Tyrells End Farm Eversholt
Tyrells End Farmhouse January 2008
Tyrells End Farm must be one of the oldest properties in Eversholt, perhaps the oldest in the parish other than the church. It was listed by English Heritage in March 1987 as Grade II*, a particularly important building of more than special interest. The listing dates it “probably” to the late 15th century, with later re-workings. Sir Nikolaus Pevsner in the Bedfordshire volume of his Buildings of England series opines that it began life as an open hall, without storey above the ground floor. It is timber-framed with colour-washed plaster infill to most of it except for some red brick infill on the right-hand gable end. Part of this right-hand bay has also been rebuilt in brick with colour-washed render over it. The roof is composed of clay tiles. The house now has two storeys.
The archive of the Duke of Bedford’s Estate has a packet of 97 deeds running from 1609 to 1863 which includes the farmhouse. The first mention of it is in 1612 when Ambrose Whitbread of Eversholt, yeoman, granted the farmhouse in which he lived, along with 26 acres of land to trustees on his marriage with Elizabeth Johnson [R6/19/3/5]. Ambrose Whitbread made his will in 1647 and devised the house to his son Ambrose. Despite being “weak in body” Ambrose senior lived another nine years, his will being proved in October 1656 [R6/19/3/12]. Ambrose junior made his will in 1691, dying a few days later. He devised most of his real estate to his son William [R6/19/3/25]. William, in his will of 1730 [R6/19/3/42] left most of his real estate to his son Ambrose. However the will notes that some real estate had been given to his son William, presumably outside the scope of the will and it is to William that the property at Tyrells End belonged when, in 1773 he duly made his will, devising all his real estate to trustees for sale [R6/19/3/50].
In 1774 William Whitbread’s executors conveyed Tyrells End Farm, including the house, to Ambrose Reddall of Eversholt for the enormous sum (for those days) of £1,900 [R6/19/3/53]. Ambrose Reddall died shortly afterwards and in 1775 his widow Judy and son-in-law Sir Philip Monoux of Sandy released Tyrells End Farm to Woburn widow Elizabeth Docwra for £1,800 [R6/19/3/56]. A year later Elizabeth leased Tyrells End farmhouse, two nearby cottages and 58 acres, 21 poles of land to Thomas Sear of Sampshill, Westoning, yeoman for six years at an annual rent of £65 [R6/19/3/59]. Then, in 1789, Elizabeth Docwra sold Tyrells End Farm to Roger Brinklow of Milton Bryan, yeoman, for £1,600 [R6/19/3/61].
Roger Brinklow left Tyrells End Farm to his son John Cheshire alias Brinklow in his will of 1791, proved the following year [R6/19/3/66]. John Brinklow left Tyrells End to his wife Susannah in his will of 1800 when “sick and weak in body”. Susannah was pregnant at the time and gave birth after John’s death. John’s will specified that after Susannah’s death the property was to go equally to their children as tenants in common [R6/19/3/74]. Eversholt was inclosed in 1808 - much of the land comprising the farm comprised strips in the open fields of Eversholt, which were done away with at inclosure and replaced by fields inclosed by hedges. Susannah Brinklow received five of these new fields totalling 20 acres, 3 roods, 1 pole in compensation for the strips lost [R6/19/3/76]. All three of the Brinklows’ children were girls. The youngest, Mary, died unmarried in 1815, aged 14 [R6/19/3/78]; Elizabeth married Joseph Reynolds of Husborne Crawley [R6/19/3/79] and died without children aged 42 in 1836 [R6/19/3/81]. This left Sarah, who married William Green of Battlesden in 1821 [R6/19/3/80]. Joseph Reynolds bought a suit in Chancery against William Green in 1838 as Green asserted that the whole of John Brinklow’s estate now belonged to him through his wife Sarah. In order to settle the case Green bought Reynolds off by paying him £900 in 1839 [R6/19/3/88]. Finally, in 1863 William Green sold Tyrells End Farm to the Duke of Bedford for £3,200 [R6/19/3/97]. At this date the farm comprised:
- The farmhouse, homestead and two cottages all set in 1 acre, 24 poles;
- Barley Croft Pightle - 3 acres, 2 roods, 25 poles of pasture;
- Barley Croft - 5 acres, 1 rood, 4 poles of pasture;
- Pottery Croft Pightle - 3 roods, 21 poles of pasture;
- Four newly built cottages and gardens occupying 1 rood, 12 poles;
- Porter’s Close and Rush Hill Piece - 17 acres, 1 rood, 35 poles of arable;
- The Holmes - 7 acres, 1 rood, 22 poles of arable;
- Little Holmes, Sacra Leys and Church Mead - 9 acres, 3 roods, 11 poles of pasture;
- Church Mead Pightle - 1 acre, 28 poles of pasture;
- Home Close and Well Pightle - 8 acres, 1 rood, 17 poles of pasture;
- Square Close - 2 acres, 2 roods, 20 poles of arable
This made a total of 53 acres, 19 poles of land. In 1856 the farmhouse was described as previously in the occupation of William Whitbread, then Sarah Whitbread, widow, then William Whitbread, then Thomas Sear and, at that date, of William King [R6/19/3/94]. In 1876 John Green gave up the tenancy of the farm, William Gower junior being the incoming tenant [SF18/31] .
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 the property [DV1/C133/33-35] found that it was still owned by the Duke of Bedford’s London and Devon Estates Company and, rather than being a farmhouse, it was now divided into three tenements running north-east to south-west and numbered 30, 31 and 53 Tyrrells End. The north-west third, Number 30, was occupied by Sydney Cox at a rent of 18/5 per quarter for a living room, a scullery and two bedrooms. A barn and an earth closet along with a washhouse for two of the tenements stood outside.
Number 31 was occupied by Alfred Goodwin rent-free. He had a living room, a scullery and two bedrooms with a barn and earth closet outside. He shared the washhouse with Sydney Cox. Number 53 was inhabited by Frederick Fleet Chapman at a rent of 19/6 per quarter. He had two living rooms, a kitchen and dairy with four bedrooms above. Two barns and an earth closet stood outside. The entry was annotated on 5th July 1949: “Sitting room used as shop 10 feet by 12 feet, no structural alterations, two tables for counter, no display in bay window”. The three cottages were converted back into one dwelling in 1965 for Charles W Williams [Z568/1/13a-e].