Matford Farm and Matford Brook/Brigley Cottages
Looking at the Matford fields on the Alphington Tithe map the land owner was Sir Lawrence Vaughan Palk and the occupier was William Nicks. The 1841 records confirms William as the farmer, he had the use of four areas described as gardens. Also four orchards named Collings Orchard, Bridge Orchard, Small Orchard and Linhay Orchard. There were also the usual arable and pasture fields named Bean Field, Little Hookland, Mill Meadow, Great Meadow, Oak Meadow, Bliss's Meadow and two named as parks, Mazzard Park and Castle Park. An undated cattle fair report stated 'Mr William Nicks of Matford Alphington had two extra ordinary prime steers and a heifer which were greatly admired, the steers estimated at about 34 score and the heifer at about 36 score.' The farmhouse where William, his family and several members of staff resided was described as a mid 18th-Century rebuilding of a 17th-Century house.
The 1861 records show Frederick Pitts as the farmer employing ten labourers, the farm land extended for 320 acres. Frederick was born in Kenn in 1811 and he married Elizabeth Gibbings in 1840. He was also recorded at the farm in 1871 and two mill boys were employed. Frederick died on the 24th March 1879 at Waybrook.
Frederick's son, also named Frederick, took over the farm and was recorded in the 1881 records. Ten men and three boys were employed and the farm land now covered 350 acres. Frederick was born in Kenn on the 3rd February 1842 and he married Elizabeth Ann Mortimer in 1867. Their children were Elizabeth (1868-1943), Annie Mortimer (1870-1870), Frederick (1871-1950), Annie Mortimer (1873-1943), George Sydney (1874-1949), Arthur Reginald (1876-1954), Florence Mary (1877-1937), Dora Winifred (1884-1974), William Henry (1885-1964). The 1881 records show a governess was employed by the family for their children! Frederick died in London on the 12th October 1923.
In 1901 Francis Seward was recorded as the farmer at Matford, he lived with his wife Martha and their son William who worked on the farm. Also resident at the farm house were two servants Laura Powlesland and George Heal. The 1911 records show Edwin Tucker as the farmer at Matford. In 1934 the farmer was recorded as T. Ash and in 1946 and 1949 Mervyn Ash.
According to the Alphington Tithe map Matford Brook Cottages and the surrounding land was owned and occupied by Edward Trood.
1841 Matford Brook Cottages: 1. Charles [name unreadable], a shepherd, and family; 2. John Moore, and agricultural labourer, and family; 3. Robert Chatter, a farmer, and family; 4. Jamie Combers, an agricultural labourer, and family.
1861 Matford Brook Cottages: 1. Thomas Moore, a carpenter, and family; 2. William possibly Horman, a carter, and family; 3. John Fry, a carter, and family; 4. John Warren, an agricultural labourer, and family.
1911 Matford Brook Cottages: 1. John Heard, a milk cart driver, and family; 2. Ernest Cooke, a farm labourer, and family; 3. Charles Northen, a farm labourer, and family.
1946 Brook Cottages: 1. Reginald Ernest Brigley; 2. W. H. Pook; 3. F. J. H. Ponsford
1949: French R. W. Brigley; 2. Henry Thomas Board; 3. Francis John A. Ponsford
Seeing the name Brigley I assume this is why I have heard the cottages called Brigley Cottages.
Copyright © Rowena Kirkpatrick