funding_sm140axminster-heritage

An Account of the Farms and Farmers of the Parish of Axminster since the Agricultural Revolution

Including Smallridge, Westwater, Weycroft & Wyke

The research which underpins this section of the website was undertaken by David Knapman, who has made the resultant documents available for unrestricted personal (non-commercial) use via this webpage and seven downloadable PDF documents. Any first-person references (i.e. to ‘I’ or ‘me’) in this webpage or the linked document are therefore to David.

If you make use of any part of this research, you are asked to credit axminsterheritage.org as the source, and David Knapman as the author.

new_email_requestThe whole ‘Account’ should be treated as a work in progress. There are bound to be errors and omissions, and responsibility for them rests entirely with the author. Readers who find any mistakes are asked to draw them to his attention by clicking on the box opposite, and they will be corrected in later versions. Likewise, if you have additional information which you would be happy to share, the author will do his best to accommodate it.

The author wishes to acknowledge the help and information that he has received from several current Axminster farmers and other interested parties. In particular, and in alphabetical order, he has benefitted from extended conversations with Ann Bond, Lisle Burrough, Dick Hurford, Dudley Hurford, Shirley Hurford, Jim Rowe (who also lent documents from the archive of Messrs R&C Snell) and Ken Voysey. He would be pleased to speak to other current farmers to enable this document to be improved.

Organisation of this webpage

This introductory webpage is arranged under the following headings:

  • The purpose of the research
  • Some key terms
  • Sources and references
  • Adjacent parishes
  • The full set of Axminster farms
  • Links to seven more detailed PDF documents

The purpose of the research

Farming has been central to Axminster for centuries. Axminster may be more industrial than the average Devon town, but it owes much of its character and a lot of its accumulated wealth to farming, and to its role as a hub serving the farmers of surrounding parishes.

The purpose of this research has been to draw together in one place such information as I have been able to find about the farms of Axminster parish since the early 19th century, and in particular the people who were farming them. My narrative therefore covers roughly two centuries, from the early 1800s to the present, during which period agricultural improvements have been widely if not universally adopted, culminating in the highly technical farming which is characteristic of the early 21st century.

By around 1800 the foundations of modern farming had already been laid by a group of elite pioneers whose contributions stretched back as far as 1650. What they did is sometimes called the ‘agricultural revolution’. In reality, the real revolution did not take hold within the wider farming community until later in the 19th century, as the relevant economic and social drivers became aligned, and as industrial growth both drained the pool of agricultural labourers, and demanded that they be fed, thereby requiring agricultural productivity to grow.

The wider adoption of so-called scientific agricultural methods brought growing levels of mechanisation, attention to soil fertility, scientific animal breeding and improved animal nutrition.

By the late 19th century widespread emigration of farm labourers put further pressure on productivity. The late 19th and early 20th century is also the period when family farms and owner-occupation started to become more widespread, if not quite the norm in all areas.

To survive in business into the 21st century, farmers have had to achieve a level of scale quite different to that which is represented by the pattern of farming traced by this research. As a consequence many of the farmyards and farm houses identified and discussed here are now substantially divorced from the real business of farming. It would be almost pointless to regret or to resist these changes, and one of the main purposes of this research is to record a past era while the evidence is still reasonably fresh.

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Some key terms

Farms and farmers

The question ‘what is a farm?’ may seem extremely easy to answer at first sight, but the more one thinks about it, the less certain one becomes. Examples of what a farm is are easily given, but a water-tight definition which can successfully be applied to all cases is much harder to pin down.

At its simplest, a farm comprises a block of land, probably (though not always) some animals, a set of farm buildings (to accommodate whatever animals there are at certain times of year, and to store crops and farm machinery), and a farmhouse. Almost all such farms have a name, which may have remained unchanged for centuries. In effect such a farm is a physical and geographical fact, which can be marked on a map, and which provides the owner or tenant with several of the necessary elements needed to run a farm business.

However, many farm businesses have access to more than one distinct parcel of land, and may well comprise more than one ‘historical’ farm. Over time a farm business may well rent, buy or sell land, or move from one location to another. Sometimes as land is aggregated into larger units, the original farmhouses, and some of the original farm buildings, are hived off and sold to non-farmers. We may think of this as a modern phenomenon, but in fact it has been going on for hundreds of years. What is more, while the total number of farms in a parish tends to decline over time, that does not stop new farms from emerging.

