Of Stone Farm, a detached part of Preston Plucknett
Eight Acres was a large rectangular field in the northeast corner of Stone Farm.
This area is actually a detached part of the parish of Preston Plucknett, known as Preston in Stone, and the Preston Plucknett Tithe Map of 1849 shows Eight Acres as Parcel 165. It was bounded on the south by Hanging Orchard (Parcel 168) and Higher Ground (Parcel 167), to the west by Middle Ground (Parcel 166), on the north by Great Orchard (Parcel 163) and Square Orchard (Parcel 164) and on the east by a small brook marking the parish boundary, the other side of which are fields in the parish of Mudford.
The Preston Plucknett Tithe Apportionment of 1848 notes that Eight Acres was in the ownership of Henry Goodford Esq. of Chilton Cantello and occupied by Mrs Phillis Coles, as indeed was the whole of Stone Farm at this time. The Tithe Apportionment reckoned the area of Eight Acres to be 7a 1r 4p.
Other known owners / occupiers had been James Harris (1800), Mr Pester (1810), Mr Spear (1818), Stephen Coles (c1821-1827). Phillis Coles, in her later years assisted by her sons, ran Stone Farm after the death of her husband Stephen until her own death in 1877. Her son Edmund ran the farm after her death until his death in 1885. By 1886 a Mr Russell was farming Stone Farm but his widow sold up and retired in February 1900. In 1901 the tenant farmer was John Sawtell.
As seen in the aerial photograph of 1946, shown below, the left half of Eight Acres was arable while the right half was being developed as a nascent sewage treatment works with a herringbone pattern of (presumably) drainage filters, downhill of which were the orchards of Square Orchard, Great Orchard and Pit Orchard - nice!
Today Eight Acres has been combined with Higher Ground and Middle Ground to form a single large arable unit although remnants of the boundary hedge between Eight Acres and Middle Ground still remain as seen in the photograph below.
maps and aerial photographs
The Stone area reproduced from the 1849 Tithe Map. Eight Acres is in the top right quadrant.
The 1946 aerial photograph showing Eight Acres at centre. The left half of the field appears to be arable while the right half was being developed as a nascent sewage treatment works with a herringbone pattern of (presumably) drainage filters, downhill of which were the orchards of Square Orchard, Great Orchard and Pit Orchard - nice!
The modern aerial view showing the fully-developed sewage treatment works with its own access road running from Stone Lane at left. The left portion of the former Eight Acres is still separated from Middle Ground to the west, but is now conjoined with Higher Ground to the south.
The 1849 Tithe Map superimposed over the current Google Earth image. Although the field boundaries do not align precisely, remember that the 1849 survey was undertaken by hand using primitive surveying equipment. The location of the former Eight Acres is marked by the sewage treatment works in the top right quadrant
This photograph looks northeast across the modern large open field. At lower left is seen the remnants of a hedge with a single tree - the former Eight Acres lay to the right of this hedge. Photographed in 2015.