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Dowling’s farm

Watery Combe houseThe picture is of a group of houses at the end of Lower Street on the Litton Road with Ford House on the left and Haines Mead on the right.The site is now occupied by a modern house called Watery Combe which can be seen in the centre with the yellow ochre gable end. It is believed this was the site of what was known as the Dowlings estate in the 18th century churchwarden accounts and poor book.
Dowlings 1840The extract from the 1794 map shows what was on the site which corresponds to the description of Dowlings in the 1839 tithe map. The 1839 list of tithe payers describes it as “Dowlings orchard and stalls and was occupied by John Millard and George Mortimore“. It was owned by George Edward Earl Waldegrave at the time.
The first recorded tenant of Dowlings was Walter Smith in 1701 when it was described as in West End. William Dowling was then paying rates in 1704 when Dowling’s was in the Town tithing. Its location would fit both of those descriptions.
The Palmer family was listed as paying rates for the Dowling land in East End by 1719 but this is likely to have been a different place.  The Corry and then Kingsmills were paying poor rates by the 1740s and the map clearly shows they owned the field next to the farm now occupied by houses.
The Hippisleys were paying rates for the Dowling land in East End in the 1740s as further evidence that different places were involved. John Corp was paying rates for the Dowling land in East End which provides a more accurate idea of where it was.
The bungalow that now occupies the site was built by the Prior family.
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