There is therefore a clear distinction to be made between a farmer and his farm business (on the one hand) and those distinct entities that most of us would think of as farms (on the other). This research is about farmers as well as farms, but it is structured round the farms, and in particular round the farms to be found around Axminster.

What I have then attempted to do is to trace who worked those farms as tenants or owners. I am much less interested in who owned or leased the land: it is the persons who were running the farm businesses which interest me, including the moves which some of them made from farm to farm.

Most Axminster farms were owned by large landowners until the 20 years running up to World War I. At that time there was a wave of selling as estates were broken up and the pendulum swung strongly in favour of owner-occupiers.

Anyone interested in the history of the Manor of Axminster can find this in the writings of George Pulman (Ref 1: see below for an explanation of the references) and James Davidson (Ref 2). The only comment that I would make in passing is that Axminster is unusual in Devon in having neither a clearly identifiable Axminster Manor House nor a single Barton farm.

Sources differ regarding the origins of the term Barton, which is typical of Devon, but by no means restricted to the county. Some authorities consider that it means a farm where cereals can be cultivated, whereas others describe Bartons as at least semi-fortified farms, sometimes in more remote settings. Most Devon parishes have at least one Barton farm, usually named after the parish (e.g. Musbury Barton, Shute Barton, Widworthy Barton etc), and some have up to three (hence non-parish names such as Hill Barton and Marsh Barton). Axminster is unusual in not having any. Generally they are linked to substantial farms which have often been associated with prominent local families over several generations. They were often owner-occupied by the 19th century.

Town farms

As towns expand they inevitably swallow up adjacent farmland, farm buildings and farmhouses, though generally not whole farms at a time. In this research I refer to some former farmhouses which now lie well within the boundaries of the town. There were almost certainly many other instances where individuals lived within the town and rented farmland nearby, probably without any recognisable farm buildings either around their houses or on their land. Some of the people who did this were butchers (who needed grazing land to hold and fatten up animals that they had bought at market or direct from local farmers), or dairymen (see below for more information on them), together with other individuals who could run a farm business without needing to live on the land being farmed. Typically such farm units were both less long-lived and smaller than average. They did, however, offer ambitious individuals without prior connections a way into farming.

A relatively late example of this process can be seen via a press advertisement (Ref 10, TCWA 9 Mar 1898) for what was described as a small farm “… of 42 acres of rich meadow and pasture” behind Lea Combe House (i.e. close to where the Fire Station now is, on Lyme Close). This was offered with no associated buildings or facilities to let on an annual tenancy, by the owner, James Coate. Since I cannot tie this land to any named farm, I have not pursued it further, even though 42 acres would actually have been a worthwhile holding at that time.

Dairymen and dairy farms

Many if not most of the farms around Axminster have (or had) dairying as a core part of their business. However, it was not always like this. Writing in the early 1870s George Pulman (Ref 1, page 13) described the ‘share-cropping’ (and risk-sharing) system employed at that time as follows.

“The system of dairy farming is, that the farmer, instead of keeping his cows in his own hands, lets them to a ‘dairyman’ at prices raised from £8 a cow some years ago to £10 and £12 a cow now. He supplies pasturage, hay and stalling. The dairyman makes the best he can of the produce.” Under this system, dairymen were entrepreneurs rather than simple hired hands, and wherever possible I identify them as such. In fact this system had been common since at least the 1780s, and when Pulman wrote it was nearing its end, as farmers increasingly took responsibility for managing their own dairy herds.

The parish boundaries, remote farms and ‘lost’ manors

Axminster has for centuries been a market town, and a parish (both ecclesiastical and civil), with a ‘hinterland’ made up of neighbouring hamlets and villages. For the purposes of this document I am dealing with those parts of the historic parish of Axminster which surround the town in a single, contiguous block.

I am therefore excluding some areas which were historically associated with Axminster, whilst being separated from the town by land which indubitably belonged to neighbouring parishes. Such excluded areas include the Shapwick estate (to the south, near Rousdon) and the cluster of farms which lie just over the parish (and county) boundary which divides the parishes of Hawkchurch and Thorncombe, including Easthay, Beerhall and Tuck Mill, and various features carrying the name Spearhay. Historically, these farms constituted the tithing of Beerhall, which was considered to form part of Axminster. The links between Axminster and these slightly more distant parcels of land can be traced back to grants made centuries ago to Newenham Abbey.

Below, under the heading ‘The full set of Axminster farms’, is a simple sketch map showing all of the farms and associated places that I have managed to identify in what I am treating as the parish of Axminster.

