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The Wickey Farm, Little Staughton

This page was partly written by Brenda Foster and Jeanette Atkinson

Wickey Farm c.1947

Wickey Farm c.1947 [Bedfordshire Magazine, volume 1, page 231]

The Wickey Farm, Colmworth Road, Little Staughton 

In 1927, when Little Staughton was valued under the Rating and Valuation Act of 1925, there were 12 farms listed in Little Staughton, many of them tenanted [DV1/H53]. These farms varied in size from 20 to 200 acres. Some of the farms are still mainly agricultural holdings, namely Wickey Farm, West End Farm, Green End Farm, Rectory Farm and New Farm. The oldest of these is Wickey Farm.

Wickey Farm is a very ancient homestead and was probably once part of Whikey Manor in Pertenhall, owned by the Peyvre and Darrell families in the thirteenth to fifteenth centuries. It was still owned by the Darell family in 1518 [Victoria County History, volume 3] when the Manor of Pertenhall was acquired by Bishop Fox for Corpus Christi College, Oxford. It is not clear whether Whikey Manor was purchased by the College at this time or as part of a later acquisition but the first reference to Wickey Farm in the College archives appears in a terrier dated 1690. Deeds for the Manor of Whikey can still be found in the Corpus Christi archives [CCC ref: E3 Cap. 5 Fasc. 1 Ev. 1-10].  

The College were exacting landlords; the bailiff paid tenants regular visits, contracts were restrictive and the landlords retained the rights to all woodland and shooting. In about 1818, Peter Augustus Lautour of Little Staughton Park, purchased the lease of the farm but it was sold at the time of his bankruptcy in 1830. It remained part of the college estate until 1960 when it passed into private hands. 

Mawer & Stenton, in Bedfordshire Place-Names, note that the name Wickey may be derived from Wic (dairy) and Weg (road to) and may mean ‘road to the dairy farm’.

The 1927 valuation mentioned above [DV1/H53/20] indicated that the rent paid at that time was £200 per annum and the rateable value was £17 for the buildings and £103 12s for the attached 199 acres of land. The assessor noted that lane approach to the The Wickey was ‘very bad’.

The seventeenth century Wickey Farmhouse is on the Historic Environment Record for Bedfordshire [HER 9597] and is viewed as a heritage asset. 

The following list gives some, but not all, of the sources relating to Wickey Farm held at Bedfordshire Archives:

  • ABP/W1774/55. Will of Thomas Murfin, farmer 1774 
  • X363/1/184. Copy will of Letitia Battisson, widow 1783 
  • WG918. Plan of Lautour's lands at Wickey Farm and Little Staughton Park c.1818-1830
  • WG2481. Catalogue of property sold by Peter Augustus Lautour's creditors 1830 
  • WW1/AC/OP2/115. Claim for compensation to the War Agricultural  Committee by Harold Saunderson 1917-1920
  • X65/165/18. Aerial photograph c.1950 
  • P48/2/1/9. Electricity wayleave agreement for supply to Wickey Farm with plan 1954 
  • Pamphlet 130 STA. The Saundersons of The Wickey Farm, Little Staughton by Anne S. Titley 1978
  • PCLittleStaughton18/17. Applications, plans, photographs etc. regarding a proposed agricultural dwelling at Wickey Farm 1981-1982