Bramford Farm (580 tm) , Mill Street, Stowupland

Bramford Farmhouse in 2024 (Photo Langridge)
Rear View (Photo 2024, Langridge

17th Century

In 1615 the will of John Sowgate of Ringshall bequeathed to his son William Sowgate and W.S’s wife Joan ” his free tenement in Stowupland then in tenure of said W.S”.

Three years later A rental for the manor of Thorney Hall 1618 shows one entry for land held by a William Sowgate as follows –

William Sowgate holds free 5 pieces of land and meadow and pasture lying in Thorney called Lyvermere containing by estimation 11 acres more or less by rent 3s 8d
(A 1780s plan shows 5 fields or enclosures and a fairly close acreage, so it seems  Lyvermere was an earlier name of Bramford Farm).

1652 – Bargain and sale by William Sowgate, Combs, yeoman, and Thomas Sowgate of Creeting St. Peter and Helen Goddard widow of Stowupland sons and dau of Wm. Sowgate, to William Southgate, the younger of the Combs, of tenement and lands in Stowupland for £160. {also 1652 – Bargain and sale by William Sowgate, Combs, yeoman, and others, to William Southgate, the younger of the same, of tenement and lands in Stowupland}.

1660 – Probate will of William Sowgate of Combs, yeoman by estimate 13 acres in Stowupland late in occupation of John Taylor and now Robert Thurmwood £73:10s.

1699 – Mortgaged for £60 by William Sowgate of Chilton hamlet Stowmarket to John Bayley of messuage and lands in Stowupland

18th Century

1704 – Assignment of farm in Stowupland by John Bayley, London, merchant, and Thomas Bayley, Norwich, worsted weaver, executors of the will of John Bayly of Stowupland Worstead weaver their father to Robert Cutler, Sproughton, gent, in trust for Robert Buxton and Frederick Alpe and Thomas Gibbons of the 3rd part.

1704 – Lease from Thomas Gibbon of London mariner to Mr. Buxton esq. of Inner Temple London and Mr. Alpe of Bernards Inn gent. London, executors of will of John Acton of Bramford esq. in occupation of John Taylor and now Robert Thurmwood

1704 – Executors of will of John Acton purchase farm for £166

“In 1703, Wm Acton gave to the poor of Bramford £200 to be laid out in land, for a quarterly distribution of bread, meat etc. It was laid out in the purchase of a cottage & 14 acres of land, at Stowupland, now let for £20 a year. The land was exonerated from tithes by Nathaniel  Acton Esq in 1796.” (Copied by Ena Carter from Whites 1855 p437)

Ena found ‘a plan of an estate lying in Stowupland…purchased in the year 1717 with the money given by John Acton of Bramford…Esquire for the benefit of the industrious poor of Bramford’. John Edwards 1783 (Ips R.O.  EC4/L1/23)

1717 – Deed of feoffment of farm in Stowupland and messuage in Bramford, by Robert Buxton, St Margaret, Southelham, and Frederick Alpe, Barnards Inn, London, executors of will of John Acton, to William Acton and others in trust for the Overseers of the poor of Bramford.
Endorsed: “This deed of feoffment executed by the executors of the will of John Acton, Esq., conveying in trust to Wm. and Nath. Acton, Esq., and John Fernley, gent. the premises in Stowupland and Bramford which were purchased with a legacy of 200 given to the poor of Bramford in the will of the above-mentioned John Acton, Esq., which will orders that the rents and profits of the said premises shall be distributed Quarterly among such of the poor of Bramford as are most in want by the Overseers, and that they shall every year render a full, true and faithful account to their Townsmen at their four quarterly meetings, of their receipts and disbursements”

For more on the Acton’s see SLHG’s visit to Baylham Church.

1725 – Widow Scowing (is there a link to William Wileden and Susanna Scowen?)

1747 – Lease for 7 years of farm at Stowupland by churchwarden and overseers of Bramford to George Buxton ,Stowupland, yeoman.

1763 – from Thorney Hall rental, tenant George Buxton, also named in 1786 land tax, and 1795 quite rent.

1782 – lease from nathaniel Acton of Bramford, esq to Joseph Skowen Roper (or J.S.Kowen ?) of Stowupland, farmer.

1783 A plan of the land was made by John Edwards. Research by Neil Langridge suggests that the ‘Lane to Creeting’ which runs south-easterly past the farm may have been called Dodds Way. On the adjacent map [L&F1/M1/ECA] this lane can be seen just above the name Stowupland. In the late 20th century the A1120 cut across it.

black and white map
hand written note
sketch map

1796 – Lease of farm in Stowupland with the Rectorial tithes arising therefrom, by the churchwardens and overseers of Bramford to George Turner of Creeting St Peter, farmer.

19th Century


1804 –1808  tenant Mr. Cooper ?

1807 – Lease for 11 years by churchwardens and overseers of Bramford to William Cooper of Stowupland, farmer, of farm.

1808 – “Land Tax sett with me .. at the Griffen” Edwards

         1808 – Benjamin Batley did work on the farm, is this the same Benjamin Batley who was landlord of the Crown Inn?

1816 – offers to hire land in occupation of Mr. Cooper (John Cobbold – £28)

1816 – offers to hire farm

1818 – Mr. Edwards (Land Tax)

1835 – Tenant – Cobbold (repair work by E. Rednall)

1836 –  John Cobbold, letter

1839 – Owner Feoffees of Bramford, George J. Morgan & John Daines. Occupier John Cobbold. Area, 12ac 1r 10p

1840 – Owner Bramford Feoffees – occupiers of cottage, Stephen Shepherd and others, occupier of land John Cobbold.

hand written list

1848 – Thomas Cuthbert hires cottage, barn and outbuilding with land at £35 p.a. for 8 years lately in occupation of John Cobbold

1849 – Bill, Mr Cuthbert

1854 Sept. – Fire destroys barn, stable etc. and damages house.

Notice in Suffolk Chronicle, 16 Sept 1854 refers to the fire.

‘the afternoon of the 11th inst. a fire broke out a barn at Stowupland, in the occupation of Mr. Thomas Cuthbert. The barn, together with the produce of three and a half acres of oats, which it contained, were totally destroyed, besides part of a stack of stover. A cottage was also slightly damaged.’ (NB stover is like chaff from wheat, but it refers to the stalk etc left after harvesting the desired crop.)

And from the Bury and Norwich Post, “THOMAS CUTHBERT DESIRES to offer his sincere thanks to those Friends who so kindly and promptly aided in extinguishing the Fire at Stowupland, on Monday last.

Francis Betts re-builds (see also Myrtle Cottages)


hand written invoice

1867 – Thomas Cuthbert lease for 1 year at £35

20th Century

1932 to 1939 tenant F.S.Diaper, deeds includes letters about repairs being needed.

1956 Bramford Farm was bought by V.R. Peart

Compiled from notes in Ena Carter’s Archives and Neil Langridge’s research at the Ipswich Record Office.