Farms

Currently this page focuses on the 19th century. However, we are working to update it through to the present day and that will be added over the next month or so (as at June 2023).

Please CLICK on any image to enlarge.

In the 19th century, over 98% of the farmland in the parish was rented rather than owned and so it was relatively easy for farms and individual fields to change hands. This is seen in the changes of farmer and the increases and decreases of acreage worked on a given farm over time. Farmers also moved from farm to farm within the estate of the Constables of Everingham – who owned around 80% of the land in the parish until just after the first world war. After this, many of the farmers bought the land.

Farming from within the village

Within Seaton Ross village, and briefly discussed in the Street by Street pages, are/were four substantial farms: Cross Farm, Mains Farm, Green Farm and Rose Farm. Several other buildings had/have the name farm but are or were smaller farms, or even smallholdings. Today only Rose Farm, West House Farm and Guildford House actively farm from the village. Green Farmhouse has been moved south onto Southfield Lane to a new location.

Cross Farm

Cross Farm sits on the east side of North End. The land and farm were part of the Everingham estate of the Constable Maxwell family. In 1811 and 1817 it was farmed by Thomas Hatfield who had a small field behind the farm and parcels of land in West Field and four other locations, totalling just under 100 acres (see ~1817 snapshot for a map).

By 1828 Hannah Spite was farming from there, but it was acquired by John Chapman in the 1830s and he farmed through into the 1860s – working 104 acres in 1851. The farmhouse was rebuilt in 1848. By 1881 it was being farmed by Joseph Cook (24y) who worked 118 acres, but over the next three decades it passed to William Withell, Robert Snowball and then John Jagger who was farming just before the first world war.

It is now a private house.

Cross Farm in the foreground with its barns. Photograph courtesy of Elaine Rand
Mains Farm

Mains Farm sits on the east side of South End opposite the open field near the church – the farmhouse was rebuilt in 1812. Behind it, it opens out onto open fields which always formed the bulk of the land farmed. It was one of the five biggest farms in the parish in the 19th century. The land and farm were part of the Everingham estate of the Constable Maxwell family.

By 1811 it was being farmed by James Kempley and he farmed it through into the 1860s. James Kempley worked 207 acres in 1817 – including four fields on Southfield Lane (see ~1817 snapshot for a map). In 1861 he was 86 years of age and was assisted by his sons James (51) and Thomas (49).

The land lay east and south of the farm and bordered the Everingham Carrs – so some land would have been seasonally wet. The farm also included a considerable amount of woodland and it is unclear if this was included in the reported acreage (probably not). The area worked fluctuated only a little – 226 acres in 1851, 199 in 1871 and 200 in 1881.

In the 1860s the farm passed to Henry Cook and in the 1880s to his widow, Mary. By 1901 it has passed on again, to George Kirk, who was still farming it just before the first world war.

It is now a private house.

Green Farm

Green Farm sits on the west side of South End and is named after the village green which it used to sit opposite – now just two fields. The land and farm were part of the Everingham estate of the Constable Maxwell family. It was farmed by Robert Douthwaite from before 1811 into the 1840s – he worked 120 acres in 1817 spread between three parcels of land – one straddling South End by the farm and two further down Southfield Lane (see ~1817 snapshot for a map). The farm buildings were rebuilt in 1841.

Robert died in 1844 and the farm passed to his son William – farming 212 acres in 1851 but only 104 acres in 1871 – and then in 1879 he died and passed it to his son, John Douthwaite who was working 108 acres in 1881. Later in the 1880s the farm passed to John Henley and, in the 1900s to his son Jesse Henley.

A new farmhouse was built on a plot on Southfield Lane in 1997 and the original farmhouse is now a private house – called ‘The Old Farmhouse’.

Rose Farm

Rose Farm sits right at the south end of South End on the west side. The land and farm were part of the Everingham estate of the Constable Maxwell family. From before 1811 to after 1817 it was farmed by William Rispin who had 44 acres in a single parcel of land a little further down Southfield Lane. By 1828 it was being farmed by James Watson – one of William Watson’s younger brothers. He farmed it through into the 1870s before retiring. He built the farm to 130 acres in 1851 and to 150 acres in 1871.

In the 1870s, the farm passed to William Exelby who worked 131 acres in 1881. He died in 1893 and it passed to his son John who was still working it just before the first world war.

In the 1980s a new farmhouse was built a little further down the road and the old farmhouse is now a private residence – called ‘Rose Farm House’. The barns were also moved in 2001.