This includes a strip of land on the western side of Smallridge which now lies in the parish of All Saints. Throughout the period for which we have census returns (1841 to 1911) that strip of land, and the farms within it, fell under Axminster, and I have therefore included them in this documents.

Haccomb-fee Manor is widely referred to in documents about Axminster from well before the time period covered by this document (e.g. Ref 2). As far as I can tell it was a small manor occupying land which was absorbed into the town well before the start of the 19th century. In 1824 (Ref 6) that part of Haccomb-fee which belonged to the Petre Estate amounted to 42 acres divided into a series of small parcels, none of them obviously connected with farming.

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Sources and references

The main source document that I have used, and to which I refer several times (as Ref 1, Ref 2 etc) are as follows. Other sources which are used once only are given in footnotes.

Books and surveys

Ref 1 is ‘The Book of the Axe’ by George P R Pulman, and in particular the 4th edition, which was published in 1875, and which is very significantly bulkier and more informative than earlier editions. The Devon library service has several copies (including more than one in Axminster library) which can be borrowed.

Ref 2 is ‘The History of Newenham Abbey in the County of Devon’ by James Davidson, published in 1843. Davidson lived for some years at Sector House. See also Appendix 3.

Ref 3 is ‘The Book of Axminster: The making of a town within its landscape’ by Angela M W Dudley (Barracuda Books, 1988). This excellent and thoroughly-researched book, which contains many maps and illustrations, was published in a limited edition, and hence is much less freely available than the other sources cited here. However, one copy is held by Axminster library, and another is in the Devon Heritage Centre (DHC) in Exeter.

Ref 4 is ‘The Book of Axminster with Kilmington’ by Les Berry and Gerald Gosling (Halsgrove, 2003).

Ref 5 is ‘Around Axminster – in old photographs’ by Les Berry and Gerald Gosling (Alan Sutton Publishing, 1993).

Ref 6 is a survey of the land holdings of the Petre Estate which was carried out in preparation for their sale, in 1824. It can only be seen (so far as I am aware) at the DHC, where its reference number is 49/26/5/22. Although it shows who leased or rented hundreds of parcels of land in and around Axminster, it has to be borne in mind that the named individuals may not themselves have farmed the land, though some clearly did. Ref 3 (page 131) explains that while some land had previously been sold between 1776 and 1824, the remaining land belonging to the manor of Axminster was sold for £43,000 to James Alexander Frampton, a London businessman, and William Knight, an Axminster solicitor who had acted as the Petre Estate’s steward of the manor. There were problems because Frampton alone signed the deed of sale, and the litigation which followed his death went on until 1872, at which point Henry Knight (William’s nephew) became the sole owner, and Lord of the Manor of Axminster. He in turn died in 1894, and was succeeded by his son, Major Henry Knight. He sold the market rights in 1910 to local auctioneers Messrs B&J Gage and R&C Snell, while the separate ‘manorial rights’ reached Charles Snell in 1916 when he purchased the key element(s) of the Cloakham Estate. When he died in 1965, the ceremonial title of Lord of the Manor passed to Frank Rowe (and in 1994 to his son Jim).

Ref 7 is the collective term used for the tithe apportionment process undertaken in the mid-19th century to modernise the system under which tithes were paid by many property owners to the parish church. Some other properties were exempt from tithes because they were associated with former monasteries. This was of particular relevance to Axminster, where Newenham Abbey had been a major landowner. The source documents can be found on-line. A scan of the ‘Tithe Apportionment Map’ is accessible on-line either via the axminstertowncouncil.gov.uk website (on the Axminster Information tab) or on the eastdevonaonb.org.uk website (search for ‘tithe’: the map is in the ‘conservation’ section of the website, under the ‘Parishscapes’ project). This gives each field a unique reference number which can be linked to a schedule of fields which can then also be accessed via the eastdevonaonb.org.uk website. That schedule does not link directly to individually named farms. However, a consolidated summary of the field-by-field schedule, with farm names, can be found on the website of the Friends of Devon Archives (foda.org.uk) which provides equivalent information for all Devon parishes. As the FoDA website shows, the tithe apportionment work in Axminster parish was undertaken in 1838 (over the county as a whole the work was spread over several years), not in 1840 as suggested elsewhere. The FoDA website allows searches by parish or by surname and is generally easier to use than the ‘Parishscapes’ schedule.

