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Church Farm Souldrop

Church Farm in 1922 [Z1246/1]
Church Farm in 1922 [Z1246/1]

Church Farmhouse was listed by English Heritage in August 1987 as Grade II, of special interest. It dates from the 17th or 18th century and was extended in the 19th century. The earlier part of the house is local limestone rubble, the later part is in chequered red brick. The roof comprises old clay tiles. The house has two storeys and attics.

The farm was part of the Colworth Estate, which was put up for sale around 1894. Church Farm is then described as containing 145 acres, 3 roods, 34 poles of grass and arable. It was let to Amos Stanton at £112 per annum [Z528/25]. He had been tenant since at least 1887 [Z513/33/6]. The estate was sold to Albert Edward Bowen in 1907 [UN579] at which date the tenant was John Lake Wallis (he had become tenant in 1897 [BMB4/1/24/21/1]) and the farm contained 103 acres, 2 roods, 20 poles. Wallis’ tenancy ended in 1921 [BMB4/1/24/21/4].

The Colworth Estate was again put up for sale by auction in 1922. The sale particulars [Z1246/1] had Lot 1 comprising Middle Farm and Church Farm – together comprising 365.779 acres in Wymington and Souldrop. “At Church Farm is a roomy farmhouse, occupied by the head herdsman on a Service Tenancy, and built of brick and stone with tiled and slated roof, containing Hall, two Sitting Rooms, Kitchen, Scullery, two dairies and Cupoards, with four Bedrooms and two Attics over. Outside are Wood Shed, Bake and Wash Houses. The Farmbuildings chiefly brick and stone built with slated roofs, include Mixing House, Workshop with Granary over, four Calf Houses, two Open Sheds with yards, three Pigsties with feeding passage, two Barns, Cow House for eight, hen House, Trap House, Lambing Pen”. There were also two detached cottages with gardens. The whole estate was withdrawn as not sold and offered again in 1924 following A E Bowen’s death [Z1323/1/4] and again in 1925 [PK2/2/147].

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 in 1927, noted that the farm was owned and occupied by George Gulliver and comprised 75 acres as well as two tied cottages. The valuer commented: “Water supply fair only. Close to village”. A colleague wrote: “Homestead very big … no one could live in house and homestead and 75 acres”.

The house had two reception rooms, a kitchen, scullery, dairy, pantry and larder with six bedrooms above. A brick and tiled washhouse, a wood and slated fuel barn, a timber coal barn and an earth closet all stood outside. The valuer commented: “No water in house. Drinking water has to be carted from Sharnbrook”.

The brick and slated homestead had a number of ranges:

  • the south range included a trap house, a fowl house and a cow house for eight beasts;
  • the west range had a large barn, four loose boxes with standings for twelve cows and a boiler house;
  • the centre range comprised a two-bay open shed and three pigsties;
  • the north range included a granary, a two-bay open shed and two implement sheds under the granary;
  • there was also a wood and corrugated iron sheep and implement shed and two covered yards, with a sheep dip in the rickyard.