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Hill Farm Potsgrove

Hill Farm at sunset January 2008
Hill Farm at sunset January 2008

Hill Farmhouse was listed by the former Ministry of Works in October 1952 as Grade II, of special interest. The building dates from the late 17th century though it was reworked in the 19th century. It is made of red brick, many of which are flared and has colourwashed roughcast render at the rear. It comprises two storeys and attics in an H-plan beneath a 20th century 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. The valuer visiting Hill Farm [DV1/H3/12] found that, like the rest of the parish, it belonged to the Duke of Bedford. The tenant, since 1926, was F. S. Tomkins whose rent was £408/5/- per annum. The farm was extensive at 360 acres. The valuer commented: "Saw Mr.Tomkins. Well water. Nearest market Leighton. Nearest station Woburn 5 miles. Well drained. Superfluity of game". Another hand has written: "A large farm with useful grass Arable land very slimy".

The farmhouse contained three reception rooms, a kitchen and a scullery, with three bedrooms and a store room on the first floor and three attics above that. The farm buildings were divided into four blocks:

  • North Block: a brick and slate barn for a trap; a two-stall stable with two corn bins over; a loose box and stable for six; a harness room; a four-bay open hovel; a loose box and a cow house for eight.
  • East Block: an open cart shed; a long barn and a small barn.
  • South Block: a four-bay open hovel; a four-pen pen pig sty; a loose box used as a food store; a cow house for eight, a loose box and a cow house for six.
  • Centre Block: a henhouse; an open cart and an implement shed.

Directories for Bedfordshire were not published every year but every few years from the early to mid 19th century until 1940. The following people appear as farmers:

  • 1854, 1862, 1864, 1869, 1877, 1885 and 1890 Joseph Hill;
  • 1894, 1898 and 1903: Robert Hedges and Joseph Hill;
  • 1906, 1910, 1914 and 1920: Joseph Hill;
  • 1924, 1928, 1931, 1936 and 1940: Frank and Thomas Tompkins.