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Brickwall Farmhouse Clophill

Brickwall Farmhouse July 2010
Brickwall Farmhouse July 2010

Brickwall Farmhouse was listed by English Heritage in January 1985 as Grade II, of special interest. They dated the building to the 18th century, noting that it had been reworked in the 19th century. The original block is constructed of red brick on a coursed ironstone plinth, later works are in mottled yellow brick. The house has slate roofs. The listing comments: "Included for group value". At the same time the range of farm buildings in the yard were also listed as Grade II. They form three sides of the rectangular yard, the farmhouse forming the fourth. They date to the mid 19th century and are built of red brick with yellow brick dressings, with slate roofs.

The Rating and Valuation Act 1925 specified that every building and piece of land in the country was to be assessed as to its rateable value. Clophill was assessed in 1927. The valuer visiting Brickwall Farm [DV1/H51/24] noted that it was owned and occupied by John Maddams, though it had been part of the Wrest Park Estate.

The farm comprised 240 acres and the valuer made a number of comments: "Water pumped from well has to cart occasionally"; "Quality of land varies greatly - good and bad" and "Fixed rent here in ?1920, very difficult Farm". The farmhouse comprised two reception rooms, a kitchen, scullery, dairy, four bedrooms and two attics, "no bathroom". Another hand has annotated the notebook with a different layout - two reception rooms (one large), a scullery with a copper, a cellar, a kitchen, a larder, four bedrooms, a bedroom converted into a bathroom with cold water and a w. c. Domestic buildings lying outside comprised a coal house, a wood house, a trap house and a garage.

The homestead comprised the following brick and slate buildings:

  • A three stall nag stable and loose box ("as stores");
  • A blacksmith's shop;
  • A loose box and two bay hovel;
  • Two piggeries ("as stores");
  • Three loose boxes or piggeries;
  • A five bay hovel;
  • A barn and five bay hovel;
  • A mixing house with a granary over;
  • A loose box and barn; a gateway with a loft over;
  • A chaff house;
  • A stable for nine horses and another loose box;
  • A five bay cart shed;
  • An engine house and elevator shed;
  • A two bay implement shed;
  • A weather-boarded and corrugated iron lean-to shed.

Directories reveal that John Maddams was still the farmer in 1931 but that by 1936 his executors held the building. He had been the farmer since at least 1898. In 1894 Alfred Squire had been the farmer (he died in 1896 [Z740/32/1]), with John Dann Squire the farmer from at least 1847 until at least 1869, Mrs. John Squire being listed in 1877.

In July 1941 John Maddams' executors put the farm up for sale by auction. The particulars [BML10/17/5] read as follows:

Brickwall Farm land in 1941 [BML10-17-5]
Brickwall Farm land in 1941 [BML10/17/5] to see a larger version, please click on the image


The Very Valuable and Attractive Freehold
Known as

Situated in the Parish of Clophill, midway between Bedford and Luton, comprising a substantially built brick and slated 


Containing Entrance Hall, Dining Room with bay window, Drawing Room with tiled hearth, Kitchen with range of cupboards, Scullery with sink, Dairy, Pantry and Cellar.

Approached by Front and Back Staircases there are on the First Floor 2 Large and 3 Smaller Bedrooms and a W. C.

On the Second Floor are 3 Attic Bedrooms.

Outside there is a Coal Store and an E. C.

The Water Supply is pumped to tanks from a well by means of a motor pump and the Electric Main is about ¼ mile from the Farm.


Include a secluded Flower Garden with Lawn shaded by trees, a productive Kitchen Garden and an Orchard.

Adjacent to the House is a Range of Brick and Slated.


Comprising Wood Shed, Oil Store, Nag Stabling, Blacksmith's Shop and Coach House or Garage


Are very substantially constructed of Brick with Slated Roofs and are conveniently arranged to provide 


divided by brick walls or post and rail fences. 

THE BUILDINGS comprise 6 Loose Boxes, 2 Five-bay Open Sheds, Loose Box, 4 Fattening Boxes and Stabling for 9 with Foaling Box. 

THE NORTH RANGE includes Five-bay and two-bay Implement Sheds, Threshing Engine Shed with Two-bay Shed for threshing drum, Large Barn with Chaff Loft, Mill Room and Large Granary with 9 Bins. 

There is also a Timber and Galvanised Iron Implement Shed and a Timber and Thatched Barn.

The farm land comprised 111.373 acres of arable, 85.056 acres of pasture, 39.086 acres of combined arable and pasture, 1.354 acres of orchard and 2.142 acres for house, garden and farm buildings.

Farm buildings at Brickwall Farmhouse July 2010
Farm buildings at Brickwall Farmhouse July 2010