Farming from outside the village

Prior to the first world war, there were less farms than today outside the village of Seaton Ross but within the parish of Seaton Ross. Outside the village, from the north to the south, were twelve farms: Rytham Gate, White House Farm, Dial Farm (Seaton Lodge), Breckstreet Farm, Fosses Farm, Park Farm, Seaton Old Hall, Grange Farm (Seaton Grange), Southfield Farm, Seaton New Hall, Allberries Farm and Lincoln Flats. At this stage we have historic photos of only some of these.

Rytham Gate

Rytham Gate occupies the spot which was originally the gate to Seaton Common from the east (Everingham and Bielby). It was rebuilt in 1806 just before enclosure of the common. There was originally a second building on the other side of the road and another building – now called Rytham gate house – is just along the road. Deciphering who lived where is not always easy!

The land and farm were part of the Everingham estate of the Constable Maxwell family. In ~1817 John Hunter was farming about 130 acres from Rytham Gate and was still farming there in the 1840s when Cambidge Fourby took over the main farm. He worked it into the 1860s and then passed it on, with a similar acreage, to his son John Cambidge Fourby who worked it into the 1880s. Richard Horsley then took the farm on and passed it to his son, Arthur, who was still farming it in the early years of the twentieth century.

White House Farm

White House Farm was established on the land released by the enclosure of Seaton Common in around 1812. The land and farm were part of the Everingham estate of the Constable Maxwell family. In ~1817  its occupant was William Holmes who farmed 55 acres. However, it soon became the residence of the Seaton Ross vicar – or perpetual curate – who also farmed it. Initially (1828) this was the Rev. William Anderson, but it passed to the Rev. Thomas Terry before 1841 and he stayed until the 1850s. The vicars having moved their residence to Harswell, the farm was taken on by the Horsley family in the 1860s – first Henry Horsley – the 74 year old father of the schoolmaster Richard Horsley who was living at Rytham Gate. Richard himself took it over in the 1870s – the farm being of 40 acres at this time – but then returned to farm at Rytham Gate (still as schoolmaster) while his son, Arthur Horsley took over at White House Farm in the 1880s and farmed there until the 1900s when he moved to Rytham gate and the farmhouse was occupied by Tom Calvert – a farm labourer.

The farm building fell derelict as the farmers moved into a new house at Silver Sands and has recently been demolished.

Dial Farm

Dial Farm was originally known as Seaton Lodge and acquired the name Dial Farm from the sundial on its front wall. It was built by William Watson in 1812 – just after enclosure – on some of the new land from Seaton Common that then became available. It was he that added the sundial. Despite this, both land and farm were part of the Everingham estate of the Constable Maxwell family.

Initially occupied by William Watson – who never married – and who farmed 145 acres, it was later taken on by his youngest brother George, with a reduced area of about 110 acres. He worked it into the 1870s before it passed to the Cook family, and later to George Hatfield in the first years of the 20th century. The farmhouse is no longer part of the farm and is a private residence.

Breckstreet Farm

Gerald Hall has written “SOME NOTES ABOUT BRECKSTREET FARM – 1839 to 1989” which gives a more recent history of the farm. It can also be found on the Features menu.

Breckstreet Farm was built in 1840 after enclosure of the last remnant of Seaton Common was completed. The land and farm were part of the Everingham estate of the Constable Maxwell family. It was built for Lord Herries’ sisters and was initially named Marcia Villa. It had an area of around 320 acres and passed from family to family throughout the 19th century. More than any other farm in the parish, it was affected by the airfield built during WWII. One of the aircraft parking areas may be seen in the aerial photos below.

It was one of the five biggest farms in the parish in the 19th century. It is still actively farmed.

Fosses Farm

Fosses Farm is named after the Foss Dyke which it adjoins. Foss Dyke forms the western boundary of Seaton Ross parish and was dug in the Anglo-Saxon period to drain the clay lands. Originally built in about 1780, the original farm building was burnt down mid 20th century and no photos survive of it. The land and farm were part of the Everingham estate of the Constable Maxwell family. In the early days (1830s) there was a route from Laytham Road that passed through Fosses Farm to Grange Farm and on to Southfield Lane. Fosses farm grew steadily from 83 acres in c1817 to 133 acres in 1881.

Fosses farm was farmed by William Walkington in 1817, then James Kempley (1828) before he passed it to the Douthwaite family in the 1840s. Then it passed via Thomas Braithwaite to the Kendall family in the 1870s and in the 1890s to the Hunts.

Still actively farmed.

