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Grove Farm

Grove Farm from BendallsGrove Farm is in what was once the West End but some of the fields attached to it may have been in the Middlesex tithing. Grove Farm features in several pages about farming, especially haymaking, and the Speed family but the buildings shown in the photographs are mainly of 19th century origin. The picture on the left was taken from Bendalls Grove which was once the site of a farm. The area shows evidence of mines from several eras.
Grove FarmThe 1794 map shows that Grove Farm was a more modest affair and only one of several farms in the area. Grove Farm is identified by the large blue spot in field 409. The approach road now follows a different path for part of the way and the entrance is closer to Bell Farm which is marked with a red spot. Lilly Combe is to the right. There used to be more roads in the area, Nivers lane and Coles Lane (West) formed a cross roads  in 1794 but Nivers Lane is now closed and grassed over as shown by the green spots.  Coles Lane is now just a footpath. Mearns Cross is in the bottom left hand corner and still looks much as it did in 1794 but Sperrings Lane leading to the left is also closed off.  The orange spot to the left of Grove farm is the site of what is now called Payne’s Pond but may have been the site of a  farm The yellow spots mark the probable site of Bendals Grove.
Grove farm is not named in the churchwarden accounts and which start in 1699 and the poor book dated 1730 to 1769  or the 1766 ledgers but there are several possibilities for who lived there at that time.
Many farms included  fields with ‘grove’ in their name and Coombs Grove and Adams Grove are both possibilities for the name of Grove farm in the 18th century.
The 18th century records show that a members of the Bendalls and Payne families were farming in West End but it is assumed they occupied Bendalls Grove and Paynes Pond.
 Some records refer to Payne’s estate including Nobles & Reeves and it is possible that the Reeves element evolved from John Roswells estate. Grove Farm is one of the many possibilities for the Nobels farm frequently mentioned in the 18th century but Eakers Hill is a better prospect for where the 18th century John Rosewell lived.
The white spot in the bottom right hand corner shows the location of what is now called ‘The White House’ but was previously known as Clouds and was part of the holding of the Coles family.
Adams Corner is opposite the White House/Clouds and Ivy Cottage is nearby. These were also farms in the 18th century and there were othe farms close by that my be confused with the 18th century Grove Farm
 The 1840 tithe map Shows that John Culliford was occupying Grove Farm. The 1841 census states he was 40 and was married to Susan and had three sons. John Pickering and Rachel Allard were also living with them, presumably to work on the farm or in the house.
 Some sources show that William Symes was the tenant by 1861. Members of the Loxton family took over later in the 19th century.
 James Speed  was at West End Farm in 1841 and took the lease of Fern Hill Farm in 1887 but ‘Fern Hill’ could describe one of the farms already mentioned and a few more that were operating in the area at the time. The modern Fern Hill Farm is in Compton Martin parish although it is closer to Priddy but it could have been part of Hazel Manor  which was part of Chewton Mendip in 1840.
James Speed was the tenant at Grove Farm by 1901 and Mervyn Speed was the last person to work Grove Farm as a farm.
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