Friday, 17 April 2009

Blackmore: Wenlocks Farm

Whilst doing some research on the life of a typical Essex agricultural labourer a couple of years ago, I looked at ERO D/D Dw T74, the deeds for Dairy Farm, Blackmore, 1858-1873. Dairy Farm is also referred to as Wenlocks Farm in other records.

The document is a lease commencing Michaelmas (i.e. 29 September) 1858 for 21 years. The lease terms were £400 payable quarterly. Dairy Farm covered just over 293 acres of land, entirely in the parish of Blackmore. The occupier / owner was William Thomas Longbourne and the assignment of the lease was from William Cust to William Rideout Smith and Issac Smith. One piece of land, No 295 on the tithe map, called ‘Front and Back Lawn’, laid out to pasture and 19 acres large, was subject “to a perpetual charge of £2 per annum payable to the Church wardens of Blackmore to be distributed by them amongst 8 poor women (called Widows Crowns)”.

1841: In the 1841 census William Caton was the farmer at Wenlocks Farm. William and his wife, Lydia, had moved to Jennings Farm by 1851.
1848: Whites Directory has William Caton as farmer *.
1856: Kelly’s Directory records Richard Streatfield as farmer at Dairy Farm *.
1863: Whites Directory has Joseph Smith as farmer *.
1891: In the 1891 census, Peter Fry was the farmer at Dairy Farm.
1910: The Electoral Roll gives Isabella Barclay as one having a dwelling house at Wenlocks; Hugh Craig owning a house and land at Wenlocks, though living at Paslow Hall, [High] Ongar, and; Arthur Perceval, the Dean of York, owning freehold house at land at Dairy Farm. **

More recently Wenlocks has ceased to be a dairy farm and been converted for equestrian purposes (about 2004). Follow link to recently approved planning application:
“There's a place in Blackmore called Wenlock's Farm. They only do full livery. It's like a 5 star hotel for horses and their facilities are amazing but you do pay for it! £150 a week!” (

* See
** See

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