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1843 Where is Douglas’s Barn?

608 is Orchard Farm

Like many of you, we have long wondered at the quirky shape and angles of Douglas’s Barn, and also admired the unusual way our house, Douglas’s Barn and Tom’s Barn are angled gently round what was once the farmyard and what we should perhaps try now to call the ‘courtyard’ to give it a more elegant ring.

Last night we went to a village event in the Memorial Hall, and were most intrigued to see a copy of the 1843 Tithe map of Parwich. There is more information about it, and the first Census of 1841, in the Parwich Local History Society newsletter No. 3. Funnily enough, in this newsletter there is also a photo of the section of the map that shows Orchard Farm…

There it is, in the middle of the photo, section 208. You’ll notice two possibly confusing changes. Firstly, the plot is bigger because in the 1960s or perhaps 1970s the then owner of Orchard Farm sold two plots of land where the bungalows next door now stand. Of course also there is no Dutch Haybarn, rusty and ancient looking now, but not that ancient!

Then, there is Orchard Farm house on the map, with Tom’s Barn to the side, quite separate. Between them is an empty space. We always guessed that it might have been a fairly adhoc addition by some farmer owner who needed more shelter for his cows, but we didn’t know for sure. Now we have proof, but we still don’t know when. It is intriguing: when was Douglas’s Barn built?

So, whatever happens, Douglas’s Barn is post 1843 so we can’t call it an 18th century cowshed any more, although no doubt we can its older brother. From all the Censuses since 1841 and our title deeds we have plenty of facts about the people, but not about the buildings. Maybe one day we’ll discover more.

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