres of orchard. The valuer considered this as “average”, but a different hand wrote “not quite so good”!