Ref 8 is the sales catalogue which was produced in 1916 when the Cloakham Estate was offered for sale at auction by Messrs Wilson & Gray of Grosvenor Square on behalf of Henry Knight (see also Ref 6 above). The auction took place at the George Hotel in Axminster on 7 December 1916. Many of the larger lots were withdrawn, having failed to reach their reserves. At least two copies of this document are held in the DHC, but the one that is of greater interest carries the reference number 49/26/17/5, because it has both a map of all of 33 lots, and some photographs of Cloakham.

Many other sales catalogues are individually referenced.

Ref 9 comprises three ledger books which were kept by Robert Snell of Summerleaze, Kilmington and then (from about 1900) by Messrs R&C Snell of Axminster. The first two ledgers taken together cover the period from December 1893 to May 1907, while the third runs from January 1914 to May 1923. These were very kindly lent to me to assist with this research by Jim Rowe of Symonds & Sampson (and formerly of Messrs R&C Snell Ltd). The majority of the entries comprise valuations carried out in connection with the determination of farm rents, likely sales values and the process surrounding the grant of probate. The area covered by these ledgers spreads much wider than the parish of Axminster.

Jim Rowe kindly lent me some other old ledgers kept by Messrs R&C Snell over much the same period and later which I have not referred to in full detail, but which I have used to confirm, and in a few cases supplement, information from other sources. These ledgers were kept in connection with the firm’s insurance Agency business, but they only tell a partial story, being in effect notes which were made to be used in association with the policy documents (which were kept separately). The ledgers themselves are in any case quite delicate. However, where there are references in the text to ‘insurance’ documents or records, this is where the information came from.

Ref 10 is the collective term for old newspaper reports, all of which can be accessed via the britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk website. In all cases I identify the newspaper concerned, and the date of publication. The newspapers are identified by their initials (DCC = Dorset County Chronicle, EE= Express & Echo, EFP = Exeter Flying Post, EPG = Exeter & Plymouth Gazette, NDJ = North Devon Journal, SM = Sherborne Mercury, TCWA = Taunton Courier & Western Advertiser, WDP = Western Daily Press, WT = Western Times, WG = Western Gazette, WMN = Western Morning News).

Ref 11 is the collective term, for the Axminster parish registers. I have not checked these meticulously, but where I am aware that they show an individual to have been resident at a particular farm, I treat thus as reliable evidence.

Ref 12 is a list entitled ‘Occupiers of land that are titheable to the vicar, 1828. Number of cows kept’, together with an equivalent list of cows kept on farms which were exempt from tithes. I found these on pages 1075 to 1077 of James Davidson’s unpublished ‘Collections for a History of the Town and Parish of Axminster’ (DHC ref Z19/21/2). I have no way of knowing how ‘cow’ was defined, or how the information on the numbers of animals being kept was collected. However the large number of farmers with 20 cows, and the absence of any with 17 to 19 or 21 to 25, is consistent with information collected by Charles Vancouver in his 1808 assessment of farming in Devon, which explains how 20-cow dairies were regarded as the standard ‘building blocks’ of the commercial butter-making sector. The total number of cows in Axminster parish came to 919 (776 on titheable land, 143 on exempt land), with most of them being kept by farmers with 10 or more cows. These larger herds accounted for 596 out of 776 cows (77%) on titheable land, and 122 out of 143 cows (85%) on exempt land. Some of these cows were kept on the remote farms (e.g. Shapwick), but I have no realistic way of reliably separating these out from the main body of data, because the farms are only named in a minority of cases. By way of context, there are about 40 named cow keepers (some duplicated names may be either one person with two or even three dairy herds, or multiple farmers with the same names), while the 1831 census counted 99 farmers in Axminster parish, of whom 67 employed non-family labour and 32 did not. By the time allowance has been made for all of the smaller cow keepers, it is clear that most Axminster farms had a dairy in the late 1820s.

Census returns, voters lists and directories

The census returns made every 10 years from 1841 to 1911 provide invaluable information about people, but are not always reliable or detailed as far as place names are concerned (they are often somewhat general, describing many properties as ‘Wyke’, for example, rather than naming the individual farms). References to census data are generally made simply by citing the year (e.g. ‘1851C shows Mr ABC at XYZ farm’).

