Brook Farm, Chaddesden
CHAPEL LANE OS SK 3837 SW
Brook Farm was originally part of the Wilmot Estate. It is named from the Chaddesden brook which ran behind the farmyard. On a stone above the door of one of the outbuildings, since demolished, were the initials HSW and a date 1848. This is believed to refer to Henry Sacheverel Wilmot of Chaddesden Hall.
On the 1861 Census Brook Farm is listed as being farmed by Samuel Goodwin, a farmer and butcher from Chaddesden. One of his farm servants was a Henry Bowley from Leicester. Looking back on the previous Census, Samuel is described as farming 108 acres and employing 3 men, He was still farming there in 1871 and 1881. By 1891 his niece, Ann G Martin who had lived and worked at the farm with the family for at least 40 years, is listed as a farmer in her own right. Samuel had by then retired to a cottage in the village. During their time, the farm was substantially enlarged.
In Kelly’s Directory of Derby in 1895 the farm was owned by William Jackson, and in 1912 by Raymond and Harold Willetts At some time between 1912 and 1922 ownership of the farm passed to Mr Arthur Lea. He had previously been the licensee of the Sir Charles Napier Inn in Brook Street Derby.
His niece, Mrs McKay, has donated a letter in which she says that the previous owner of Brook Farm would not allow children to play in the brook which went through the land, but her Uncle Arthur (Mr Lea) made it plain that children were welcome to play there. It became general to talk of going to play in ‘Lea’s Brook’ and it is believed that this is where Lee’s Brook School eventually got it’s name, although to be historically accurate, it should be spelt Lea’s Brook School.
According to Kelly’s Directory, Lizzie Ann Osbond was farming Brook Farm in 1925. She was still there in 1932.
After the death of Constance Wilmot, Chaddesden Hall and Park was gifted to the Parish of Chaddesden and much of the land around was bought by developers around 1927, but Brook Farm continued to be farmed until about 1986.
Sidney Burton Goodwin was the occupier between 1932 and 1941 when he put the farm up for sale. W Ford & Sons, builders successfully bid for the property with a view to redevelopment, but they were unable to obtain the planning permission which they needed. Mr Ford then rented the land and buildings to Mortimer Morten, but the ownership of the farm passed to Christopher Smith, Mr Ford’s nephew. Mortimer Morten died in 1949 and the rental of the farm passed to his son Edwin (Ted) Morten.
Edwin Mortimer Morten (Ted) and Eunice Bowley married in 1950 and moved into Brook Farm. After their marriage they were very much a part of the Chaddesden community. Eunice was a member of Chaddesden Women’s Institute, and the craft group often used the farm for their meetings. Members still remember the many rooms and passages which they had to negotiate to reach the bathroom! The buildings were also used by members of the Chesapeake Methodist Church for picnics, barn dances etc. Eunice and Ted were very involved with the church and Ted played the organ at Chesapeake.
After Ted and Eunice left in 1986, the farm buildings were sold off to a developer named Smith and were split into separate residential units and renovated in keeping with their original design. These photographs of the farm house and stables were taken by Margaret Poyser shortly before it was renovated. The rest of the farmland is still rented out for silage etc.
(Thanks to Jean Morten for additional information)
Description of Brook Farm from a recent Derby Council Historic Building List.
Nineteenth century farmhouse and farm buildings. Brick, tiled roofs (converted to dwellings).
Brook Farm House 2010 © RMJ
Brook Farmhouse and Brook End, 2 storey, with addition to north, external chimney west gable, projections to east and west. South front, ground floor, 2 doors; first floor 2 casement windows, soldier arches over. North (addition) “dogtooth” brickwork at eaves, 2 doors, 4 casement windows, segmental arches over. East, single storey with attic, casement windows, segmental arches over. West, single storey with attic, casement windows, soldier arches to south, segmental arches to north. Segmental window with radial bars above garage doors, north face.
Brook Cottage: 2 storey; red brick, tiled roof, external chimney west gable. Two course blue brick string course at first floor. Dentilled eaves course. Casement windows, gauged brick cambered arches north front, “soldier” arches south front.
Brook Ice House: 2 storey, red brick, tiled roofs. Entrance projects to south under cat slide roof. Casement windows, segmental brick arches. Dogtooth brickwork at eaves. External chimneys to east gable.
Single storey wing to east, with terra-cotta finial to ridge.
Farm building: “L” shaped plan, single storey, red brick, tiled roof. Decorative brickwork at eaves. Segmental arches over original door openings. Casement windows inserted, plus garage door.
Renovated Stable Block 2010 © RMJ
© Rita Johnson for CHG 2011