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
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
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.
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