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Lordship Farm Shillington

Lordship Farm April 2015
Lordship Farm April 2015

Lordship Farmhouse was listed by the former Department of Environment in July 1975 as Grade II, of special interest. It dates from the 17th century and is timber-framed with pebbledash render and clay tile roofs. It is built in an L-plan with two storeys, the north end probably being a later extension.

The lordship in question is the Manor of Shillington alias Aspley Bury of which the farm formed a part. The manor was put up for sale by auction in November 1898. It comprised a considerable amount of land in various parts of the parish - in all 842 acres [BS782]. Lordship Farm was Lot 6. The farm comprised 124 acres, 2 roods, 14 poles, This included 18 acres, 2 roods, 14 poles of allotments in various tenures as well as 106 acres in occupation of Jabez Jepps whose rent was £106 per annum. 92 acres 3 roods, 24 poles were arable and the rest pasture. The "substantial" farmhouse comprised seven rooms "with a capital garden and range of farm buildings, comprising barn, stables, cow sheds and straw yards".

The farm seems not to have been sold because it was sold by the Musgrave family, Lords of the Manor of Shillington alias Aspley Bury to W H Hanscombe, Lord of the Manor of Shillington in 1914 [X900/1/29] when the farm was newly measured as 126 acres, 2 roods, 3 poles [X900/1/12]. 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 the farm in September 1926 [DV1/H7/36] found the owner was still Mrs Hanscombe and the occupiers Jepps Brothers who paid rent of £144 per annum for 104 acres ("to be reduced to 27 shillings per acre") for 104 acres. He commented "Farm scattered. Buildings very poor and dilapidated. House very old and falling down". Another hand wrote on 6th December 1926: "Buildings wood and thatch, very old, very expensive. House poor. Land useful. Note 27 shillings per acre good base rent".

The house comprised two reception rooms, a kitchen, a dining room, a washhouse and four bedrooms. There was also an earth closet. The homestead was divided into two parts. One contained a wood and thatched three bay open shed, a cowhouse for five beasts ("used as piggery"), a stable for seven, a granary, a two bay open shed and three piggeries. The other group contained a wood and thatch four bay open hood [hovel?], a five bay implement shed and a four bay implement shed. There was also a wood and corrugated iron shed.

Directories for Bedfordshire were not published every year but every few years from the early to mid-19th century until 1940. In 1906 the tenant was Jabez Jepps. The next directory, 1910, shows his executors as tenants, as do the directories for 1914 and 1920. In 1924 Jepps Brothers are listed and in directories for 1931, 1936 and 1940 the tenants are listed as Joseph Jepps and Brothers. The farm was sold in 1953 following the death of William Hanscombe [X900/1/28].