THE BCH ARCHIVE

LOCAL HISTORY FOR

BIRTSMORTON

CASTLEMORTON

HOLLYBUSH

And The Surrounding District

Mill Farm

In 1839, Ann Hart was renting Mill Farm (148 acres) from Charles Porter, as well as other land around the Parish (7acres) and renting a few pieces in conjunction with others. She also owned 56 acres, 31 of which were rented out. Charles Porter did not live in the Parish.


Ann (nee Clinton) was the widow of James Hart whom she had married in 1809. The parish registers record the Hart family in Castlemorton in the 1670’s. At the baptism of Harriet in 1813, James was farming at Rough Cast. He died in 1830 aged 46.

The Tithe Map shows three ponds, fed from the Mill Pond on Golden Valley, and the site of the Corn Mill. By 1904 the Corn Mill was disused, although all three ponds still existed. By 1923, pond 2 was half marsh ground and by 1955 ponds 1 and 2 had gone completely. Today, only pond 3 remains and was de-silted in 2016.


In 1841, occupied by Ann Hart, Farmer and her children Harriet, James and Caroline; and by John Smith (Farmer), his wife Elizabeth (Ann’s daughter) and their daughters Mary and Elizabeth.


Samuel Hunt (with Elizabeth Perkins and her two children), Robert Beale (with his four children) and Joseph Hart (with his wife and son) were living in the three Mill Cottages.


Ann was renting Mill Farm from Charles Porter, renting land from the Dean & Chapter, Castlemorton Church and John Hill. She also owned land which she rented out or occupied herself.


In 1851, Ann is Farmer of 124 acres at the Mill Farm with her son James; and John Smith with his wife and children: Mary Ann, George and Jane Ellen. Richard Webb is living there too as a Farm Servant.


Robert Beale and his wife and three children were living at Mill Cottages


By 1857, William Lane, youngest son of John Rayer Lane, had Mill Farm and on 25 November he married Harriet, youngest daughter of Adam Clarke of Longdon, at Longdon.


In 1861, William Lane was the head, Farmer of 230 acres employing 5 men and two boys. He lived at Mill Farm with his wife Harriet, son William and two servants.


In 1871, Lane was farming 220 acres employing 4 men and two boys. With him was his wife Harriet, children Elizabeth A and William, a Governess and two servants.  


At Mill End lived Emmanuel Reece, Miller, with his wife Maria and children Mary A and Eliza. Also at Mill End were Robert Morris, Agricultural Labourer, his wife Winifred and their children Winifred, Sarah A, and Jane.


4 August 1877, Gloucester Journal:

Property Sales Wednesday, at the Swan Hotel, Tewkesbury. Messrs. Moore and Son offered for sale Mill Farm estates, in the parishes of Castlemorton:

Lot 6, an estate known as the Mill Farm, Castlemorton, comprising farm residence, with outbuildings, two cottages, and land to the extent of 140 a. 1r. 34p. was sold to The Ecclesiastical Commissioners for England for £6196, including timber.

Lot 7 piece of pasture at Wetfield Meadow Castlemorton, contaiing 7a. 3r. 15p. was sold to Mr. Thomas Cannock, of Cheltenham, for £315.

Lot 8, a piece of arable land at Castlemorton called Whitbury Field, containing 5a. 2r. 22p was purchased by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners for £310.

Lot 9, a piece of pasture at Longdon called Broad Marsh, containing 4a. 3r. 31p., also purchased by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, and realised £280.

Lot 10 comprising 4a. 0r 2p. arable land at Castlemorton and Birtsmorton and known as Buddenhill, was sold to Mr. Albert Buck, of Worcester, for £180.


In 1881, at The Mill, was living Mary Cox, widow, her son William (Farmer of 200 acres employing 4 men, two servants and her granddaughter. William married Mary Ann Lock, only daughter of Mr G Lock of Cover Side Farm, Hanley Castle on 4 December 1883 at St Gabriel Hanley Castle.


In 1891, Mill was occupied by William Cox, his wife Mary and their three children Mary G, Bertha and Hilda A, and two servants.


Mill Cottages were occupied by George Gilham, Agricultural Labourer, his wife Sarah and children George and Amy; and James Morgan (Agricultural Labourer), his wife Elizabeth and children Maria and Ruth.


