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Park Farm Southill

Park Farm March 2008
Park Farm March 2008

Park Farmhouse, or Dairy Farm as it was previously known, was listed by the former Department of Environment as Grade II, of special interest. It is a 17th century building, remodelled in the early 19th century. It is a timber-framed building with, as usual in this area, a colour-washed rough-cast render over the top. It has a hipped clay tile roof, one storey and attics. An unusual feature is the doorway which has a glazed semi-circular arch over the top within a pedimented porch with plasterwork decoration impressed upon it. Inside, the building retains a vaulted dairy.

In 1927 Southill was valued under the Rating 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 Park Farm [DV1/H50/10] noted that it was then called Dairy Farm and formed part of the Whitbread Estate; it comprised about 500 acres.

The valuer noted: "Very good Dairy Farm. Good grassland, arable rather heavy, large amount of cows kept, milk sent away, good house but old, buildings not well proportioned for size of farm, one cottage by house goes with farm". Another hand has written: "Buildings inconvenient". The farmhouse comprised two living rooms, a kitchen, dairy, small wash-house, earth closet, four bedrooms and a bathroom; electric light was installed.

The homestead "mostly brick and tile" included a south block with a harness room, coal shed, two stables, a nag stable, barn, cooling shed, cow shed for 28 beasts, a chaff house and mixing sheds. A western block comprised four small barns, seven cow barns, a cow house for 16 beasts with lofts over, a mixing house and four piggeries and two loose boxes with lofts over which were "out of use". Open sheds lay in the yard and there was an engine house and workshop, the house containing two large engines of 27hp each. There was also a wood store, a paint shop, a blacksmith's shop, a carpenter's shop and a large cart shed.