Westhey Manor Higham Gobion
Westhey Manor was listed by the former Ministry of Works in October 1952 as Grade II, of special interest. It dates from the 17th century and is of timber-framed construction with red brick infill. The house is in an L-shape with two storeys under clay tile roofs. The main block has a two storey porch with a jettied construction, that is, the first floor overhangs the ground floor. There are 20th century lean-to additions.
The name Westhey Manor is of longstanding, the earliest trace of the name being in Kelly's Directory of 1931. Previously the building was Lane Farm. It may or may not have been on or near the site of the manor house to the Manor of Westhey, called the Manor of Westhey and Faldo from 1613.
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 Lane Farm [DV1/H7/4] found it owned by Miss E J Roberts and occupied by Archibald Hubert Day who paid rent of £55 per annum for 52 acres, fixed in 1912. The valuer commented: "A nice little farm. Landlord has never done any repairs. Very badly in need of draining, water-logged in winter otherwise lovely land. Tennis court".
The house comprised two reception rooms, a kitchen and dairy with four bedrooms upstairs and a wood barn outside. The valuer noted: "Water pumped from brook to sink. Very old house done up very suitable". The homestead comprised: a wood and corrugated iron shed and two bay open implement shed; a brick and corrugated iron cow shed for three, loose box and mixing shed; two wood and corrugated iron calf boxes, loosebox, chaffhouse, open hovel and large calf box; a wood and tiled six bay open hovel and yard; a brick and tiled four stall stable and small box and a wood and tiled granary.
Directories for Bedfordshire were not published every year but every few years from the mid-19th century until 1940. Lane Farm is first listed in Kelly's Directory of 1906 when the tenant was Thomas Day, a William Day is listed as farmer in the parish in directories of 1898 and 1903 but with no named farm. Thomas Day was listed at Lane Farm in 1914 and 1920 where he is called Thomas Day senior. In 1924 and 1928 A H Day is listed. In 1931 the property is called Westhey Manor, occupied by Cyril Leonard Lee. In 1936 and 1940 the occupant is listed as J W Lloyd.
Subsequent to the publication of this article Rob Stevens contacted the service and kindly provided the black and white photographs on this page which are from the album of his grandfather Ralph Day. Ralph was the son of Thomas Day mentioned in the previous paragraph. The photograph of the soldiers below, taken during the First World War, includes three civilians sitting in the front row, all sons of Thomas Day, so see a larger version please click on the image.