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Northley Farm Shillington

Northley Farm April 2015
Northley Farm  April 2015

Northley Farmhouse was listed by English Heritage in January 1985 as Grade II, of special interest. It dates from the 17th century, though reworked in the 19th century. It is a substantial timber-framed structure clad in a red brick skin at the front and side with 20th century tiles to front of roof and a corrugated iron catslide roof to the rear, encasing a steeper pitched clay tiled roof. The house has two storeys, with 19th and 20th century lean-to additions to the rear. The original house had two rooms upstairs and down and was divided into two cottages in 19th century, the front having two doorways to the centre, one of them now blocked, the other with a casement window.

Northley (or Northleigh) Farm formed part of the Manor of Shillington alias Aspley Bury [X900/1/1]. In 1881 John Kempson conveyed 22 acres, 1 rood 36 poles to William Hanscombe and this formed the eastern part of the farm, the fields being called Ten Acres, Bankey Mead, Northley Mead, Pipers Mead and Hanscombe Wood [X900/2/3].

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 Northley Farm on 4th August 1926 [DV1/H7/18] found that the owner-occupier was Douglas Simkins (he is first listed in directories in 1928 and is still listed in the last directory for the county, 1940). The farm comprised about 80 acres "40 acres liable to floods. Water from well". Another hand, on 6th December 1926, noted: "land at top very good – floods near brook"

The house contained two reception rooms, a breakfast room, a kitchen and scullery, a cellar and five bedrooms (three large), a bathroom and a washhouse. The homestead had two main blocks. One contained a brick, wood and corrugated iron storehouse, a harness room, a trap house, a stable for three horses, two loose boxes and a wood and tiled store. The other block comprised five pigsties, a store, a loose box, a coalhouse and two corrugated iron covered yards. There was also a brick and slate engine house with a 2½ horsepower Patter engine, a wood and tiled granary and chaffhouse, a cowhouse for four beasts, a corrugated iron covered yard, a wood and tiled four-bay shed. Two fields also contained farm buildings. In Field Number 375 on the Ordnance Survey map was a wood and tiled two bay open shed and store house, a brick, wood and slate three bay open shed and a wood and corrugated iron implement shed. In Field Number 222 was a wood and tiled four bay cart shed with a loft over, a brick and tiled storehouse, a brick, wood and thatched barn and chaff house and a brick, wood and tiled three bay shed (one bay used as a stable).

In the mid-1990s there was a proposal to build an egg production unit [PCShillington18/10].