The Saxon boundary dividing the King's land from that of the Abbess of Shaftesbury runs along the side of our farm and certain names probably survive from that time. Hicols' Homestead (hicol means woodpecker) was here. The name Cools Farm comes from the fact that Edmund Coole once lived here - his will of 1754 was signed by a cross. We also have an Abbott's Pond and a field originally called Church Close, even though we are 3 miles from the nearest church!
Our house was built probably just before the Civil War in the 1620's, certainly by 1646 when it was occupied by a William Young. We like to think that Sir Christopher Wren , who was born in East Knoyle in 1632, might have come to see a new house being built in the area! Originally thatched but replaced by a wooden roof in the 1950's, the subsequent history of the house needs researching, though we believe it has been a working farm throughout the years. In 2004, the house underwent a major restoration including a new roof. We found a large smoking chamber behind the wall in the Edwards bedroom big enough to smoke whole carcasses. Four stone mullioned windows had been blocked in perhaps to save money from the 1700's window tax. Putting these back and opening up the interior of this historic house has transformed it from a 1950's farmhouse into a very comfortable and spacious family home.
The owners, Quentin and Maggie Edwards, used to run a prep school in the Midlands but came south to the family farm where they have a herd of pedigree Red Poll cattle. The private lake has recently been stocked with trout.
If you would like to stay in our beautiful house for Bed and Breakfast or in the Old Piggery, the Milking Parlour or the Tractor Shed on a self catering basis, please contact us on 01747 830720 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Then and Now
This photo was taken from Church Close field behind the house in the late 1940s. Notice the thatched roof and the very poor pasture! The house was 'updated' in the early 1950s with a cedar tile roof and every original door ripped out.
This is the same view in winter 2008. The cedar tile roof has been replaced with a proper tile roof and new dormers added. Upstairs are now the French Room and the Family Room. Our pasture looks much better too! The Old Piggery, now self catering accommodation, is to the left.
This map is of our farm in the late C19th. Notice Abbot's Pond towards the bottom and the zig zag boundary towards the top left. This was made by ox ploughing..
The layout of the fields has hardly changed. The Saxon zig zag between Long Field and Jukes (or Dukes) field has been recently restored under HLS (the Higher Level Scheme)..