. . . . . . . . Hough Mill open 2-5pm Sundays to end of September . . . . . . . . . .

Elm Farm


South end of Main Street at the bottom of Station Hill and opposite the Robin Hood.

Elm Farm opposite the Robin Hood, no longer a working farm

Farmers At Elm Farm

1892-1901 John Fewkes

The 19th March 1892 Birmingham Daily Post reported

  • Keeping up the standard of milk – At the Birmingham Police Court yesterday morning before Messrs. Brame and Lacy – John Fewkes, of the Elm Farm, Swannington, was summoned for selling milk from which 22 per cent of cream had been abstracted.  Mr. Bell (from the Town Clerk’s office) appeared for for the prosecution, but defendant was not present and the case was, therefore, heard in his absence.  Thomas Davis, inspector under the Food and Drugs Act, stated that he visited Saltley Station on the 1st inst. and took a sample of milk from a churn consigned by defendant to Mr. W. J. Bryant, of 142, Bloomsbury Street.  There was a label on the churn guaranteeing the contents as pure milk, but the sample that was analysed was found to be deficient of Cream to extent of 22 per cent. Mr. W. J. Bryant next gave evidence, and said that he saw the last witness take the sample of milk.  Defendant contracted with him to supply new and pure milk.  He was a farmer, and had about twelve cows.  Witness was in court a fortnight ago, and was fined for selling milk from which cream had been abstracted, and that was the reason this sample was taken at Saltley.  The magistrates fined the defendant £5. and costs.

The 1901 census listed John Fewkes as a farmer.  Although the farm is not named it’s location at Town End and proximity to Station Row, Culvert, Robin Hood and Brook Terrace suggests this is probably Elm Farm.  The inhabitants were:

  • John Fewkes, 66, farmer, born Swannington
  • Hannah Fewkes, 66, wife, born Swannington
  • Joseph S Shaw, 17, great nephew of farmer, born Swannington
  • James Patrick, 16, servant, cowman, born Swannington


Joseph Sheffield Shaw was the son of Thomas Richards Shaw and Alice Tomlinson Chester.  Joseph’s grandmother Sarah Richards married his grandfather Joseph Sheffield Shaw who died 1863, her second husband Jesse Fewkes died 1881 and third husband John Berkin in 1890.  Sarah died in 1923.  John Fewkes was the older brother of Sarah’s second husband Jess.

1911-1918 Joseph Sheffield Shaw

By 1911 Joseph Sheffield Shaw had taken over the farm from John Fewkes:

  • Joseph Sheffield Shaw, 27, Elm Farm, employer, born Swannington
  • Minnie Shaw, 26, wife, assisting in the business, married 3 years, 1 child, born Shenton
  • Phyllis Shaw, 2, daughter, born Swannington
  • John Fewkes, 76, widower, assisting in the business, born Swannington
  • Thomas Chanellor, 47, servant, waggons on farm, born Walcote
  • Annie Hewitt, 15, general servant, born Worthington

The 30th November 1915 Beeston Gazette and Echo reported:

  • Zepps. Not Wanted at Bulwell – Bulwell people will appreciate the decision of the local police to see that the Zeppelins get no encouragement from vivid lights to drop bombs on our peaceful locality should their pilots be mad enough to venture so far inland.On Sunday, September 12th, Inspector Clifton and two of his men were standing in Main street, when the whole neighbourhood burst into a blaze of light and a minute or two elapsed before the cause was perceived.  Then, 400 yards away a motor car carrying headlights of extraordinary power came round the bend and on being stopped the driver gave his name as Joseph Sheppard Shaw, farmer, of Elm Swannington, Leicestershire. With a grumble he consented to put oil lamps in their place, and at the Nottingham Guildhall on Friday last he was fined £1 for having excessive lights.


The 16th February 1918 Grantham Journal had a two line advertisment for the sale of farming stock at Elm Farm Swannington by Mr J S Shaw

1918 Adcock

The Adcock family followed the Shaw family into Elm farm in 1918.

  • Arthur Adcock born 1871, dairy farmer
  • Edith M Adcock born 1881, unpaid domestic duties
  • Arthur W Adcock born 1908, dairy farmer assistant
  • Albert Adcock born 1915, ice cream vendor

Albert Adcock made ice-cream at Elm farm and Bert’s ices were legendary.

World War Two Farm Survey

Farm size = 128 acres

  • Grain – 53 acres
  • Roots – 9 acres
  • Fodder – 0.3 acre
  • Grass for mowing – 25 acres
  • Grass for grazing – 52 acres


Farm animals

  • Cattle – 26
  • Fowls – 32
  • Ducks – 1
  • Horses – 3