Westwood Farm and Eastwood Farm

Westwood Farm

From Alphington's Tithe Map the Westwood Estate was also known as Woodballs and Westwood. The owners of the land were John Dadd, Richard Southwood and Harriet Hawkins. The occupier of Westwood Farm was Edward Hawkins.

The land contained three gardens, one as you might imagine was by the farm house. The second one further away was a small plot of land perhaps it was connected to a farm cottage. The third garden covered over an acre and appeared to be more like a field than a garden. There was one nursery and an area of furze (gorse) that covered over four acres and was called Woodball Field. There were five plots of land marked as copse and seven orchards three of which were named as Sweetland Orchard, Woodball Nursery and Woodball Orchard. With the name Sweetland I wonder if eating apples were grown in this Orchard. There were four pasture fields and eighteen arable fields. Some of the field names give us an indication as to how the land was being used or had been used prior to the Tithe Map, such as, Barn Close the name Close indicated an enclosed field, this field probably had a barn insitu; Clatter Cleave, cleave meaning a steep slop. Some other field names were Great Gratton, gratton meaning a small enclosure and Great Ham Ley Brake. Brake was taken from the old English word 'brec' meaning newly broken land 'Ley' was a piece of land put down to grass, clover etc., for a single season or a limited number of years.

There were several fields that took the name Woodball. Two maps showed an area called Wood Ball, one dated 1803 and one dated 1760 recording strip farming. Strip farming is a method of farming which involves cultivating a field partitioned into long narrow strips which are alternated in a crop rotation system. It is used when a slop is too steep or when there is no alternative method of preventing soil erosion. The Tithe Map shows some of the Woodball fields right at the end of the Parish and they were long, narrow strips of land.

Records show Edward Hawkins running the farm in 1841, 1851 and 1861. By 1871 Edward's son William had taken over the farm and records show he was still farming at Westwood in 1911 aged 70.

Eastwood Farm

Dated records show the Hayne family at Eastwood from at least 1643 through to at least 1813. The London Gazette dated 1840 stated 'William Cornish previously of Eastwood Farm, farmer'. Alphington's Tithe Map shows the Earl of Devon as the landowner and the occupier James Dadd.

According to the Tithe Map documentation the land contained one brake, two nurseries, nine orchards, five copses, seventeen pasture fields and thirty one arable fields. The nursery was called ''Nursery on other side of Turnpike Road', that certainly gave us the location of the nursery! A couple of the orchards had lovely names; 1. Wine Cellar Orchard, perhaps this orchard was close to where the farmers' wine cellar was located! 2. Uncle Dick's Orchard, I suppose we shall never know who Uncle Dick was! Several fields referred to horses, such as, Long Mare Park, Little Mare Park, Little Horse Hill and Great Horse Hill probably fields where the farm horses were let out to graze. One of the arable fields was called Barley Arrish, Arrish is southwest English dialect for corn stubble and in Devon the name was given to a corn field which had been cut and cleared.

In 1841 John Dymond, a farmer, was residing in the Eastwood farmhouse while James Dadd seems to have been residing in another farmhouse close by. A little strange when the Tithe Map shows James Dadd as the occupier at about the same time. In 1851 James Dadd is recorded at Eastwood farmhouse. In 1861 his son, also James, is recorded at Eastwood. In 1871 and 1881 Francis Seward is farming at Eastwood and residing in the farmhouse. In 1891, 1901 and 1911 William Henry Dadd is recorded farming at Eastwood. In 1901 one of his children, Percy aged 7, is recorded, this must be Percy Dadd who went on to farm at Sobey's Farm.

 


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