16 June 1894, Worcester Journal

Malvern – Friday. Friday. Before Sir H. Hancock, Deputy-Judge. A Long Standing Claim. The sum of 12s. 7d. as damages for breach of contract, was claimed by Frederick Lane, carpenter. Ivy Cottage, Castlemorton, from William Cox, Mill Farm, Castlemorton. Defendant denied the breach of contract, and also pleaded that the claim, being more than six years old, was barred by the Statute of Limitation. Judgment for the plaintiff for the amount claimed.


In 1901, Mill Farm is occupied by William Cox, Farmer, his wife Mary Ann and children Martha, Hilda and two servants.


One of the Mill Cottages were occupied by Charles Dee, Carter on the farm, his wife Fanny and children Lotty, Hensiman Jessie and James.


The other Mill Cottage was occupied by Harriet Tainton, widow and Seamstress.


26 September 1903, Gloucester Journal

Wanted, a Married Man as Cowman; good cottage and garden found; small dairy. Apply Mr. W. Cox, Mill Farm, Castlemorton, rear Malvern.


21 February 1905, Gloucester Citizen

Wanted, a Married Man as Cowman; good cottage and garden found; small dairy. Apply Mr. W. Cox, Mill Farm, Castlemorton, rear Malvern.


12 October 1907, Gloucester Journal

Wanted, a married man as Carter. Good cottage and garden found. Apply Mr William Cox, Mill Farm, Castlemorton, Malvern.


In 1911, Mill Farm was occupied by William Cox, Farmer, his wife Mary A and children Martha and Hilda. They had two servants.


In 1939, occupied by Charles W Norman, Farmer (aged 52) and John G Fowler, Farmer (aged 24)


One of the Mill Cottages were occupied by Charles Dee, Carter on the farm, his wife Fanny and children Lotty (Teacher at the school), Hensiman (Carters Boy), Jessie and James.


The other Mill Cottage was occupied by Harriet Tainton, widow and Seamstress.


13 February 1945, Birmingham Mail

Country Quarters – near Malvern, farmhouse accommodation, full board, contact Williams, Mill Farm Castlemorton.




Prior to 1978, Mill Farm was owned and farmed by E F Bentley a well known character in the area. Who enjoyed hunting with the Ledbury hunt. A herd of Freisian cows was milked and some corn grown.


In 1978, Mr & Mrs Bentall purchased the farm at auction. Previously, Mr Bentall had been farming in partnership with his mother on a 70 acre dairy holding in Somerset. This farm was sold and the proceeds and loans from Mr Bentalll’s relations helped to purchase Mill Farm, together with bank loans. In 1981, Mr & Mrs Benthall were 44 and 39 respectively and had four children: three daughters aged 17, 15 and 11 and son aged 8. The tremendous rise in the bank rate had put a considerable strain on their finances and they with other members of the family wishing to withdraw money shortly, they wished for a sale on a lease back basis. The Accredited Friesian dairy hard numbered 100 and 101 followers, namely 15 heifers in calf, 41 ½ year old heifers, 12 6-11 month old heifers and 33 heifer calves. Mr & Mrs Bentall owned half shares in two well bred bulls. 700 toms of silage had been made for winter feed and about 60 tons of hay. The whole farm was being used for the dairy enterprise. The farm employs one cowman and the family helped out at peak periods.


6 October 1982 bought by Gloucester Charities Trust, Century house, 100 London Road, Gloucester, GL1 3PL for about £270,000, aiming to lease it for £11,800 pa. Immediately leased back to the Benthalls.  With vacant possession, the farm was valued at £360,000. 258 acres. Gloucester Charities Trust. I had help from the Trust’s archivist, Helena.


1984 – Mr and Mrs Bentall divorce – Mr Bentall stayed on to run farm

The Farmhouse comprised entrance porch, hall, sitting room, dining room, kitchen, cloakroom and store room, 5 bedrooms and self contained two bedroomed flat.


Mill Farm Cottages each comprise hall, sitting room, kitchen, two bedroom, bathroom, coal shed and WC.


25 March 1989, Mill Farm was rented to Paul DowdIng.   His wife, Rosemary J Dowding (Joe) ended up running it herself as Livery


In 2015, it was leased to Henick and Louise Mindermann, primarily to keep horses.

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