I have used standard ‘family history’ websites (mainly ancestry.co.uk, because it is the one with which I most familiar) to find the relevant census returns, and to check some birth details and family backgrounds, particularly for those individuals who were farming in Axminster roughly 100 years ago, at the time of the 1911 census. This is of greatest relevance where two or more individuals shared not just a surname, but first names as well, and I have tried to avoid making any mis-statements about who was farming which farm(s).

Although both land tax records and the lists of qualified voters, which were kept from 1832 onwards, can demonstrate or confirm connections between persons and named properties, including farms, they show even less than the census returns do about who was doing the farming. I have therefore not sought to exploit these sources systematically (the voters lists, for those who wish to use them, are accessible on microfiche at the DHC). However, having found one printed voters list, for 1842, included in James Davidson’s ‘Collections for a History of the Town and Parish of Axminster ’ I do make some reference to this as 1842V, because some of the information which it contains complements the information from the 1841 census return. The same source includes (on pages 1059 to 1070) a copy of the 1821 land tax records for Axminster, albeit transcribed in handwriting which is far from easy to read, for anyone who wants to check it.

Axminster library has a collection of extracts from historic directories covering the period from 1850 to 1939 (plus a few earlier ones). Many of these can can be consulted in full at (among other places) the DHC in Exeter. Such directories generally list at least the more prominent local farmers. The directories are referred to in the text by citing the year (e.g. ‘1878D shows that Mr ABC had taken over XYZ farm by then’). The full list of directories cited is as follows:

  • White’s 1850 History, Gazetteer and Directory of Devon
  • Post Office Directory, 1856
  • Billings’ 1857 Directory
  • Post Office Directory, 1866
  • Morris’ 1870 Directory of Devon
  • Post Office Directory, 1873
  • J G Harrod & Co’s 1878 Directory
  • White’s 1878/79 History, Gazetteer and Directory of Devon
  • Kelly’s 1883 Directory
  • Kelly’s 1889 Directory
  • White’s 1890 Directory
  • Kelly’s Directories for 1893, 1902, 1906, 1910, 1914, 1919, 1923, 1926, 1930 , 1935 and 1939

(NB the extract of the 1930 directory available in Axminster library is incomplete, but I consulted the hard copy in the DHC.)

Some of these directories can also be found on-line (e.g. on the historicaldirectories.ac.uk website), but navigating them tends to be very slow. It should also be remembered that all directories are researched, assembled and printed over a period of months, so what was printed was sometimes already out of date. There is also a tendency for some information to be repeated from issue to issue (irrespective of the publisher). Nevertheless, the information provided acts as a valuable supplement to census data.

Old maps

Finally, I have used a sequence of old maps (and for details of where and how to find and view old maps on-line, go to the ‘Introduction to the history of Axminster’ section of this website). Although the fact that a particular farm is named on a map suggests that it was recognised at the time that the map was drawn up, it does not provide definitive proof (because it could simply be ‘carried over’ from the survey that formed the basis of an earlier edition of the same map). Equally, the absence of a specific farm name does not prove that the farm did not exist when the map concerned was published: not every fact can be crammed onto a map, and by no means every property gets named, even on the largest scale maps.

The earliest map that I have used is Benjamin Donn’s map of Devon, published in 1765. There is a paper copy in the DHC at Exeter. Despite its scale, it names most of the Westwater farms individually, plus Cloakham, Sisterwood (not Sisterhood), Weycroft Abbey, Mill Brook, Shools and Newnham (not Newenham) Abbey.

A dozen years later a much larger-scale map was produced for the Petre Estate by a surveyor called James Haywood of Eaton Street, Pimlico. His survey was carried out over the period 1776 to 1778. The original, which measures roughly 6 feet square, and is both well preserved and surprisingly detailed (e.g. most if not all fields are named, and for those that did not belong to the Petre Estate the owner’s name is given), is held at the DHC (Ref 4377M/E2. This may not be on the DHC’s on-line catalogue, but it does produce the map when requested). It only covers the Petre landholdings and small blocks of land which were closely inter-mingled with them, not the whole parish. (The town is roughly in the centre of the map, which covers: the land between Musbury Road and the Axe; between Woodbury Lane and Sector Lane; several farms to the west of Sector Lane (but not Weycroft or the farms accessed off Lodge Lane); all of the farms up the Yarty (other than Yeatlands, which is a blank ‘island’ surrounded by Petre land); and the land up to and including Uphay and Cloakham. Sisterhood, Greatwood and Smallridge are not covered; nor are Wyke, Great Trill and most of the land south of Woodbury Lane.) Two line drawings based on this map are included in Ref 3, on pages 52 (Gamberlake to Newenham Abbey) and 104/105 (the town, including the surrounds from Cloakham to Gamberlake).

