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Clipstone Farm

Clipstone Farmhouse June 2013
Clipstone Farmhouse June 2013

Clipstone Farmhouse was listed by English Heritage in September 1980. It dates from the 17th and 18th centuries. The older section is timber-framed, later refaced in red brick and comprises one storey and attics beneath a clay tiled roof. The later left hand section is built of red and vitrified bricks and has two storeys beneath a clay tiled roof.

In 1868 Billington Farm and Clipstone Farm were put up for sale at auction by Lord of the Manor of Leighton Buzzard, Colonel Hanmer. The sale particulars [AD3531] state that the farm comprised 87 acres, 1 rood, 27 poles. The homestead “in a convenient position adjoining the Public Road” contained a sitting room, kitchen, dairy and cellar with five bedrooms. The farm buildings “Enclose a good yard, and comprehend a 4 Bay Barn, Piggeries, Brick and Tiled Cattle Shed with Timber and Tiled Cow-house adjoining, 4 Bay Cattle Shed, Brick and Tiled Stable for 5 Horses, Brick and Slated Wood-house, and detached Cart Lodge. The Lands are divided into compact Inclosures, as under, and are let to Mr. William Pickering, a yearly Tenant, who is under notice to quit”. The fields, numbered on the plan below, were as follows:

  • 1. Upper Hales – 14 acres, 1 rood, 21 poles of grass
  • 2. Lower Hales – 9 acres, 1 rood, 13 poles of grass
  • 3. Hocksey Pole - 16 acres, 2 roods, 29 poles of arable
  • 4. Oat Hill – 18 acres, 1 rood, 15 poles of arable
  • 5. First Ploughed Field – 9 acres, 33 poles of arable
  • 6. Brook Meadow – 6 acres, 2 roods, 17 poles of grass
  • 7. Home Close – 5 acres, 39 poles of grass
  • 8. Orchard Meadow – 1 acre, 3 roods, 3 poles of grass
  • 9. Farm house, homestead and orchard – 1 acres, 17 poles
  • 10. Days Leys – 4 acres, 3 roods of grass.

Map of Clipstone Farm in 1862 [AD3531]
Map of Clipstone Farm in 1862 [AD3531]
to see a larger version please click on the image

The particulars are annotated: “£4850 Wilson”. By 1909 the farm was owned by Hockliffe farmer John James Reynal Adams and seems to have been sold in several lots in that year [HN10/372/Adams2] – four of them purchased by Ezra Batchelar, one by William George Deeley, one by J. F. Bunker and two by Bedfordshire County Council. The latter purchased land for £3,100 as part of its scheme to establish smallholdings around the county.

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 Clipstone Farm, still owned by Bedfordshire County Council’s Smallholdings Committee, found that it was divided into two. The eastern part of the farm buildings was occupied by Ernest Bright who paid rent of £120 per annum for fifty acres of land and buildings [DV1/H28/46].

His accommodation comprised a reception room, a kitchen and a dairy with three bedrooms above. His homestead comprised: a large brick, weather-boarded and tiled barn; a cow house for nine with a loft over part; a weather-boarded and corrugated iron feeding hovel; a cow house for two and a two bay open hovel. At the rear was a brick, weather-boarded and corrugated iron pig sty and a weather-boarded and corrugated iron lean-to shed.

The western section of the buildings was occupied by F. J. Dealey who paid £98/6 per annum for 43 acres and buildings [DV1/H28/48]. His accommodation comprised a reception room, kitchen and scullery with two bedrooms above and a dairy outside. The homestead was: a weather-boarded and corrugated iron two bay open shed; two brick, weather-boarded and corrugated iron pig sties; a weather-boarded and tiled four bay open hovel, boarded in front and used as a barn; a weather-boarded and tiled open cart shed and loose box; a brick, weather-boarded and tiled stable for five horses with a chaff place all used as a cow house. At the rear stood a weather-boarded and corrugated iron shed “for milk float”.

Directories for Bedfordshire were not published every year but every few years from the early to mid 19th century until 1940. Kelly’s Directory lists the following tenants of the farm:

  • 1910 Henry George Hart and Frederick James Deeley;
  • 1914 and 1920 Thomas Heley and Frederick James Dealey;
  • 1924 and 1928: Ernest Bright and Frederick James Dealey;
  • 1931, 1936 and 1940 William Nash.

Bedfordshire and Luton Archives and Records Service has a number of files of the Smallholdings Committee relating to Clipstone Farm, which are as follows:

  • AO/C1/3: smallholdings correspondence: 1909-1910;
  • AO/E2/4/4: land agent reports: 1909-1910;
  • AO/C1/4: smallholdings correspondence: 1910;
  • AO/C1/5: smallholdings correspondence: 1910-1911;
  • AO/E4/2/1: smallholdings correspondence: 1921-1923;
  • AO/C1/29: smallholdings correspondence: 1928-1932;
  • AO/EPS 4/2: two plans: 1954;
  • AO/E4/5/130: road extension at the farm: 1963-1965;
  • AO/E4/5/48: provision of new buildings at the farm: 1965-1968;
  • AO/E4/4/36: road improvement at the farm: 1966-1967;
  • AO/E4/5/87: paving and fencing at the farm: 1967-1969;
  • AO/E4/5/112: extensions to farm buildings: 1971-1973;
  • AO/E4/4/101: drainage scheme at the farm: 1972-1973;
  • AO/E4/4/135: drainage scheme at the farm: 1978-1980