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The Rother Valley Guide
West Sussex, England

The Heyshott Book
pages 83 & 84


Heyshott Farms

Lower Cranmore Farm

 In 1840 this was a small, mainly dairy, farm belonging to William Fisher of Hill Top, Midhurst with Benjamin Newell as the tenant farmer. Belonging to the farm was a cottage occupied by a farm labourer named Isaac Elkham.
 The farm remained in the Fisher family until, in 1919, Richard Chester Fisher the grandson of William Fisher, decided to sell all his Heyshott property which also included Cranmore House and what we now know as Upper Cranmore. At this time the farm comprised 42 acres and was leased to Walter Richard Lovejoy, who was also farming Upper Cranmore. It is interesting that, even in 1919, some of the fields were still 'copyhold' land held of the Manor of Cowdray, although these were enfranchised just prior to the sale on payment of £327.67

page 83

page 84

The ownership then passed through the hands of G B Adeney of Sutton, Surrey and then those of Joseph Smallwood, who came to live at North End. During his time the farmer was Jack Butler and he and his family moved into the cottage. In 1935, he took over the village milk-round from Ernest Hutchings who, up to then, had been doing it from Walkers Farm. One of the Butler children, George, remembers a very happy childhood here, including being given a ride in Sidney Parry's donkey cart.

Sidney Parrys donkey cart, Heyshott

In 1943 Jack Butler retired and so Joseph Smallwood's widow decided to sell the farm and it was bought by Thomas Stevens Hills who was farming at Bepton. He put his son, John, and daughter-in-law, Kaylet, in to manage the farm and they moved into the cottage which they christened Lower Cranmore Farm.
In 1946, after John Hills had inherited the farm from his father, he decided to change from a pedigree Jersey to a Friesan herd and he needed more land for them. So he rented Walkers Farm from Mrs Jane Cobden Unwin of Oatscroft. Part of the arrangement was that he and Kaylet should move into Walkers Farm Cottage, so they leased their old cottage to their cowman, Bill Read.
In 1957 Cranore House which, prior to 1919, had been closely associated with the farm, came on the market and the Hills bought it and moved in. Four years later they decided that the old farm house was surplus to their requirements and, on its sale to Winifred Leonard as a private house, it was renamed Cranmore Cottage.
In 1973 the Hills decided that Cranmore House was too big for them and they built two houses, one for themselves in what had been thier vegetable garden, which they called Cranmore Farm, and the other for their daughter and son-in-law, Peggy and Andy Hart, on part of the Lower Cranmore Farm next door to Cranmore Cottage. Then, in 1989, the Hills decided to retire and sold the farmland and farm buildings to Basil and Bernadette Stephens of Oatscroft and it is now used mainly for stabling and grazing horses.

This transcription is kindly being written by Deidre Millington, of Nottinghamshire
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