At the beginning of the 19th century, Francis Parke owned a farm (which included a farmhouse, barn, yard, garden, outbuildings and some 59 acres) in Long Street, Great Ellingham. Parke also owned an additional nearby barn.
Extract from 1802 Map of Great Ellingham. All rights reserved Norfolk Record Office. Cat. Ref. C/Ca 1/84.
With kind permission of NRO
The above extract from the Inclosure Map of Great Ellingham of 1802 shows Parke’s farmhouse to the top left, and the additional barn to the south (with north being at the top of the map).
By c.1836-1850, a dwelling had been built on land just to the north of the original farmhouse. Much later, this dwelling became known as Primrose Farm. By 1871, the farmhouse which became known as Cherry Tree Farm, was built close to what was Parke’s additional barn.
Second Edition. O.S. Map, 1906. Wayland Union R.D. Norfolk Sheet LXXXV. S.W. Great Ellingham.
Courtesy of Ray & Maureen Beales
The yellow arrow on the extract from an O.S. Map of 1906 shows Primrose Farmhouse (built before 1850). The pink arrow points to Cherry Tree Farmhouse (built by 1871). The blue arrow points to the location of the ‘original farmhouse’ which had, by 1906, disappeared.
Cherry Tree Farm. Photograph taken February 2023
By the beginning of the 21st century Primrose Farm had also disappeared. However, Cherry Tree Farm remains today.
In an earlier blog, we have looked at the history of the Long Street farm prior to Francis Parke’s ownership. We carried on the history through to the sale of the farm in 1840 by Parke’s grandson, Henry Beevor, to Jeremiah Grice.
We then continued the history throughout Jeremiah Grice’s ownership, with the erection of two dwellings during this period.
However, I do not know whether Jeremiah Grice ever owned Primrose Farm (or the land on which it was built). It may not have been included in the sale to him in 1840. Nonetheless, he certainly owned the land and dwelling which became known as Cherry Tree Farm.
In this blog we look at the owners and occupiers of Cherry Tree Farm and Primrose Farm in the 20th century.
It is not until much later in the 19th century and into the 20th century, that I have found any reference in documentation to ‘Cherry Tree Farm’ and to ‘Primrose Farm’.
At the end of the 19th century, the once ‘Long Street farm’ which then comprised the land of Cherry Tree Farm (and perhaps Primrose Farm), was owned by Charlotte Matthews of Tanyard Farm.
Formerly, Charlotte Le Grice, Charlotte inherited the property from her father, Jeremiah Grice, who died in 1873. Although Charlotte Matthews owned the property, it was her father’s wish that her brother, Frederick Le Grice, continue to occupy the farm (Cherry Tree Farm). It was also Jeremiah Grice’s wish that the property is not sold whilst either of his daughters Lydia Twaits or Mary Ann Le Grice, are still living.
Mary Ann Le Grice died in 1902 and her sister, Lydia Twaits, died in 1904.
Unfortunately, I do not know when Charlotte Matthews died. However, I do know it was after 1901. Further, given that Charlotte was born around 1821, I think it likely that Charlotte Matthews died well before 1921.
Accordingly, I do not know when Cherry Tree Farm (and possibly Primrose Farm) was sold. Was this before or after the death of Charlotte Matthews? Nevertheless, it seems likely that unless Primrose Farm was already in separate ownership, it was at this time that the two farms were separated, and sold to different buyers.
I believe that before 1915, Primrose Farm was owned by Herbert John Long and Cherry Tree Farm by Benjamin Partridge.
Benjamin Partridge & Herbert Long
The following notice of a sale by Salter, Simpson & Sons, appeared in the Lynn News & County Press of Saturday 31st August, 1912:
CHERRY TREE FARM, GREAT ELLINGHAM
Tuesday 31st August 1912
By Order of Mr B Partridge who is giving up farming
The 1911 census captures 80 year old Benjamin Partridge with his 67 year old wife Hannah Maria living in a six-roomed dwelling in Long Street, Great Ellingham. Born in Bodney, Benjamin Partridge is described as a farmer.
Living nearby at Primrose Farm, is 38 year old Herbert Long and his wife Florence May. The couple have a one year old daughter, Evelyn Ellen. Herbert Long is also described as a farmer. The Long’s dwelling also has six rooms.
The Electoral Registers for 1913-1915, show Herbert John Long as owning Primrose Farm. The same registers show Benjamin Partridge as owning a freehold house and land in Long Street. However, it does not mention Cherry Tree Farm.
