Merrybower Farm

Merrybower Farm - North Face - 2010

Merrybower Farm – North Face – 2010

Merrybower Farm - North Face - Old

Merrybower Farm – North Face – Old

The date Merrybower Farm was built is unknown at present, suffice to say that it is the oldest building at Merrybower still standing. It was a cottage farm, a relatively small farm, belonging to the Harpur Crewe Estate. Rumour has it that Merrybower Cottages, of which there are three, were given over to three local farms – Merrybower Farm having the use of one.

Merrybower Farm - South Face - 2008

Merrybower Farm – South Face – 2008

It is of red brick construction, with stone lintels over the windows. Originally it was thatched but has since had the thatch replaced by Staffordshire Rosemary tiles. It has been extended several times over the years, but the original building can still be made out. The old range is still in evidence in the main living area, and two small windows can be seen either side of the fireplace, looking out over what would have been the yard. John Radford, the retired farmer who lives there with his wife June, has talked about the story passed down that people used to watch the cock-fighting through these windows – perhaps there is a link with the cock fights that George Clay used to hold at his public house at Merrybower?

There are several old draw wells at the farm – one in the acre paddock south east of the farm, in its south-east corner. This has since been filled in, quite recently, but is still visible above ground. Another is just 15′ to the south of the old house, and is still fully functional.

As can be seen in the old photograph, Arleston Lane stopped at the farm, and the road became a rougher affair leading down to the cottages and beyond. Looking at the OS map from 1836, you can see one small lane branching off to the south-east, just before Arleston Lane meets Merrybower Farm. This lane cuts through the fields and joins the main Willington to Barrow road just west of the Rectory. The smaller lane that ran in front of Merrybower Cottages, now the main Arleston Lane, forked at the ditch to the south of the cottages, The west fork is now Arleston Lane proper, the east fork no longer exists, but is still known at Merrybower as Mammy’s Lane, the field shapes and access points still marking the way this old lane to Barrow used to take.

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