Scald End Farmhouse Thurleigh
Scald End Farmhouse January 2015
Scald End Farmhouse was listed by English Heritage in August 1983 as Grade II, of special interest. The original part of the building dates from the 17th century and is timber-framed, with colour-washed roughcast render. This was probably a single storey and attics originally, with two rooms downstairs. The back-to-back hearth, separating and warming the two original rooms survives. In the 19th century this original block was raised to two storeys and a brick rear wing and brick bay to the north were also added, turning the building into an L-shaped structure.
The first mention of Scole or Scald Farm is around 1800 in a terrier of properties in Thurleigh, Keysoe and Yielden. It was then owned by Sarah Halsey, a relative Crawley family [C1697]. The farm was tenanted by John Howkins who paid £176 per annum for 180 acres, 3 roods, 26 poles. The land comprised:
- The farm house, barn, stable, shelter hovel and close of 7 acres, 2 roods, 26 poles;
- Home Close of 3 acres, 3 roods, 1 pole;
- Nether Close of 3 acres, 3 roods, 23 poles;
- Home Close and Pightle of 4 acres, 3 roods;
- Cow Hill Field of 11 acres, 28 poles;
- Ploughed Bassingbourn of15 acres, 2 roods, 11 poles;
- Grass Bassingbourn of 12 acres, 2 roods, 18 poles;
- Great Langley of 16 acres, 1 rood, 9 poles;
- Mill Field of 13 acres, 1 rood, 14 poles;
- Land in South Field of 14 acres, 7 poles;
- Land in South Field with a tenement of 22 acres, 3 roods, 15 poles;
- A pightle of 3 roods, 8 poles;
- Land in South Field of 25 acres, 2 roods, 30 poles;
- The Meadow of 10 acres, 12 poles;
- Wheel Piece of 18 acres, 1 rood, 9 poles.
In 1912 the Crawley family auctioned off their lands in Thurleigh and Keysoe. The sale particulars [X65/74] describe Scald Farm as comprising 167.213 acres and tenanted by William Wise, whose rent was £120 per annum. The farmhouse comprised four bedrooms, a dining room, a drawing room, a kitchen, a dairy and a cellar with "a good garden and orchard". The "excellent outbuildings, chiefly of brick and tile, arranged around three yards" contained: a coach house; a meal house; two pigsties; a small barn; two open sheds; an open cart hovel; a large timber and corrugated iron barn; two loose boxes; a wagon shed; a cow house; a chaff barn; another loose box and stabling for six horses with a chaff place and a granary.
The Rating and Valuation Act 1925 legislated for every piece of land and property in the country to be assessed to determine its rateable value. The valuer visiting Scald Farm, as it was still called, found it now owned by T. Wagstaff and tenanted by Arthur Wagstaff who paid £20 per annum for the 166 acres [DV1/H21/44].
The valuer commented: "Bought in 1912, rent then £120 then farmed himself. Water filtered from pond. Very heavy land". Another hand has written: "Heavy and wet, most of grass not good. 15/3/27 House nice - buildings straggle"
The nice house is described as two reception rooms, a kitchen, a dairy, a cellar and four bedrooms. Farm buildings are described as: a coach house; a meal house; two pigsties; a small barn; two open sheds; a cart hovel; a large barn (weather-boarded and corrugated iron); two loose boxes; a wagon shed; a cow house; a chaff house; a horse box and a six stall stable and chaff place, with a granary – "chiefly brick and tiled".
There was also a farm called Scald End Farm, by this date held with Rutter's Farm, which seems previously to have belonged to the Howkins family and then to a Ulysses Paine. It makes it confusing that Scald Farm is today called Scald End Farm!