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Redhill Farm

Location

Red Hill Lane, between the main settlements of Swannington and Thringstone.

Farm Horse Draws A Plough - Painting by Angela Clarke of Swannington Art Classes 2013

Farmers

1866 John Potter

The Leicester Mail 24th November 1866 included an advertisement by auctioneers Davenport and Allen re an auction of 94 cows and 3- sheep at Jno Potter’s Red Hill Farm, Swannington.  This would be the John Potter at Talbot Farm.

1896 Charles Fewkes

The Leicester Journal 20th March 1896 reported on the 17th March wedding of Charles Fewkes of Red Hill Farm, Swannington, the son of James Fewkes of Centre Farm, Swannington.  He married Rosa Charlotte Tanser of Bilstone House at Norton-juxta-Twycross, whose dress was cornflower blue silk trimmed with orange blossoms.

Charles and Rosa moved to a farm at Orton on the Hill shortly afterwards where their children were born:

  • George Henry Douglas Fewkes 28th March 1897
  • Gladys Beatrice Rosalie Fewkes 19th April 1898

By 1911 the family was farming in Sussex.

1897-1924? Arthur James Gough

Arthur James Gough and his younger brother William Jesson Gough took over the running of Talbot Farm when their father George James Gough died in December 1893.  Arthur James married Rosa Fewkes (sister of Charles Fewkes and daughter of James Fewkes of Centre Farm) on the 19th April 1894 at St George’s Church, Swannington.  When Charles left Red Hill Farm for Orton on the Hill 1896-7, who better to replace him than his brother in law Arthur James?  Arthur James and Rosa were blessed with eight children, the oldest two would have been born at Talbot farm and the other six at  Red Hill farm.

The Nottingham Evening Post 10th July 1914 reported that the police had received a certificate from the Board of Agriculture stating that the beast that died the previous week at A J Gough’s Red Hill Farm, Swannington had not died of anthrax.

It is not known how long Arthur James remained at Red Hill farm, possibly 1924 before Bill Pickering took over.  The Kelly’s Directory of 1928 lists Arthur James as a grazier at Billesdon, east of Leicester.

1924-1933 Bill Pickering

Bill Pickering was about 19 when he moved from the Tan Yard to manage Red Hill Farm on behalf of Jack Richards.  His younger sister Kath Pickering (who later married Sid James and lived on St George’s Hill) paints a vivid picture of farm life with her memories in Kath’s Story including using candles because the farm lacked electricity, Bill having to get up early to milk the cows in time to get the milk to Swannington station for the 7am train and Muriel Richards feeding the tons of chickens.

1981 J A Jarvis

The Litchfield Mercury 30th January 1981 included an advertisement by Stevenson and Barrett re the auction of Mr Jarvis’s Red Hill Farm, Swannington.  The highly productive farm comprised the house and 79.56 acres.

World War Two Farm Survey

Farm size = 82 acres

  • Grain – 28 acres
  • Roots – 6.5 acres
  • Grass for mowing – 18 acres
  • Grass for grazing – 25 acres

 

Farm animals

  • Cattle – 41
  • Fowls – 40
  • Horses – 4