Edwards Farm, Duck Street




The date of Edwards Farm is uncertain, but from its position in the centre of the village it seems likely that it was among the first stone-built farmhouses in the parish and possibly is of late 16th century origin; the first documented date is 1744. It has been much altered, most recently 1975. The property was sold in 1728 by the family of Lord Willoughby de Broke to Peter Hardwicke, Doctor of Physick, Bristol. The Hardwicke family retained possession of the farmhouse until 1936. David Edwards is the first recorded tenant; he had died and his widow was the tenant in 1744. She was followed by John Nicholls the older who died in 1764. Robert Alway's first five children do not appear. in the Baptism register; the six subsequent children were baptised in Tytherington, from 1767. In 1779, he was the tenant of Edwards Farm It is a reasonable assumption that he moved into the village to follow John Nicholls as tenant. He was succeeded by his widow (1792) and then by his son Robert. The initials R.A. can still be seen scratched on beam. In 1815, Robert Alway, with his family, left Tytherington for Bristol and Canada. They did not return and what happened to them in Canada is recounted later on. The tenancy was maintained until 1825 first by John Bryant (Bryants farmed West End Farm at this time) and then by Robert's brother John at Mill Farm; and then for 15 years, the farmhouse was occupied by James and Sarah Williams, both elderly.
In 1840, John Sainsbury, age 26, son of an established farmer in the parish (at Boyts Farm), took on the tenancy of Edwards Farm and held it for the next 20 years. The Williams had rented 115 acres; by 1851 John Sainsbury was farming 200 acres and a tenancy agreement of 185 shows that 127 acres were Edwards Farm, and 72 acres were part of Grange Farm These latter fields stretched along the road as far as Grovesend, mostly on the south side, so Sainsbury was farming from the Thornbury parish boundary to the Wickwar parish boundary. He died in 1860, age 46.

John Hawkins Tyler, born at West Street Cottage where his father Nathaniel farmed some 50 acres, moved to West End Farm in 1855 on the death of the previous tenant. In 1861 he was farming 200 acres (50 plus 150 at West End Farm) but by 1871 the acreage he farmed had
increased to 350 acres. It seems probable that the trustees of the Hardwicke estate, owners of all these farms, were only too glad, in this time of depression, to let Edwards Farm to John Hawkins Tyler - another 127 acres plus some of Grange Farm. He died in 1877. The Tyler family did not require the accommodation in the farmhouse. In 1871 it was occupied by a farm labourer, his wife, young son, and a boarder. By 1881, it was being used as two cottages, each occupied by farm labourers. The evidence is unclear about whether Edward Whitcombe Tyler ever lived at Edwards Farm. But with the death of his father in 1877 and his older brother Thomas Nathaniel in 1892, he was wanted at West End Farm to help his widowed mother. This cleared the way for a new tenant at Edwards Farm from the late '90s, Charles Kingscott. Charles died in 1922, his widow Hannah in 1930, his son Jehu in 1940. Jehu's widow, Beatrice Rose continued to live in the parish, latterly at Malt Cottages, until she died in 1978.
Two or three years before the 1939 War, Leslie Shipp and his wife Frances (nee Kingscott) opened a shop on the premises, with a milk round and a hackney carriage organisation. Leslie was killed in the War, and the enterprise did not survive after about 1952.

When the Hardwicke estate was sold in 1936, Edwards Farm, in 5 acres of land, was sold to H C Pearce for 350. It is not known at present when the land which formed the farm unit - something over 100 acres - was sold by H L Hardwicke. Verbal evidence suggests that H C Pearce bought it during or soon after the 1914-18 War - a period when other sales were made by 'The Squire' - but this, in other verbal evidence, is denied. The farmhouse remained with the Pearce family, divided into two cottages and let to villagers, among them Percy Alway, Jim Merrick and Violet Barge, until 1965. It was then bought by H W Clark, whose wife Iris was a grandaughter of Charles Kingscott; the building has been extensively renovated. 

 Harold Clark is pictured in the centre of the photograph (right).  Click on the thumbnail to view.

Click on the thumbnail photograph (left) which shows Edwards Farm c 1900 with Hannah Kingscote (nee Taylor) (married Charles Kingscott) pictured centre with her mother Eleanor Taylor (nee Curtis) and sister Ellen Taylor born 1859 in  (left).