The first Ordnance Survey (OS) map of Devon is dated 1809 (based on a survey in 1808/09), produced under the oversight of William Mudge. We then have Greenwood’s map of 1827, and the map produced in connection with the tithe apportionment process in 1838 (see Ref 7 above). All of these are also viewable in ‘hard copy’ at the DHC, and the coverage of the 1838 map is broadly similar to that of the Petre map of 1776/78.

There is an undated map of the catchment of the river Axe and its tributaries which forms part of Ref 1 above (and which is also reproduced at the front of Ref 3), which must have been drawn prior to 1860 (we know this because it does not include the railway, which opened that year). In my opinion it should be treated with some caution, because it appears to have been re-drawn at a larger scale that the original on which it was based, with the consequence that some place names are misleadingly (in some cases wrongly) located. It is also not oriented on the conventional north-south axis, which is not an error since it is clearly indicated, but can easily mislead a casual user.

The 6”-to-the-mile OS map which was published in 1891 (and which is viewable as ‘hard copy’ at the DHC). This was based on a survey made in 1886/87, and offers the first really detailed map of the area. This was followed by the even more detailed OS map of 1905.

These maps are simply referred to in the text as ‘the 1765 map’, ‘the 1891 map’ etc.

A further source with research potential

A source that I have not (yet) explored or used is the collection of parish-by-parish record sets held at the National Archives, described as ‘Ministry of Food: National Farm Survey, Individual farm records 1941-43’. The National Archives, own reference codes are MAF 32/649/1 (Axminster Town) and MAF 32/649/2 (Axminster Hamlets).

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Adjacent parishes

For the benefit of anyone wondering about carrying out comparable research in one or more of Axminster’s neighbouring parishes I offer the following indicators.

I have identified 90 places linked to farms in Axminster (see below), and the text describing these farms occupies over 50 pages (see the seven linked PDF files).

Kelly’s Directory for 1939 lists 54 farms in Axminster parish, representing a majority of the active farms that I have identified at that time, but not the totality. The equivalent ‘counts’ from the listings covering six neighbouring parishes are as follows:

  • Membury 40 farms (16 of these being linked to Furley)
  • Hawkchurch 36 farms
  • Musbury 30 farms
  • Shute 30 farms (5 of these being linked to Whitford)
  • Kilmington 21 farms
  • Dalwood 29 farms

Without wishing to be over-precise, it is highly likely that between them these six parishes (to say nothing of Chardstock, Uplyme, Combpyne, Rousdon, Axmouth and Stockland) had well over three times as many farms as Axminster; and it might therefore be expected that any equivalent account of farming in them would be over three times the page count needed for Axminster’s farms.

Going back further in time, the 1831 census return (which recorded people’s occupations but not their names) counted 99 farmers in Axminster parish, of whom 67 employed non-family labour, and 32 did not. The six parishes listed above had 151 farmers between them at that time, 109 of whom were employers, and 42 of whom were not. This suggests a more modest multiplier in terms of research effort, but still one that would be significantly greater than has been required for Axminster alone. The other six parishes (Chardstock to Stockland, as listed above) had a further 222 farmers in 1831.

Based on my experience, I would strongly recommend any other interested researcher to take a parish-by-parish approach.

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The full set of Axminster farms

The sketch map below shows 90 places in Axminster parish where farms either are or used to be located. See the accompanying Key 1 for the names of each numbered farm, using current spellings. The map shows roads, lanes and the railway, as well as indicating built up areas, but does not include the rivers.

To find a specific farm where only the name is known, use Key 2.

