Leys Farm Milton Bryan
Leys Farm February 2012
Leys Farm was and is a sizable holding. 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 visited Leys Farm on 10th August 1926. He found that the owner was the Duke of Bedford’s London and Devon Estates Company and the tenant the executors of W. W. Millard (Mrs. Elizabeth Millard, his widow, was still in residence according to Kelly’s Directory for 1928). Rent was 3269 per annum and had been set in 1920.
As well as the buildings the farm comprised 210.75 acres, just as it had before the First World War. The valuer commented: “Saw Mrs. Millard. Leighton nearest market 5 ½ miles. Nearest station 6 miles. East side of farm poor. Farm about 2 miles long and nowhere more than 2 fields wide. Water supply to Farm Buildings poor”. Another had wrote, on 19th May 1927: “The land round Home[stead] is good but that back by woods very poor”.
Leys Farm on the 1925 rating valuation map [DV2/C26]
The farmhouse contained two reception rooms, a kitchen, a scullery, a larder and a dairy downstairs with four bedrooms and two boxrooms above. An earth closet stood outside as did a wood and tiled coal and wood barn. Water came from the village. The homestead comprised the following, as illustrated above:
- Block at the rear of the house: a wood and corrugated iron implement shed; three wood and tiled loose boxes and a garage;
- West Block A: a wood and tiled loose box for thirteen cows and a cow house for eighteen;
- North Block B: a wood and tiled cow house for three with a feeding passage at the back; a barn; an engine house with a Blackstone oil engine; a chaff house with a brick floor and a loose box;
- East Block C: two loose boxes and a small hay barn;
- At the rear of Block B: an implement shed and an open cart shed;
- Centre Block D: five loose boxes and a boiler house;
- Centre Block E: a cow house for twelve with a feeding passage.
Directories for Bedfordshire were not published every year but every few years from the early to mid 19th century until 1940.
- 1869 and 1877 Edward Woods;
- 1885, 1890, 1894, 1898 and 1903 Edward Bailey; 1906 William Millard [he died in 1909 aged 58 [HN10/346/8/4]];
- 1910, 1914, 1920, 1924 and 1928 Elizabeth Millard;
- 1931 William R. Millard;
- 1936 and 1940 Ralph Hulbert