1871 – Farm Homestead at Lawford Hall, Essex

Architect: W. Lewis Baker


“These buildings were erected in the year 1871, for. M. Nichols, Esq., of Lawford Hall near Manningtree. The buildings and the two open yards shown on the plan attached to the bird’s- eye view cover an area of 24Ift. by 93ft., exclusive of the apsidal end of the barn. But, besides these, there are poultry-houses of a total length of 90ft. by 20ft. wide, which do not come into our view, at the left-hand corner of which is shown the bailiff’s house. We have been favoured by Mr. Nichols with the following particulars : — Good red bricks made by the proprietor on the spot, at the moderate cost of 18s. 6d. a thousand, were used throughout, the roofs being covered with corrugated tiles, and the bailiff’s house with plain red tiles. The em- battled gables of the latter arc a feature which arose from the close proximity, via Harwich, of the Antwerp gables. The lower story of the bailiff’s house includes the farm-dairy and a large farm kitchen. The dairy is so placed as to be cool in summer, and it is warmed in winter to the proper temperature by warm water- pipes laid out from the boiler of the farm kitchen range. An ample and constant supply of water is brought down by pipes from a spring in the adjoining hill and laid on to the two lower floors of the house, to all the cattle and horse-troughs in the homestead, and to the poultry-yard, so that the uncertainty and cost of manual water-carriage is avoided.

The total cost of the buildings sho’mi in the view, together with the poultry-houses, laying on water, homestead fittings, and fixtures in the house and dairy, was £3,255, and down to the present time not the slightest crack or settlement is anywhere to be seen. The whole of the buildings were designed by Mr. W. Lewis Baker, Mr. J. L. Baker, of Hargrave Kimbolton, agricultural engineer, being consulted as to their general arrangement. Mr. Hawkins, of Monksleigh, contracted for and canrrid out the whole both quickly and well. Four hundred and twenty acres, of which two hundred and seventy are arable, are attached to this home- stead, which, with the buildings and yards fully stocked, conveniently accommodates twenty breeding cows, fourteen fatting beasts, thirty-five young bullocks, heifers, and calves, one bull, and two young bulls — in all, fully seventy head of stock. The covered yards are neither drained nor asphalted, there is no excess of moisture, and the manure thus made is excellent. There is stabling for twelve cart-horses, with two or three colts, and two nags. Unusually, the pigs altogether number fully sixty, including twenty-four in fatting, and four breeding sows. One hundred pigeons are housed above the entrance of the central covered yard, and two hundred fowls and fifty ducks in the poultry houses, while adjoining the extensive implement shed is an infirmary for sick animals. The proprietor wishes to add that eight years’ use has not led him or his very able bailiff to desire any alteration in the arrangement or proportions of the several departments of this homestead.” From The Building News, October 31 1879.