Axminster_farms_Map

Key 1: The names linked to each number on the map

1 Wellands Farm 46 Chubbs Farm
2 Quarry Field Farm 47 Little Beaver
3 Higher Tolcis Farm 48 Beulah Farm
4 Lower Tolcis Farm 49 Prestaller Farm
5 High Lea Farm 50 Millbrook Farm
6 Strangers Hill Farm 51 Sector Lane Farm
7 Sart Farm 52 Sector Farm
8 Yeatlands Farm 53 Sector Hayes Farm
9 Higher Westwater Farm 54 Lower Beavor Farm
10 Middle Westwater Farm 55 Honeybans
11 Woodhouse Farm 56 Beavor Grange Farm
12 Higher Uphay Farm 57 Coles’s Farm
13 Uphay Farm 58 Hillcrest Farm (Blackpool Corner)
14 Lower Westwater Farm / Dairy 59 Newlands Farm
15 Westwater Farm 60 Little Furzeleigh
16 Wink House 61 Furzeleigh Down Farm
17 Westwater Bungalow Farm 62 Furzeleigh Farm
18 Hunthay Farm 63 Lower Furzeleigh Farm
19 Hunthay Dairy 64 Fawnsmoor Farm / Dairy
20 Blackhakes Farm 65 Old Park Farm
21 Castle Hill Farm 66 Woodbury Farm / Dairy
22 Willhays Farm 67 Jackleigh Farm
23 Cloakham Farm 68 Great Jackleigh Farm
24 Sisterhood Farm 69 Higher & Lower Wyke Farms
25 St Leonards 70 Symondsdown House
26 Greatwood Farm 71 Symonds Down Farm
27 Undercleave Farm 72 Oaklands Farm
28 Long Lea Farm 73 Hillcrest Farm (Trinity Hill)
29 Frogwell Farm 74 King’s Farm
30 Highview Farm 75 Wyke Farm
31 Porch Farm 76 Unity Farm
32 Smallridge Farm 77 Rose Farm
33 Weycroft Manor Farm (new) 78 Annings Farm
34 Weycroft Manor Farm (old) 79 Highcroft Farm
35 Bagley Hill Farm 80 Tangletree Farm
36 Pinneywood Farm 81 Great Trill Farm / Dairy
37 Lodge Farm 82 Abbey Gate Farm
38 Higher Lodge Farm 83 Balls Farm
39 Pensylvania Farm 84 Slymlakes Farm
40 Old Barn Farm 85 Higher Abbey Farm
41 New Park Farm 86 Lower Abbey Farm
42 Payne’s Place Farm 87 Little Jackleigh
43 Cuthays Farm 88 Shoals / Shools Farm
44 Shiles Farm 89 Hakes Farm
45 Red House Farm 90 Purzebrook Farm

Key 2 presents the 90 farms in alphabetical order, facilitating the process of finding a specific farm if only the name is known. It includes historic names now discarded, and variants on the spellings. It also includes some other place names which readers may wish to find out about, including some farms which are no longer in Axminster parish. The intention here is to short-circuit any fruitless searches.Key 2: Alphabetical Index of Farms and Associated Places

As well as giving farms’ numbers on the map (where they have them), Key 2 confirms the abbreviated names of the detailed PDF documents where further information can be found.

