This property in Saxham street has had several names since the 19th century: Davys Farm, Davys Orchard Farm, Par Croft and now Little Meadows.
From the exterior the house appears Georgian in style, but the interior reveals some of its history. There is a depression in the front lawned garden that has cobbles beneath. To the rear of the house are outbuildings that were used as an apple store and cart lodge. There are signs of a water course that runs from East to West through the front to rear gardens (where does it commence?), it then links down to the River Gipping. This area of Thorney Saxton was in the region of Hatch croft, so maybe it is Hatch brook that runs down to Gipping?
The main drive way has been moved from the property’s west boundary to the East side. The east side of the garden was reduced when Robert Wilden had Restleigh built, this is now known as Greatwood House
George and Herbert Davey,
1839 – From the tithes -4 fields and a cottage on Saxham Street were occupied by GEORGE DAVEY (b 1800) and owned by William Fisher. George Davy is a poultry farmer. He has a wife Elizabeth (b1800) and 3 children; Emma (age 15), George (age 10) and Hannah (age 8)
T/m 34 – cottage & Garden 1r 13p, according to NL this plot is the site of the present-day Little Meadow.
T/m 31- pightie ……………2 r 12p
t/m 32 -orchard …………… 36p
t/m 33 -pightie piece…….. 1r 13p
1850, 26th June. Ipswich journal reported that
Mr G Davey farmer Stowupland had a chicken stolen by Robert Blyth, labourer
In 1864 George Davey age 63 is till living on the farm and working as an ag lab.
Vy 1885 HERBERT DAVEY is a cowkeeper. also mentioned a ROB WILDEN, farmer
1891/2 Herbert Davey is a cow keeper (Herbert Davy is named in ‘Occupation Electors’ and mentioned in Whites Directory)
By 1904 ROBERT WILDEN, a poultry farmer and breeder has moved into Davy’s farm. The property consisting of 10.567 acres was conveyed from HENRY SADLER BOBY to HENRY FAIRFAX HARWOOD (ass with Stowupland Hall till his death in 1927).
In the 1920’sRobert Wilden became an owner occupier (with money borrowed from John Manning Prentice, Neville Hayward Smith and John Phillip Manning Prentice).
By the 1960’s Robert and his wife Grace had built their bungalow Restleigh (now Greatwoods) on land adjoining Davy’s Farm. Reducing Daveys Farm to 9.241 acres
1958 R.P. Wilden sold Davey’s farm to Muriel and Hugh Mason Starling-Widmerpole for £4,000.
But in 1964 Hugh died and in January 1965 Muriel (his widow) sold to Ann and Martin James Graham Christie from Stansted, Essex, for £11, 578 . Unfortunately by mid March Martin James Christie was dead and the property was sold to a local farmer, John Harold William LAKIN of Church Road, Stowupland, for £10, 700. The name was changed to Davys Farm Orchard
(Curiously ECA recorded in 1966 H.M. Starling was living at Davy’s farm but Hugh Mason Starling -Widmerpol died in 1964 and by 1966 the property had been sold to John Lakin)
1969 (18th July) coveyance of PAR CROFT by JHW Lakin Esq, and Mrs E.A. Lakin and M.P.Lakin Esq for £6,000 for 0.746 acre. Both men are described as fruit farmers. This maybe when the large field/orchard to the rear of the house was sold off and Mrs E and Mr P Lakin retained the house and garden?
1969/1970 17 August conveyance of LITTLE MEADOW by Michael Parnell and Ethel Ada LAKIN to Gerald Osbourn and Gillian Margaret REED
1973 Conveyance by Gerald and Gillain Reed of LITTLE MEADOW to Olive and Norman Edward (Air Vice Marshall) HOAD from Northwood for £23,000
1973 to 2002 – Little Meadows owned by Olive and Norman Hoad. Norman was a renowned artist both of aircraft and rural scenes especially horses.