•  1750: Death of JS Bach•  1753: British Museum founded•  1759: Death of Handel•  1761: Richard Ellman moves to Glynde•  1764: Hargreaves invents Spinning Jenny•  1770: New South Wales discovered by James Cook•  1773: Boston Tea Party•  1774: Priestley discovers oxygen•  1775: American War of Independence starts•  1776: American Declaration of Independence•  1783: First hot air balloon flights•  1789: French Revolution begins•  1800: Act of Union creates United Kingdom of Great Britain & Ireland•  1802: Beethoven debuts Moonlight Sonata•  1803: Start of Napoleonic Wars•  1805: Battle of Trafalgar: Death of Nelson•  1807: Slave trade abolished•  1815: End of Napoleonic Wars•  1825: 1st railway opens (Stockton - Darlington)•  1829: Metropolitan Police founded•  1832: Morse invents Electric Telegraph•  1837: Queen Victoria crowned•  1838: National Gallery founded•  1840: Queen Victora & Prince Albert marry•  1841: Glynde School built•  1842: Irish "Potato Famine" starts•  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: Speaker Brand retires•  1884: Fabian Society founded•  1885: Glynde & Beddingham Cricket Club founded•  1887: Queen Victoria's Jubilee•  1894: Manchester Ship Canal opened•  1899: Boer War starts•  1901: Queen Victoria dies
Ranscombe Farm: 1750-1901
Ranscombe Farm from the A27 on a postcard c1910
Ranscombe Farm from the A27 on a postcard c1910
Ranscombe Farm, with the farm buildings on the far right, from a postcard by F Douglas Miller, Haywards Heath, c1908
Ranscombe Farm, with the farm buildings on the far right, from a postcard by F Douglas Miller, Haywards Heath, c1908
1750Peter Morris1758
1759Mr Morris1789
1790Anthony Morris1800
1801Mrs Morris & others1814
1815William Morris1815
1816Thomas Morris1820
1821Mrs Morris1827
1828Thomas Morris1832
1841Thomas Morris1851
1861Robert Matthews1871
1881William Medhurst1901

On the earliest surviving South Malling land tax of 1751 Mr Morris was shown as the occupier of Ranscombe Farm. This was Peter Morris, the first generation of a family that occupied the farm until 1860. A Gage estate rent book shows that Peter Morris was paying £110 a year for the farm. By 1796 Anthony Morris was paying £250 a year for Ranscombe Farm and Broyle land in Ringmer. When Anthony Morris died his widow Susannah (neé Medhurst) rented the farm but gave up the land in The Broyle, thus breaking the farm’s link with the land in Ringmer that had been attached to the manor farm of Ranscombe since at least 1543. William Morris was the tenant for one year in 1815 and then Thomas Morris took over from 1816 until 1860 when a valuation was taken of Ranscombe Farm, late Thomas Morris’, the last member of the family to live at the farmhouse.

Two maps were made of the farm for the Gage family in about 1792 and 1822, which show the farmhouse much as it is today. Bills for repairs to Ranscombe Farmhouse in 1796 that have survived in the Gage archive show that George Stanford’s bill for carpenter’s and joiner’s work included work ‘to take down the back of the house and partitions and shoring’ and Stephen Rusbridge, bricklayer, charged £4 7s 10d for weather tiling, 7s 6d for a run of brick steps and 5s for taking down jambs to the chimneys.

The Morrises were succeeded by Robert Matthews, a farmer from Lusby in Lincolnshire, and his family, and the census returns for Ranscombe Farm show them living at the farmhouse in 1861 and 1871. In 1861 the two cottages that then existed for the farm were occupied by labourers who had also come from Lincolnshire, although both had moved on by 1871.

They in turn were replaced by William Medhurst by 1881. Medhurst had previously been tenant of Beddingham Windmill, 1858-1867, and the original tenant of the Beddingham Steam Mill.

Although he would stay as tenant of the farm for many years, two letters survive that William Medhurst wrote to his landlords complaining about the rent and the hardships of farming at Ranscombe.

On 6 Oct 1880 he wrote to Lord Gage giving 'notice that it is my intention to quit and deliver up possession of all that Farm premises and lands called or known by the name of Ranscombe Farm in the parish of South Malling in the County of Sussex which I now hold of you as tenant on the 11th day of October next.

However, Medhurst was still tenant in 1882 when he wrote a letter, on 6th June, to Walter Feilde Ingram, Gage's agent. He complained about a potential rent increase from £400 a year, and made many observations on the state of the farm and the difficulties it posed for the farmer.

Despite these moans Medhurst did not give up the farm until 1895 when the farm was advertised to be let on 10 August and the farm livestock and implements were auctioned on Wednesday 9th October 1895. The farm was taken over by Edward Moat, who was also tenant of nearby Southerham Farm.

Despite giving up the farm, William Medhurst continued to live at the farmhouse until his death on Tuesday, 25 May, 1915, at the age of 86.

Other pages for this property:   

Ranscombe Farm: Now


Listed under the Topic: Farming

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