Hurlocks Farm and Residents

 

Hurlocks Farm and Farmhouse

 Photo: Drawing by Harry Richman, former curator of the Cater Museum, Billericay

Photo: Drawing by Harry Richman, former curator of the Cater Museum, Billericay

The area of land referred to as Hurlocks can be traced back to a survey undertaken in 1593 where reference is made to a tenement then called Harrises.

From 1706 it was owned by the Fishpool family. In 1781 Anna Benigna Johnson a descendent of Joseph Fishpool inherited the house. Ancestors of the Johnson family had the name Hurlock and it is likely they gave Hurlocks its name. Rev Frederick Quarrington is recorded as the owner from 1839.

In 1829 until 1846 Philip Tylor was recorded as the sub tenant of Hurlocks Farm and by 1839 he had enlarged his tenancy to eighty-five acres of agricultural land and three farm houses, this included Greens Farm which was then in the ownership of wealthy businessman John Ward. Philip Tylor was described at various times throughout this period as a baker, confectioner and farmer who lived and worked in Billericay High Street.

Philip Tylor purchased Hurlocks house and land in 1846, but was not resident in the house.

The 1861 census lists John Burrell, Agricultural labourer (54) with his wife Charlotte, three sons (15, 13 and 9) and one daughter (5) living at Hurlocks Farmhouse.

After Philip Tylor’s death in 1870 ownership passed to Job Jeffery Salter, the husband of Philip Tylor’s daughter Charlotte, and owner of the iron foundry and gas works in Laindon Road.  John and Charlotte Burrell remained in residence with one of their sons, Henry (19).

In 1879 the twenty five acres comprising Hurlocks farm and the farmhouse, was purchased by Alexander Ward and passed to his nephew, Henry Ward after his death in 1907. At that stage the Ward family owned almost all the land between Southend Road and Greens Farm Lane.

By 1881 the Burrell’s had moved on. The census lists John Love, Agricultural Labourer (35) with his wife Sarah (41) and two daughters (11 and 8).  By 1901 James W Overed (36), a self-employed farmer, his wife Mary (35) and newly born daughter Doris were resident. They were assisted by Ernest Argent (17)

A survey carried out in 1912 lists Hurlocks Farm as comprising a house, buildings and twenty six and a half acres. It was occupied by WB Carter. At this time the house is described as detached, timber built with a tiled roof, very old but in fair repair. It contained a sitting room, kitchen with stove and small dresser, scullery with water pumped from a well in the garden, a brick floored dairy and a lean-to wash house at the side. On the first floor were three bedrooms, two with stoves. Outside was a detached toilet.

In 1916 the new tenant at Hurlocks Farm was George Butcher, listed by Kelly’s Directory as ‘George Butcher & Son, dairy farmers. The area of land had increased to sixty three acres. Forty-seven acres were permanent grass, six wheat and ten arable crops. There was one plough team, three horses, four cows in milk, five sows and twelve other cattle. George was assisted by his wife Lilian and son Norman. The family is remembered for delivering milk using pails suspended from a yoke, by bike, horse and cart.

By 1941 one hundred hens, fifty ducks and sixteen geese had been added. The condition of the house was described in a survey as bad, with a piped water supply but no mains electricity.

 Hurlocks Farmhouse, c1980

Hurlocks Farmhouse, c1980

By 1961 both Hurlocks and Greens Farm were sold by Henry Ward to the Metropolitan Railway Company Estates for development. However dairy farming continued at Hurlocks until 1980 when the house was almost demolished but was rescued and modernised and survives today as a private residence.

In 1991 planning permission for the Mill Grange Estate around Goldcrest Drive was granted.  This was dependent on Basildon District Council purchasing the remainder (around 90 acres) for what we now know as Mill Meadows Local Nature Reserve.

Hurlocks Farmhouse, a Grade II listed building, still remains and can be found on Greens Farm Lane today, almost opposite Cavell Road.

Residents of Hurlocks Farmhouse

  • The 1841 and 1851 censuses provide insufficient information.
  • The 1861 census lists John Burrell, Agricultural labourer (54) with his wife Charlotte, three sons (15, 13 and 9) and one daughter (5) living at Hurlocks. By 1871 John and Charlotte were still resident in with one of their sons, Henry (19).
  • By 1881 the Burrell’s had moved on. The census lists John Love, Agricultural Labourer (35) with his wife Sarah (41) and two daughters (11 and 8).
  • The 1891 census provides insufficient information
  • By 1901 James W Overed (36), a self-employed farmer, his wife Mary (35) and newly born daughter Doris were resident. They were assisted by Ernest Argent (17)
  • In 1912 WB Carter was resident.
  • Kelly’s Directory lists George Butcher & Son, dairy farmers in residence from 1916.

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