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Home Farm

Home Farm was a dairy farm run by the Bryant family for much of the nineteenth century. (Mary) Catherine Bryant took over the 100 acre plus concern independently when her husband died in 1863, leaving her with a young family. One of the few local women of the period to successfully run a business, Catherine employed several labourers and dairy workers and increased the farm's landholding during her tenure. Her son, George, later recounted how he had taken over from her when he was 17. However, this was not borne out in the trade directories of the period, which listed Catherine as the sole proprietor until somewhat later. Thereafter mother and son ran the farm together until at least 1889.

During the 1870s, Francis Kilvert recorded a humorous anecdote about a 'Dame Matthews' who, he recorded, had lived at Home Farm and had a role in its management, albeit during an earlier period.

The Dame used to sit in the chimney corner, and near her chair, there was a little window through which she could see all down the dairy. One evening she saw one of the farm men steal a pound of butter out of the dairy and put it into his hat, at the same moment clapping his hat upon his head.
‘John.’ Called the Dame. ‘John, come here. I want to speak to you.’ John came, carefully keeping his hat on his head. The Dame ordered some ale to be heated for him and bade him sit down in front of the roaring fire. John thanked his mistress and said he would have the ale another time, as he wanted to go home at once.
‘No, John. Sit you down by the fire and drink some hot ale. Tis a cold night and I want to speak to you about the kine (cows).’
The miserable John, daring neither to take off his hat nor go without his mistress’s leave, sat before the scorching fire drinking his hot ale till the melting butter in his hair began to run down all over his face. The Dame eyed him with malicious fun. ‘Now, John,’ she said, ‘you may go. I won’t charge you anything for the butter.’

The house dates from the eighteenth century and is now grade II listed.

 

Home Farm,
The Common,
Langley Burrell

 

NGRef: ST 93040 75185
Historic England 1022345 

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