In 1920, the Electoral Registers show that Cherry Tree Farm was occupied by Alpheus and Emma Turner. However, the Turner’s occupation of the farm was short-lived.
At the time of the 1921 census, Primrose Farm is occupied by 50 year old Westwick born Edward Palgrave and his wife, Ellen Margaret. Palgrave is described as a farmer.
Ten years earlier, Edward and Ellen Palgrave were at the Crown Public House in Great Ellingham.
The 1921 census reveals 41 year old Charles Ayers, his 46 year old wife Annie and their 14 year old son Wilfred living nearby to the Palgraves.
Although the census states the Ayers family to be living in Long Street, I believe they are at Cherry Tree Farm. Indeed, the census states that Charles Ayers and his son are working for Cubitt Davey. Their place of work is ‘Cherry Tree Farm, Great Ellingham’.
Throughout the 1920s, Charles and Annie Ayers continue to occupy Cherry Tree Farm. However by 1931, the couple move to the Crown Public House, where Charles Ayers was the licensee until his death in 1956.
The Electoral Registers for 1931, show Cubitt and Violet Davey at Cherry Tree Farm.
I believe that Cubitt Davey may well have owned Cherry Tree Farm from at least 1921.
Kelly’s Directories of 1925 and 1929 lists Cubitt Davey as a farmer at Cherry Tree Farm, Great Ellingham. Further, the Electoral Registers show that Cubitt Davey lived at Swangey Farm, Attleborough, but had premises in Great Ellingham.
It follows that it was probably not until after his marriage to Violet Ethel Hardy in 1928, that Cubitt Davey (with his wife) moved into Cherry Tree Farm.
The 1939 Register (undertaken just weeks after the start of WW2), shows Cubitt and Violet Davey in Long Street. The couple employ Rose Reynolds to carry out domestic duties.
The Great Ellingham Invasion Committee Records of 1942, lists Cubitt Davey as ‘General Utility’ and his wife, Violet, ‘Casualty Service’.
Cubitt and Violet continued to live at Cherry Tree Farm until their deaths in 1979 and 1988 respectively.
Frank & Gladys Wigby
From at least 1925, Primrose Farm was occupied by Frank and Gladys Wigby. The Wigbys may have also owned Primrose Farm.
Born in Morley in 1895, Frank Wigby was a son of Obadiah and Louisa Wigby who lived at Mill Farm in Great Ellingham. Frank married Gladys Hilda Clark(e) in 1919.
The Great Ellingham Invasion Committee Records of 1942, shows that both Frank and his wife Gladys were assigned ‘General Utility’ duties as part of the war effort. Three children are listed with the couple – Ralph, Freddie and Bernice. Ralph Wigby is a Home Guard.
Frank Wigby died at the age. of 63 in 1958. Following Frank’s death, Gladys continued to live at Primrose Farm. Gladys died in May 1965 aged 67. They are both buried in the churchyard at St James’s Church, Great Ellingham.
Frank Wigby is standing on the far right at the back of this photograph. It was captured on the occasion of Frank’s sister Gertrude’s marriage to William Ballard in 1911.
The Wigbys may well have been the last family to occupy Primrose Farm. The farmhouse was demolished some years ago.
Today Cherry Tree Farm and at least some of the land once part of Primrose Farm, is in the same ownership – as it was at least two centuries ago!
Lynn News & County Press 31st August 1912. Viewed via www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk
1921 census RG15. Registration District 231. Great Ellingham Sch 92 & 93. Viewed via www.findmypast.co.uk
1911 census RG14/11473/65, RG14/11473/64, RG14/11473/131
1939 England & Wales Register. The National Archives; Kew, London, England; 1939 Register; Reference: Rg 101/6590h. Ancestry.com. 1939 England and Wales Register [database on-line]. Lehi, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2018.
1942 Great Ellingham Invasion Committee Records. Sue Fay
1920, 1923, 1925, 1928, 1929 & 1931 Electoral Registers. Parliamentary County of Norfolk, Southern Division. Great Ellingham. Viewed via www.ancestry.co.uk
Old Buckenham Parish Registers. Norfolk Record Office PD 107. Also available at www.ancestry.co.uk
Great Ellingham Parish Registers. Norfolk Record Office PD 609. Also available at www.familysearch.org and www.ancestry.co.uk