chiswick hall chrishall farm record book title pageI wonder if the owner of Chiswick Hall in 1945 realised how far his new Farm Record Book would travel in it’s lifetime?

To be honest he was probably much more concerned about how he (or she?) was going to fill it in and exactly what they were going to grow where in the next year.

Someone must have wanted to hang on to this book enough to take it with them away from the farm, however, as this summer (2015) it was found for sale at the Dorset Steam Fair!

“Rescued” and kindly donated to the museum collection by Suzanne Denness, the Chiswick Hall Farm Record Book has now returned to the village where it was completed some sixty years ago.  Below are some images from the book. It includes detailed cropping plans and maps of the fields with their field names and details of drainage etc.

Although this may sound a little ‘dry’, leafing through this book draws you in to the life of the farm all those years ago.  Each field has it’s own section with not only which crops were grown but how the field was managed and extra notes on the weather or failed crops.  “Steam ploughed” and “horse-harrowed” recall the farming methods of the time.  Local names abound.  Steam ploughing was done by the local Chrishall company of Drage and Kent (you can see some of their machines here) and Saffron Walden company Goulds supplied some of the corn.  There are records of straw being being burned – a method of clearing the fields no longer used now.  And in the very back a set of typed up notes – perhaps for a new farm manager?  “Oxheart Cabbage: … 7000 plants required per acre.  Large bricklayers trowel is best tool for planting out”.

 

If you would like to look through the original book please get in touch.

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Y: 1945 C: 20th century