Today, Great Ellingham has two farms in Penhill Road which include ‘Penhill’ in the farm name – Penhill Farm and Penhill Farm West. As the name suggests, Penhill Farm West is situated near to the western boundary of the village with Rocklands. Penhill Farm lies nearer to the village along the same road.
Penhill Farm West is thought to be one of the oldest properties in the village. It is understood that at one time, Penhill Farm West was known as ‘Home Farm’ (but not to be confused with a neighbouring property ‘Home Cottage Farm’).
The Statement of Claims for the Great Ellingham Inclosure of 1799, reveals that William Cockell claimed one messuage and 26 acres of land which was occupied by widow Stebbin, and two acres of land occupied by James Barnard. The messuage and some of the land was copyhold of the Manor of Bury Hall, with other land lying within the Manors of Ellingham Hall, Ellingham Rectory and Buckenham Lathes Outsoken.
Left: Extract from 1802 Map of Great Ellingham. Original held at Norfolk Record Office (NRO). Russell James Colman Plans. Cat. Ref. C/Ca 1/84. With kind permission of NRO. Image Right: Extract from original 18th Century Map. Town Green, Hyrne and Broad Commons in Great Ellingham held at Norfolk Record Office. Cat. Ref. MC2213/114. With kind permission of NRO
The above maps show the position of some of the land owned by William Cockle. A large black dot on each map show the position of the property which is today known as Penhill Farm West. The buildings are identified by the red colouring on the 1802 map.
The neigbouring property known today as ‘Home Cottage Farm’ is shown on the maps to the south of Penhill Farm West (the northern point being to the top of the maps).
The Particulars and Valuation for Great Ellingham taken by the Commissioners for the purpose of the Inclosures of 1800, reveals William Stebbing as occupying a ‘House, Barn, Stable, Yard and Garden (altogether comprising one rood and sixteen perches – 0a 1r 16p) together with parcels of land and allotments including land referred to as ‘piece adjoining House’ (1a 0r 2p), ‘Seven Acres’ (7a 2r 14p), ‘Six Acres’ (6a 2r 24p), ‘Pightle (2a 0r 5p), ‘Allotment upon Ravens Croft before House’ (1a 3p 8r) all which are identified on the 1802 Map. The same Particulars and Valuation state that the property and land was owned by William Cockell Esq.
Presumably around the time of the Great Ellingham Inclosures, William Stebbing died and his widow continued the occupation. Unfortunately, I have not yet been able to discover more about the Stebbin (or Stebbing) family.
‘A Particular Survey of the Parish of Great Ellingham’ undertaken between 1817 and 1819, reveals that most (if not all) of the land in Great Ellingham previously owned by William Cockell was then in the ownership of Miss Charlotte Cockell. Thomas Rushbrooke was the occupier of the ‘House, Barn, Stable, Yard and Garden’ (0a 1r 16p) together with additional pieces of land, some of which concur with the parcels of land once occupied by William Stebbing. For example, the Piece next the House 1a 0r 2p, Common Frontage 1a 3p 8r.
The Cockell family was well known in the Attleborough area.
The General Record Office (GRO) Index reveals the death of a 89 year old Charlotte Cockell registered in the Guiltcross Union District between July and September 1850. She was buried at Attleborough on the 16th August, 1850.
Working back from Charlotte’s year of death, Charlotte Cockell was born around 1761.
The Archdeacon’s Transcripts for All Saints Church, Besthorpe (an adjoining parish to Attleborough) reveal a baptism for Charlotte, daughter of William and Elizabeth Cockell, on the 24th December, 1761.
Amongst other gifts and legacies, in her Will dated 20th February, 1850, spinster Charlotte Cockell, of Attleborough, gave ‘all my farms lands tenements and hereditaments at Ellingham, Attleborough, Besthorpe and elsewhere of whatsoever nature or tenure, unto my four surviving nephews and nieces Charles Cockell, Arthur Cockell, Elisabeth Cockell and Charlotte Mary Ling‘.
Accordingly, some of the land once owned by William Cockell and subsequently Charlotte Cockell (including the property what is now known as Penhill Farm West), passed to other members of the Cockell family.
General Record Office (GRO) Index. https://www.gro.gov.uk/
Will of Charlotte Cockell. 20 February, 1850. The National Archives’ reference PROB 11/2119/119.
Extract from 1802 Map of Great Ellingham. Original held at Norfolk Record Office. Russell James Colman Plans. Cat. Ref. C/Ca 1/84.
Extract from original 18th Century Map. Town Green, Hyrne and Broad Commons in Great Ellingham held at Norfolk Record Office. Cat. Ref. MC2213/114, 941X7
1800 Inclosure Commissioner’s Particulars & Valuation. Norfolk Record Office. MC 2213/119
Besthorpe Parish Registers. Norfolk Record Office. PD/309. Transcription. FreeReg website https://www.freereg.org.uk/search_queries/5edfb3d3f493fdf4d142780f?locale=en Accessed 09.06.2020
Attleborough Parish Registers. Norfolk Record Office. PD/438. Transcription, Burials. Norfolk Family History Society. https://www.norfolkfhs.org.uk/