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Top Farm Colmworth

Top Farm in 1962 [Z53/32/3]
Top Farm in 1962 [Z53/32/3]

Top Farmhouse was listed by English Heritage in August 1983 as Grade II, of special interest. The building dates from the 18th century. It is constructed of colourwashed roughcast over a timber frame and an old clay tile roof. The house has two storeys. There is a one storey brick lean-to at the rear.

Top Farm was put up for sale by auction, along with Channels End Farm and other land in 1892 as a result of a Chancery action - Medland v. Farrer [X65/51]. It was then described as comprising 97 acres, 1 pole with land in the following fields: Blacklands; Brook Close; Diggett; Mill Field and Home Close. The tenant was Samuel Ricketts and the house was described as containing four bedrooms, two sitting rooms, a hall, kitchen and dairy.

The Rating and Valuation Act 1925 specified that every piece of land and building in the country was to be assessed to determine its rateable value. Colmworth, like most of Bedfordshire, was assessed in 1927. The valuer visiting Top Farm [DV1/H22/16] noted that it was owned by G. H. Gilbert and occupied by J. T. Slow who had paid £120 per annum rent since 1922. The farm comprised 98¼ acres. The farmhouse was described as built of lath and plaster on a brick foundation with a tiled roof and comprised a parlour, living room, two kitchens, and a dairy downstairs with four bedrooms and a boxroom upstairs. A coal barn, lean-to wooden shed and privy lay outside. Water was obtained from a well.

The homestead comprised the following groups of buildings:

  • In the yard nearest the road: stabling for four horses; a loose box; a corn barn and a foaling box;
  • Next to the yard: a place for three cows; three pig boxes; a loose box and a two bay open hovel;
  • Behind the house: a fowl house; a carpenter's shop and a granary; behind this block lay a two bay wagon hovel.

The valuer noted that most of the buildings were constructed of wood and thatch on brick foundations. He commented: "Good". The homestead also included a pond.

Top Farmhouse August 2009
Top Farmhouse August 2009