Marl Close Farm

Marl Close Farm

A small farm in the former great West Field of Kingston Manor

 

Marl was originally an old term loosely applied to a variety of materials, most of which occur as loose, earthy deposits consisting chiefly of a mixture of clay and calcium carbonate. It has been used as a soil conditioner and acid soil neutralising agent and was spread on sandy soil by the Celts before the Roman occupation. Its value was realised, and its use revived, by the 'improvers' of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

On the other hand, Marl was also an ancient term used to describe human waste and remote areas of sunken ground were used as a dumping ground and designated as 'marl pits'.

Originally part of the great Medieval West Field of Kingston Manor, Marl Close Farm was a small farm around the junction of Ilchester Road, Marsh Lane and a field access track called Lower Larkhill Lane (which would become today's Stiby Road). Marl Close farmhouse was set within Marle Close (Parcel 1424), on its western boundary.

In his will dated 1725, Edward Boucher (1) bequeathed "... Closes of pasture which I formerly purchased of John Game called Marle Close and Three Corner Close..." to his nephew Edward Boucher (2).

The 1846 Tithe Apportionment noted that Marl Close Farm, also spelt Marl Close, was owned by John Glyde and the tenant was William Harrison.

By 1858, the farm was let to a Mr Chaffey. The Chaffey family were still tenants of the farm in 1914 and the farm was offered for sale in 1921, although the reserve was not met. The let of the farm was assumed by J W Marsh Jnr, who quit the farm in March 1929. At this times its stock was sold, comprising 20 dairy cows, 2 bulls and 2 horses.

 

From the diary of Louisa Harris ....

"2 June 1892:  This evening in company with my sisters, I paid a visit to a farmhouse [Marl Close Farm] situated in a field close to the Ilchester Road having been repeatedly invited by Miss Chaffey who lives there with her mother, brother and niece. We enjoyed the call immensely and I hope I shall have the pleasure of repeating it. With the hospitality common to the agricultural community, we were forced to partake of some delicious new milk and biscuits. The house is such a dear old-fashioned homestead with wide stone passages and small windows, and with such a dear old-fashioned garden. The last was pillaged for us, and we brought away an exquisite little bouquet of fresh country flowers. It is altogether a true type of old-fashioned farmhouse and Mrs Chaffey is a true type of the old-fashioned farmer."

 


 

Today the site of the former Marl Close Farm is chiefly occupied by the houses and gardens of Thatcham Park, the eastern end of Stiby Road and the northern end of Westfield Grove.

For details on historic land measurement (ie acres, roods and perches) click here.

 

maps


This map, based on the descriptions in the 1589 Terrier and the 1846 Tithe Map of Yeovil shows the approximate boundaries of the Manors of Kingston and Hendford as well as the manorial three-field system used in Kingston.

 

A conjectural map of the great West Field of Kingston Manor showing ancient sub-fields, most likely common fields, within the overall bounds of West Field.

 

A map showing the primary fields of Marl Close Farm.

 

Land parcels of Marl Close Farm

 

In 1846, all these parcels were owned by John Glyde and let to William Harrison.

 

Gallery

 

A notice of the sale of trees of Marl Close Farm from the 9 February 1858 edition of the Western Flying Post.

 

Marl Close Farm was sold off, chiefly for housing plots, as reported in the Western Gazette's edition of 22 March 1929.