Hobbs Green Farm Odell
Hobbs Green Farm May 2008
Hobbs Green Farmhouse was listed by the former Department of Environment as Grade II, of special interest. It was described as a "substantial" 17th century farmhouse, "modernised and extended". Like most of the older properties in the area it is constructed of coursed limestone rubble. The building was originally thatched but the thatch was replaced by reclaimed peg tiles in 1987 [BorB/BR/87/514]. The original building had a two room plan with a central back-to-back hearth and comprised two storeys. The owners consider that it may have been originally have been two separate cottages. The rest of the house is more modern. There has recently been an extension attached to the brick cross wing on the north side, faced with coursed limestone to match the original building.
In 1927 Odell was valued under the terms of the Rating and Valuation Act 1925; every piece of land and building in the country was assessed to determine the rates to be paid on it. The valuer visiting Hobbs Green Farm [DV1/H18/8] noted that the owner, as part of the Odell Castle Estate, was Rowland Crewe Alston and the occupier Ben Howkins, who also leased Grange Farm. The farm contained 230 acres of "very heavy land, situation up about 1½ miles of very bad road".
The farmhouse was "occupied by housekeeper" and comprised a front room, living room and scullery with three bedrooms upstairs; outside was an earth closet. The valuer remarked: "water pumped from well about 60 yards away, very poor house".
The homestead comprised:
- west: four loose boxes "tumbling down";
- north: a two bay open shed and two boxes;
- centre: a large barn and chaff place;
- west: a cart stable for seven, a chaff place, a harness place and two boxes;
- south: a large barn and hay place;
- rickyard: a four bay open implement shed;
The valuer commented: "Disgraceful set of buildings all falling down, generally stone and corrugated iron, water from pond"
Hobbs Green Farm land coloured pink and numbered 7 on sale plan of 1934 [AD1147/19]
The Odell Castle Estate sale catalogue of 1934 [AD1147/19] lists Hobbs Green as Lot 7 and describes it as comprising 252 acres 1 rood 25 poles, including a farm house with living room, kitchen, scullery, pantry and 3 bedrooms and a homestead which "is built chiefly of Stone with galvanised Iron Roof and comprises 2 Barns, Stable for 7, Chaff Place, 2 Loose Boxes, Piggeries, 2-bay Open Hovel, Cowplace for 6". The particulars noted: "This lot…is let to Mr.B.Howkins on an annual Michaelmas tenancy at an apportioned annual rent of £110:0:0".