Park Farm

Sitting just south east of the village, Park Farm was rebuilt in 1802 and was the largest farm in the parish in 1817. The land and farm were part of the Everingham estate of the Constable Maxwell family. The land was consolidated in a single area from the early 19th century on (at least). It grew from 355 acres in c1817 to 415 acres in 1851 before falling back to around 330 acres in 1881. It was one of the five biggest farms in the parish in the 19th century.

It was farmed by John Watson Snr. (William Watson’s father) in the earl 1800s and then from the 1840s by his son Charles Watson (moving over from Seaton Old Hall) – whose marriage was childless – and then in the 1870s by Charles’ brother James’ son, John Watson. It later passed via John Stephenson to the Middleton family in the 1890s.

The land and house were split in 2010 and the house is now a private residence.

Park Farm (South End)

Seaton Old Hall

Seaton Old Hall is the oldest surviving farmhouse in the parish – built in 1702, it sits back from Southfield Lane along Reangamoor Lane. It was farmed by the Watson family in the early 1800s – in the form of one of William’s brothers, John jnr. who passed it on to his younger brother Charles who was farming it with John Burnett in the 1840s. James Sykes then took it on and farmed it into the 1860s before it passed to Webster Featherby and then, via John Murr to Jewitt Hunt who farmed it into the 20th century. Its land area changed little between ~1817 and 1881 varying between 180 and 193 acres. The land was owned by Henry Preston at the time of the 1851 tithe assessment.

The hall is now a private residence and the land is farmed by St. Helen’s Goat Farm.

Seaton New Hall

Seaton New Hall was built in about 1748 and, before the Bubwith to Holme turnpike road was built in ~1795, it was accessed from the village along a now disappeared road/lane extending from Mains Lane. The farm is now accessed directly from the Holme road (A163 – the turnpike road). Its area stayed mostly between 140 and 150 acres between c1817 and 1881. The land was owned by Henry Preston at the time of the 1851 tithe assessment.

It was also farmed by the Watson family – (one of William’s brothers, Robert, in ~1817) and then passed in the 1840s to William Brown (and Thomas Cousins – who worked a small area) until the 1870s. Then via Brooksbaur Catton to James Sykes who farmed it through into the early 20th century.

Grange Farm

Grange Farm used to be known as Seaton Grange. It was first built in 1800 and rebuilt in 1828. It is located on the west side of Southfield Lane and was a smallish and consolidated farm of about 60 acres during the 19th century. The land was owned by George Stogdale of Foggathorpe at the time of the 1851 tithe assessment

It was farmed by John Holmes ~1817 and into the 1830s. Then it passed via George Wilberfoss to Thomas Hunt in the 1850s and he farmed it through into the 1880s. After a brief period unoccupied it was taken on by Thomas Giles in the 1890s who worked it into the early years of the twentieth century.

Southfield Farm

Southfield Farm was not built until the 1840s and was then occupied by William Dales (initially with his brother Thomas). William reduced his holding from 90 acres when he took on Southfield to 20 acres by 1870 but carried on farming here into the 1880s. It then passed by 1891 to George Lee and on to Thomas Gilyear who worked it into the early 20th century. The land and farm were part of the Everingham estate of the Constable Maxwell family.

Allberries Farm

Alberries Farm occupies the bottom left of the parish and sits mainly south of the turnpike road (A163). The land and farm were part of the Everingham estate of the Constable Maxwell family. It was farmed by James Dales with ~125 acres in ~1817 and he continued to work it into the 1840s. The farm buildings were rebuilt in about 1830.

In 1848 it was being worked by William Simpson – as a farmer or farm bailiff is not clear, but before 1851 it was being worked by William Metcalf as a farm bailiff and he continued in this role into the 1870s. William Watson (of the Holme-on-Spalding-Moor Watsons) then took it on as a farmer of 330 acres before passing it to John Pitts who worked it into the early 20th century.

Pitts family and labourers standing on the turnpike road in front of Alberries Farm.

Lincoln Flats

Lincoln Flats occupies the bottom right of the parish and sits mainly south of the turnpike road (A163). The land and farm were owned by Thomas Sothern in 1851. George Johnson (snr.) was farming it in ~1817 but died in 1838 and passed it to his youngest son, Matthew. The farmhouse was (re)built in 1830. Meanwhile middle son, George (jnr.) had emigrated to Australia in 1829 [PT], aged just 26,

The land was owned by Thomas Sothern at the time of the 1851 tithe assessment.  Matthew Johnson farmed it into the 1860s when it passed to the Laverack family – first Jewitt and then Thomas from the 1880s. The farm extended between 220 and 245 acres between c1817 and 1881. It was one of the five biggest farms in the parish in the 19th century.

The farmhouse is now a private residence.

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