From the Arborfield Parish Tithe Accounts book covering the period from
1854 to 1922:
Inside front cover: ‘Last time Mr Cooper paid Tithe for Kenney’s Farm, Nov 7th 1865’.
Front page: Tithe Days were held at the Bull Inn from 1854 to 1867, in November or December, usually with Dinner at 5 o’clock. The records stated that T Tubb was landlord from 1854 to 1858, then Mrs Matthews on to 1867.
The annual Accounts listed Occupiers on the left-hand column, the Proprietors in the second column, and the values and accounts in the next three columns. There doesn’t seem to be an easy cross-reference to actual land holdings on the Tithe Map. However, we can identify certain of the properties such as farms and pubs, and dates where key names changed:
John Allwright was Proprietor of some land in Arborfield Parish, and J Simonds was the Occupier – probably this holding included the land on which the old Dissenters’ Chapel once stood. In 1868, the Proprietor was ‘late Allwright’s; Himself’ – perhaps it was taken over by John Simonds.
By the 1870’s, Cordery’s, Holworth’s and Mott’s farms were mentioned.
In 1885, the list included Home Farm, White’s Farm, Tanner’s Farm, G W’s Farm – later identified as Bartlett’s Farm. All were owned by Sir George Russell [of Swallowfield].
In 1889, we find: Mr J & R M Wells, New Farm; Mr Isaacs, Bartlett’s Farm; Mr Cordery, White’s Farm; Sir Geo. Russell, Tanner’s Farm and Home Farm.
In 1891, Wells occupied New Farm, Churchill occupied Bartletts, but others weren’t identified. However, in 1892, Cordery was listed at White’s. By 1893, Mr Chown occupied Hall Farm, while in 1894, Mr R Wells took on Cross Lane Farm, and in the same year Mr Kelly had become Landlord of The Bramshill Hunt.
The 1895 list showed Mr Lewis at White’s Farm, J & R Wells at New Farm, and Miss Radbourn at The Bull.
By 1896, the list became more comprehensive: J & R Wells, New Farm; Mr Nash, Bartlett’s; Mr Cordery, Ducks Nest; Mr Lewis, White’s; Sir Geo.Russell, Tanner’s and Home; while Mr Gatley was at Hall Farm.
There were some minor changes in the early 1900’s: in 1901, Mr ‘Holdway’ was at New Farm; in 1902, Mr Deane took over Duck’s Nest; in 1903, R Hewett Esq. became tenant of Langley Farm and Mr ‘Holliday’ was at New Farm. There was more change in 1905, with John Simonds at Langley Farm and Mr Parfitt at New Farm.
An additional note in 1906 recorded that John Simonds had sold pieces of land ref. 206, 207, 208, 209, 210 and 211 to Mrs Bruce. This land eventually became Arborfield Court.
In 1907, Mr Lucas was at Cross Lane Farm, and in 1908, Mr Stephenson was listed at Bartlett’s, while Mr Lucas additionally took on Langley Farm.
A new occupier in 1907 was the ‘Army Remount Depot’ on Arthur Walter’s land. Miss Radborn was still at The Bull, by now owned by Blandy Hawkins & Co.
In 1910, Mr Rayner was at The Bull, and the Army Remount Depot was on land held by the Executors of Arthur Walter, but for the next year, the owner was John Walter, before the War Office took ownership in 1912.
Farms continued to change tenants – Mr Currach at White’s and Mr Hedges at Hall Farm in 1911; Mr Broadway at Bartletts in 1912, while The Bull was occupied by Mr Dovey in 1913, but only for a year.
By Winter 1914, the world was a different place; Mr Kearse was at Bartlett’s, Mr Bryant at Duck’s Nest and Mr Bushell began a long reign at The Bull.
The Bull changed owners in 1916 when the South Berks Brewery Co. was mentioned for the first time.
Bartlett’s again changed tenants in 1919 when Mr Hoskyns took up residence. In 1922 there were some more changes, when Mr Rogers was at White’s, C W Crocker was at Cross Lane, and Mr Hutchins was at Tanner’s Farm, which was by then owned by Captain Body.
[These Accounts can be seen at the Berkshire Record Office]
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