The WURA area and the land auction of 1862

Much of the land now occupied by Welcomes and Uploads Roads was part of the Wellcomes Farm and Garston Farm estate.

The very early ownership of Wellcomes Farm is documented as being with the Gresham family from 1545. Michael Thornton and his son John are listed as the owners from 1682 to 1718, followed by Thomas Clemonts and his son Thomas between 1718 and 1780. James Roberts was the owner from 1780 to 1792, during which time it was actually farmed by Capt Coombs.

The Bourne Society list the owners of Kenley Farm during this early period as Henry Polsted, from 1547, through Sir Francis Carew in 1553 and Joseph Hodgkins in 1750. Hodgkins was also the owner of Garston Hall at this point. The Bourne Society’s Kenley Village History book includes a plan of Kenley Farm from 1762 in their Village History book of Kenley.

In 1817 ownership of Wellcomes and Garston Farms passed to John Keen and subsequently to his son Thomas. It is during this time that the land begins to be divided. In 1841, 300 acres go to Gabriel Lovelock and in 1861 a further 300 acres go to John Sallows.

Click on the image above to see a larger, zoom-able version. Welcomes Road is labelled ‘New Road To Kenley and Welcomes’. This is the road built by both Thomas Keen and Mr Marson, his neighbour in Kenley House. It is believed that the new road was constructed because Kenley Lane was proving too steep for horses drawing carriages.

At the time of the documented auction of the property in 1862, the Wellcomes and Garston Farm land comprised over 318 acres, spread over two main areas. The first area is the land between Old Lodge Lane and Welcomes Road, extending into part of what is now Kenley Common. The second area was distinct, to the south and east of what was recognised as Kenley Common then, extending towards Whyteleafe.

The land was bordered to the south and west by land owned by Thomas Byron of Coulsdon Manor, with the southern-most border being with W Chrystal. To the east and north it was land owned by G H Drew. Interestingly, Kenley House is shown as such, rather than as Kenley Farm.

The auction of the land was held on Tuesday, 13th May 1862 on the death of the owner, Thomas Keen. The land was parcelled into a total of 27 lots, itemised in the auction brochure of the time, produced by Messrs Blake, the auctioneers. It’s interesting to note that the auction itself was held in a coffee house, at Cornhill in London (click on the image below to see a larger, zoom-able version).

Land at that time was measured in acres, roods and perches. One acre was originally the area which could be ploughed by a team of 8 oxen in 1 day, but then this needed to be more standardised and it came to be defined as 40 poles long (1 furlong – in other words 1 ‘farrow long’ – 600ft ) by 4 poles (66ft) wide. There were 4 roods in 1 acre, and 40 perches in a rood. A perch is the equivalent of 25.3 sq m. The grand total covers 318 acres, 2 roods and 14 perches.

no.description cultivationa    r    p
1Farm house, buildings, yards and garden 2    0    2
2Kitchen meadow Meadow6    0    29
3King’s Close, Barn Field, Great and Little Lieu, Slade Wood, The Slade and Heath Field Arable2    1    27
4Wyse Wood Wood2    1    27
5Kitchen Meadow Shaw  Wood 0    2    39
6Shaw and Pit  Wood 0    1    19
7Shaw in Heath Field  Wood 0    2    21
8 Two cottages and garden  0    1    5
9Garston Meadow (including Pond) and Garston and Slade Meadows Meadow & pasture14    2    3
10Two cottages and garden 0    1    26
11North Hide, Gill’s Croft (including Pond) and Sibretts Pasture28    1    31
12Shaw and Pit  Wood 0    3    38
13New Hill and part of Long Common Arable14    1    7
14Part of Lower Common Pasture1    0    38
15Friland’s and Border Arable11    2    17
16Friland’s Shaw  Wood 2    2    8
17King’s Field Shaw and Pit  Wood 0    2    36
18Harrow Garden Shaw  Wood 2    3    8
19King’s Field and Borders Arable15    1    26
20Mesne Field and Border Arable12    0    5
21Smith’s Field, including 2 cottages, buildings and yard, Great and Little Size Ties, Stamp Wood and borders Arable72    1    8
21aHog Trough Field, Upper and Lower Baydowns and Borders Arable26    1    4
22Stamp Wood Shaw, Pit and Kiln Wood0    2    37
23Addery Hill Arable23    2    27
24Baydown Shaw Wood2    3    16
25Upper Baydown (part of) Arable3    0    37
26Goss Field and Border Rough pasture6    3    30

The descriptions of the lots include terms no longer in common use. A shaw is a small wood or copse. The pits were quite likely for flint or chalk and the kiln would have been for limestone.

The sequence below shows each of the parcels of land from the schedule – the map has been re-oriented to show north at the top, the direction more familiar with users of online maps.

The next post will show how this land fits in to the current landscape.

The WURA website is indebted to local history expert John Carr for making his map and auction schedule available.