Southlands Farm

Before 1958

This was owned by the Mott family from 1874 – 1907 and it consisted of 132 acres. It was then sold to the Kemble family and was rented by Mr. Densum

After Squire Kemble died it passed to his daughter, Miss Augusta Kemble, who in turn rented it to the Rushbrook family. After her death Mr. Rushbrook purchased the farm .

Southlands’ old farmhouse was altered but on the original chimneystack was the date 1807, this was the custom when a house was originally built.

The farm follows the shape of a foot to Battlesbridge station, following the River Crouch. The land was often flooded during the winter months and many sheep were drowned when the river burst its banks. Some land was lost when the railway was built but the original boundary was a straight line to Rettendon Church. However when the station was built the boundary was the Three Arches railway bridge.

Southlands was a mixed farm, having thirty cows giving about 100 gallons of milk a day. Mr Shuttleworth delivered this milk and later the round was taken over by Mr Hornby, whose dairy was nearer to Wickford. The crops were wheat, oats, barley, beans, potatoes and mangles.

Southlands’ cottages were built in 1914 by Frank Carter (Silva Carter’s dad) with bricks from Wickford Nevendon Road brickfields because bricks from Barnhall were too soft.

Water from the spring known as The Running Well, on Poplars Farm, was sold at one farthing a bucket collected, or one halfpenny a bucket delivered.

Southlands has a layer of gravel 30 feet deep. This runs from Canvey to Messing through Runwell. In the Iate 1970s one of the pine trees on Southlaands farm was pulled down and an old piping tool was found amongst its roots. One end had a three pronged fork and the other a flat hoe that was used for scraping earth out of the fork, in the middle was a hole for a handle.

Jack Rushbrook thought the Old Schoolhouse opposite Runwell Church was built with red bricks from the Barnhall brickworks in about the 1850s. This brickfield ceased to exist about 1900.

Grandad Rushbrook was the Farm Bailiff at Runwell Hall Farm originally and his wages were 13/6d old money per week. A cowman earned 12/0s old money and a horseman 10/-d per week .

Old field names according to the 1845 Tithe Map were :

             347          Gate field

             348          Brickfield

             365           Pickle

             369           Barnmead

             370           Stable field

             373           Long eight acres

In 1958 Southlands was sold to Carter and Ward who later sold it to Philpott .

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  • Does anyone remember anything about Mr Fisher who rented Southlands Farm around 1958-1982? This was my great grandad.

    Been there a few times I can remember, but was very young, 6 or 7 years old. Would love to see any photos of the farm house and grounds.

    By Darren Fisher (08/06/2020)
  • Do you know anything about Poplars Farm, Rettenden, when the army camp was there?

    By patricia kings (26/08/2018)

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