|• 1847: British Museum founded||• 1848: Marx & Engels write Communist Manifesto||• 1851: Great Exhibition opens in Hyde Park||• 1854: Start of Crimean War||• 1859: Darwin's Origin of Species published||• 1861: American Civil War begins||• 1865: Salvation Army founded||• 1869: Suez Canal opened||• 1871: Trades Unions legalised||• 1872: Secret ballots introduced for elections||• 1873: Dr Livingstone dies||• 1876: Bell invents telephone||• 1878: Electric light bulb invented||• 1881: Pasteur invents innoculation||• 1884: Fabian Society founded||• 1884: Speaker Brand retires||• 1885: Glynde & Beddingham Cricket Club founded||• 1887: Queen Victoria's Jubilee||• 1894: Manchester Ship Canal opened||• 1899: Boer War starts||• 1901: Queen Victoria dies||• 1903: 1st aeroplane flight by Wright Bros.||• 1905: Ragged Lands established||• 1909: Introduction of Old Age Pension||• 1912: Sinking of the Titanic||• 1914: Start of 1st World War||• 1916: Battle of the Somme||• 1918: End of 1st World War||• 1919: 1st trans-atlantic flight||• 1920: League of Nations founded||• 1922: Irish Free State founded||• 1924: Lenin dies||• 1926: General Strike||• 1928: Women get the vote||• 1934: Hitler assumes power in Germany||• 1936: Regular BBC TV broadcasts begin||• 1939: Start of 2nd World War||• 1940: Dunkirk evacuation||• 1941: Japanese attack Pearl Harbour|
|1851||Baker, Moore & Duplock families||1851|
|1861||Baker, Moore & Duplock families||1861|
|1881||Ansell, Baker, Kemp families||1881|
|1891||Baker, Turner, Collingham & Hilton famil||1891|
|1901||Balcombe, Gausden & Sherlock family||1901|
|1907||Alfred William Swain||1928|
|1911||Swain, Day & Shirley families||1911|
|1930||A G Guppy||1930|
|1931||W H Jackson||1932|
|1933||Ivan S Mason||1940|
|1940||East Sussex War Agricultural Committee||1942|
This is one of the lost farms of Beddingham. Toy Farm was built by the Glynde Estate in the far south-east corner of Beddingham parish and part of South Heighton. Its history is intertwined with those of Blackcap Farm and Preston Farm, and it can be very difficult to distinguish the boundaries or independence of this farm at any given point in time.In his personal record of the development of the Glynde Estate, Henry Brand wrote in November 1875: ‘My father after a few years took Preston Farm in hand and occupied it till his death in 1853. During his occupation he reclaimed much of the Down Land about Toy Farm and Blackcap. All the buildings on the Preston Down were built by him’. The estate account books show that Henry Griffiths and Sons built ‘new cottages on Beddingham Hill’ in 1844. This cost £33 6s 8d. However, this would not have been enough to build ‘new cottages’ and it seems probable that at least part of later amounts paid to Griffiths, including £50 in 1845 ‘on account of building cottages’ and another £50 the same year ‘on account of building two double cottages’, were the cost of the new buildings on Beddingham Hill. The following year Griffiths would be paid a further £300 – the balance of a ‘contract for building cottages’. The reference to ‘two double cottages’ appears to confirm this is part of the cost of building the two pairs of single-storey cottages at Toy Farm but, unfortunately, the position is unclear as Bank Cottages, Glynde, were also built in 1845. Toy Farm cottages were definitely built by 1851 as the census of that year shows four families of farm workers living there. In May 1858, the Glynde Estate reached an agreement for a right of way to Toy Farm across the Firle estate. Henry Brand’s entry in Glyndiana (above) that his father had built ‘all the buildings on the Preston Down’ can not be correct. Henry Otway Trevor did die in 1853 but it can be seen in the Glynde Estate annual accounts that £825 2s 10d was spent on erecting new buildings at Black Cap Farm, Beddingham, in the financial year ending 6 May 1860 – 6 years after Trevor’s death. A series of surviving estate farm account books show that Preston had been farmed ‘in hand’, along with Toy Farm, from 1853 to 1860. That is to say the Glynde Estate was managing the farm itself. In November 1862 the Glynde Estate had a plan of the farm drawn, entitled ‘Black-cap Farm situate in the parishes of Beddingham and South Heighton’. This shows sets of buildings at both Blackcap and Toy Farms and the assumption has to be that Toy Farm had merged into Blackcap Farm. Despite the expenditure on new buildings at Blackcap in 1859/60 the farm was still being farmed ‘in hand’ with Preston Farm, although the farm was now described as Preston and Blackcap, rather than Preston and Toy Farms. Preston, with Blackcap Farm, remained in hand until 1866. That year the Glynde Estate exchanged 200 acres of land in Alciston with Lord Gage for a similar amount in Beddingham. This improvement meant that, after a period of managing them ‘in hand’ for at least 14 years, Blackcap, with Toy, and Preston Court Farms were leased to John Crosskey at £700 a year. Crosskey gave up the farms in 1872 when they were leased for 21 years to Frederick Henry Harvey Ravenhill of Millthorpe House, Horsham, at £666 10s for the first 12 years and £900 for the last 9 years. Ravenhill gave up the tenancy, which had included Toy Farm, in 1884 when William Hodson rented it ‘less the part known as Toy Farm in Beddingham and Heighton computed to contain 171 acres’ for £500 a year. In 1889 T Colgate was renting Toy Farm, and in 1892 the estate placed an advert (see above) in the Sussex Express when the farm was described as a capital hill farm, comprising about 300 acres of which 152 were arable, 13 meadow, 130 downs and four of wood. Only three cottages were included with the farm. Unable to let the farm it was taken back ‘in hand’ from 1892 until 1896. Another advert in the Sussex Express of 13 April 1895 identified the farm as a flock and grazing farm, containing 74 acres 2 rods and 38 perches of arable, 91 acres 1 rod and 19 perches of temporary pasture and pasture, 5 acres 1 rod and 21 perches of shaws and buildings, and 107 acres 1 rod and 6 perches of downland. The farm once again had four cottages plus the farm buildings. This made a total of about 279 acres, so it may have become slightly smaller in that three year period between 1892 and 1895. Kelly’s directory listed Thomas Hilton, market gardener, as tenant in 1899 and on the 1891 census three people were listed as either living or sleeping in the barn at Toy Farm. In 1902 Thomas and Annie Gausden, who lived in one of the cottages at Toy Farm, were prosecuted for the neglect of their children. Albert Sherlock, of Blackcap Cottages, was paying £2 a year for the use of the garden at Toy Farm in 1903. By 1907 Albert William Swain was the tenant at £60 a year and he became the first settled tenant since 1884, remaining at the farm until 1927. In 1930 A E Guppy rented Toy Farm, with part of Heighton Farm, at £67 16s a year. Like many small farmers at this time Guppy did not remain tenant long and he was succeeded by W H Jackson in 1931, paying a rent of £65 a year. Jackson also lasted only a short time on the farm and in 1933 Ivan Sidney Mason (described as a poultry farmer in Kelly’s directory in 1938) occupied the farm and remained there until 1940. At Ladyday (March 25th) that year the East Sussex War Agricultural Committee became tenants. At the outbreak of the Second World War the farm became part of the drive to improve food production. Under the heading ‘Increasing the County’s Food Production’ the Sussex Express reported on 6 December 1940 on the work of the East Sussex War Agricultural Committee: All the hand labour was engaged from the local Labour Exchange at Newhaven. Persons of widely different classes and occupations sought eagerly for this work, and proved both willing and efficient.
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