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Comps Farm: 1648-1968
Marchant’s map of 1785 shows there was no house or any farmstead at Comps. The later buildings stand on the plots numbered 229 and 226 on this map.
Marchant’s map of 1785 shows there was no house or any farmstead at Comps. The later buildings stand on the plots numbered 229 and 226 on this map.
Comps Farm, plot number 228 on the Beddingham tithe map, 1842
Comps Farm, plot number 228 on the Beddingham tithe map, 1842
Harvesting at Comps Farm, August 1932. Reg Quick, with the lead horse, Colonel, Roy Eastwood by the second horse, Captain, and Vic Moorey nearest the camera.
Harvesting at Comps Farm, August 1932. Reg Quick, with the lead horse, Colonel, Roy Eastwood by the second horse, Captain, and Vic Moorey nearest the camera.
1648Glynde Estate?
1861Amos Moore1861
1871Amos & Thomas Moore1871
1881Thomas & Lucy Moore1881
1889Charles Gearing & Reuben Hutson1892
1896Henry Thompsett1910
1910George Moore1925
1925Roy Eastwood1968

The name ‘Comps’ is often associated as a place name suggesting possible Roman settlement. The field names Little Compe Brook and the Compwish, both in Beddingham, owned by the Glynde Estate, were named in the marriage settlement of Mary Trevor in 1648.

James Marchant’s map of Beddingham in 1785 (illustration 1) shows there were no buildings at Comps. However, a house and buildings had appeared on the site by the time the parish tithe map was drawn in 1842. The house plot was numbered 228 on the tithe map (illustration 2) and the accompanying apportionment shows that plot 228 was owned by Henry Otway Trevor (owner of the Glynde Estates). The plot covered an area of 1 rod and 27 perches and was described as cottages occupied by John Pike and others. To the north plot number 223 was the Comp Wish, 225 Comp, 226 Great Comp, and 227 The Comp.

‘John Pike and others’ were also listed as occupiers of a number of other farm workers cottages, so the inference here is that the cottages at Comps were part of a farm, almost certainly Court Farm, and the occupiers of all the farm cottages were an unknown number of labourers of whom only John Pike was named. Few names or addresses of houses were given on the 1841 census so it is, at the moment, impossible to tell who was living at Comps at that date.

The 1851 census also had no address for Comps but by 1861 Comps Cottage was occupied by Amos Moore, a 39 year-old widower, his 13 year-old daughter Dinah, ‘of weak intellect’, and sons George, 11, already an agricultural labourer, and Alfred, 9, both born in Rottingdean. Lodging with them were John Martin, 75, a pauper and former agricultural labourer, and his wife Judith, 67, who acted as housekeeper.

By 1871 the house had either been extended or divided into two. Amos Moore and family were still listed at Comps but so were Thomas Moore, agricultural labourer, aged 32, his wife Lucy, 29, and their two sons Thomas, aged 3, and Herbert, an infant of 11 months

Amos Moore had left Comps by 1881, when he was lodging at nearby Brooks’s, but Thomas and Lucy Moore were still at Comps with two sons and two daughters. The sons, Thomas Nell Moore, aged 13, and Herbert Nell Moore, 11, were both shown as farm labourers. The other part of the house at Comps was unoccupied.

Sometime between 1881 and 1891 Comps became a small farm in its own right. The agricultural depression beginning in the 1880s had hit agriculture badly and an agricultural depression began that lasted up to the Second World War. The Glynde Estate appears to have taken a policy of creating smaller farms in Beddingham, including Station Farm, Blackcap Farm, Toy Farm and America Farm, as well as Comps Farm.

By 1889 Charles Gearing was renting the farm at £190 a year and the 1891 census shows Charles, aged 38, a farmer, occupying Comps Farm with his wife Augusta and five children. Comps Cottage was occupied by Reuben Hutson, a 62-year-old agricultural labourer born in Firle. He was living there with his wife Mary and son-in-law James Pettitt, another farm worker.

Charles Gearing continued to rent the farm until 1892 when an auction of his live and dead farming stock was advertised for Wednesday, 5th October at the expiration of his tenancy. In the end the sale took place a day earlier. Perhaps Gearing did not think the farm as worth paying a higher rent for as H Foord then became the tenant at £110 a year. Foord only stayed to 1896 when Henry Thompsett, who had been born in Firle, took over the tenancy. Initially Thompsett also paid an annual rent of £110 up to 1900 but in 1901 his rent was lowered to £96 a year.

The 1901 census records Henry Thompsett, 64, farmer, was living at Comps Farm with his wife Harriett, aged 64. In a separate household on the farm were their son Luke, 30, his wife Edith, and their three children.

Henry Thompsett, appeared in court in 1902 over a dispute with his neighbour George Freeman of Station Farm.

Thompsett continued as tenant until 1910 when he retired owing to ill-health. His farming stock was auctioned on 8th October. The Sussex Express of 14 October noted that the sale of farming stock at Comps Farm saw some brisk bidding. The mixed bred Jersey cows fetched £5 10s to £23, a cross-bred bull was sold for £8, and the prices for the horses ranged from 18 guineas to 40 guineas. A grey gelding pony was sold for 12 guineas.

George Moore, who had for many years looked after the prize Jersey herd at Home Farm, Glynde, and been secretary of the Glynde Friendly Society, now rented Comps Farm, at the slightly increased rent of £100 a year. The 1911 census shows the farmhouse was now in the single occupation of George Moore, 54, wife Harriett, 57, a son William 21, who worked on the farm, and two daughters, Alice, 17, and Elsie 13.

George Moore retired as secretary of the Friendly Society in 1914. His son, Will, emigrated to Australia after the Great War. So when George became ill in the 1920s Roy Eastwood, who was courting George’s youngest daughter, Elsie, took over the farm by 1925. Roy married Elsie, who had been a stalwart of the village stoolball team, in 1927 and they continued to rent the farm until Roy gave it up in the late 1960s.

George Moore died, aged 71, in January 1928, after a long and painful illness. The Sussex Express noted that during his many years on the Glynde Estate he gained many successes at various cattle shows throughout England with the famous Jersey herd of the late Lord Hampden and Admiral Brand.

In 1932 Reg Quick started work as carter on the farm and continued working for Roy Eastwood until the farm was given up. The house was then rented out as a private house and one of the tenants was Cyril Wigman, who lived there after he retired as landlord of the Trevor Arms.

Listed under the Topic: Farming

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