Farm or place name No. on Map PDF Notes
Abbey Gate Axe See Little Jackleigh
Abbey Gate Farm 82 Axe
Annings Farm 78 Wyke
Bagley Hill Farm 35 Uphay-Smallridge
Balls Farm 83 Axe
Beaver Weycroft See Little Beaver
Beavor Grange Farm 56 S of Sector
Beerhall Farm See Remote Farms
Beulah Farm 48 Weycroft
Blackhakes Farm 20 Axe
Breweshayes Yarty See Hr and Middle Westwater Farms
Castle Hill Farm 21 Axe
Chattan Farm Wyke See King’s Farm
Chubbs Farm 46 N of Sector
Clay Hill Yarty See Wink House
Cloakham Farm 23 Axe
Coles’s Farm 57 S of Sector
Cook’s Cottages S of Sector See Symonds Down Farm
Cuthays Farm 43 N of Sector
Easthay See Remote Farms
Fawnsmoor Farm / Dairy 64 S of Sector
Frogwell Farm 29 Uphay-Smallridge
Furzeleigh Down Farm 61 S of Sector
Furzeleigh Farm 62 S of Sector
Great Jackleigh Farm 68 Wyke
Great Trill Farm / Dairy 81 Wyke
Greatwood Farm 26 Uphay-Smallridge
Haccomb-fee Manor See ‘lost’ Manors
Hakes Farm 89 Axe
High Lea Farm 5 Uphay-Smallridge
Highcroft Farm 79 Wyke
Higher & Lower Wyke Farms 69 Wyke
Higher Abbey Farm 85 Axe
Higher Beavor S of Sector See Beavor Grange Farm
Higher Furzeleigh Farm S of Sector See Furzeleigh Down Farm
Higher Jackleigh Farm Wyke See Jackleigh Farm
Higher Lodge Farm 38 Weycroft
Higher Tolcis Farm 3 Yarty
Higher Uphay Farm 12 Uphay-Smallridge
Higher Westwater Farm 9 Yarty
Highview Farm 30 Uphay-Smallridge
Hillcrest Farm (Blackpool Corner) 58 S of Sector
Hillcrest Farm (Trinity Hill) 73 Wyke
Honeybans 55 S of Sector
Hunthay Dairy 19 Axe
Hunthay Farm 18 Yarty
Jackleigh Farm 67 Wyke
King’s Farm 74 Wyke
Little Beaver 47 Weycroft
Little Furzeleigh 60 S of Sector
Little Jackleigh 87 Axe
Lodge Farm 37 Weycroft
Long Lea Farm 28 Uphay-Smallridge
Lower Abbey Farm 86 Axe
Lower Beavor Farm 54 S of Sector
Lower Furzeleigh Farm 63 S of Sector
Lower Tolcis Farm 4 Yarty
Lower Westwater Farm / Dairy 14 Yarty
Lower Wyke Farm Wyke See Hr & Lwr Wyke Farm
Middle Westwater Farm 10 Yarty
Millbrook Farm 50 Weycroft
Mount Farm Weycroft In Weycroft area
New Park Farm 41 N of Sector
Newlands Farm 59 S of Sector
Oaklands Farm 72 Wyke
Old Barn Farm 40 N of Sector
Old Park Farm 65 S of Sector
Payne’s Place Farm 42 N of Sector
Pensylvania Farm 39 Weycroft
Pinneywood Farm 36 Weycroft
Porch Farm 31 Uphay-Smallridge
Prestaller Farm 49 Weycroft
Punch Cottage S of Sector See Sector Lane Farm
Purzebrook Farm 90 Axe
Quarry Field Farm 2 Yarty
Red House Farm 45 N of Sector
Rose Farm 77 Wyke
Sart Farm 7 Uphay-Smallridge
Sector Farm 52 S of Sector
Sector Hayes Farm 53 N of Sector
Sector Lane Farm 51 S of Sector
Shapwick Grange Farm See Remote Farms
Shiles Farm 44 N of Sector
Shoals / Shools Farm 88 Axe
Sisterhood Farm 24 Axe
Slymlakes Farm 84 Axe
Smallridge Farm 32 Uphay-Smallridge
Spearhay Farm See Remote Farms
St Leonards 25 Axe
Strangers Hill Farm 6 Uphay-Smallridge
Symonds Down Farm 71 S of Sector
Symondsdown House 70 S of Sector
Tangletree Farm 80 Wyke
Tolcis Yarty See Hr and Lwr Tolcis Farms
Tolhays / Tolsehayes / Tulsehayes Yarty See Hr and Lwr Tolcis Farms
Tuck Mill Farm See Remote Farms
Undercleave Farm 27 Uphay-Smallridge
Unity Farm 76 Wyke
Uphay Farm 13 Uphay-Smallridge
Wellands Farm 1 Yarty
Westwater Bungalow Farm 17 Yarty
Westwater Farm 15 Yarty
Weycroft Manor Farm (new) 33 Weycroft
Weycroft Manor Farm (old) 34 Weycroft
Willhays Farm 22 Axe
Wink House 16 Yarty
Woodbury Farm / Dairy 66 Wyke
Woodhouse Farm 11 Yarty
Wyke Farm 75 Wyke
Yallands / Yetlands Yarty See Yeatlands Farm
Yeatlands Farm 8 Yarty
Zart Farm Uphay-Smallridge See Sart Farm

 

Back up to ‘Organisation of this webpage’

Links to seven more detailed PDF documents

This section provides links to the seven downloadable PDF documents which contain the main results of the research, in the form of farm-by-farm details of who farmed there over the period concerned, and such information as has been found about how they did so.

The full and abbreviated titles (as used in cross-references and for the PDF files themselves) are as follows:

Full document titles Abbreviated titles
Up the Yarty from Hunthay Lane Yarty PDF
Between Membury Road and Smallridge, North of Cloakham Uphay-Smallridge PDF
Millbrook, Weycroft and Lodge Lane Weycroft PDF
North of Sector Lane to the Hawkchurch boundary, including Cuthays Lane North of Sector PDF
Between Sector Lane and Cook’s/Woodbury Lanes South of Sector PDF
Wyke, Trinity Hill and Great Trill Wyke PDF
Down the Axe Valley and along the Membury Road Axe PDF

Back up to ‘Organisation of this webpage’


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