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Rectory Farm Lower Gravenhurst

Rectory Farmhouse March 2014
Rectory Farmhouse March 2014

Rectory Farm was part of the Wrest Park Estate. In 1918 it was sold by Nan Ino Baroness Lucas to its tenant Thomas George at a price of £4,400. The land then comprised 169 acres and 9 poles L23/100714]

 The extent of Rectory Farm in 1918 [L23/1007/14]
The extent of Rectory Farm in 1918 [L23/1007/14]

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 Rectory farm [DV1/H51/56] found it owned and occupied by H George, rent, previous to the sale by the Wrest Park Estate to Thomas George had been £154 per annum, which had been fixed in 1900. At that time the farm had 170 acres, the acreage in 1926 being reportedly only one acre less.

The Valuer commented: “Water pumped from well for house and buildings … Field by Park is very poor land. Land by river floods badly”. Another hand has written “Old Titmas here for years”. Indeed, John Titmas is first recorded in a directory of 1862 and last recorded in 1903. In the following directory, 1906, Thomas George had succeeded him.

The farmhouse comprised two reception rooms, a kitchen, a scullery, a dairy and a pantry. There was a basement cellar. On the first floor were six bedrooms and on the second floor three attics.

The homestead comprised the following edifices, built of brick with slate roofs: a three-stall hay stable and garage; a stable for six horses and a chaff place; a cowhouse “as hay store and loose box”; a four-bay open shed; a root house; a five-bay hovel; a loose box “as hen house”; a granary; a barn; a four-bay hovel; a cowhouse for six beasts; five piggeries and a mixing house; a seven-bay lean-to; an implement shed and a three-bay cart shed.