Orchard Farm is one of the older buildings in a village full of old buildings, with parts of it dating back probably to the 1600s, if not earlier. Since then it has been developed and ‘improved’ over the centuries; the stonework bears tantalising evidence of a fascinating mixture of building styles.
The oldest part of the building is the two rooms up and down on the left as you face the house, at preasent our kitchen and sitting room (complete with chimney window) downstairs, and our study and spare room.
From outside you can see a small blocked up old window in the west gable end; the chimney window was an exciting find for us when we discovered it. It originally would have lit a large inglenook fireplace parts of which are still in evidence behind a wall, and which would have beenalmost a room within the bigger sitting room/entrance.
In the 18C, when there would appear to have been a lot of development in Parwich, the roof was raised to create a third storey and new windows fitted (although some economy was shown when the original and now far too short – stone jambs were retained.
Probably at this stage the house was also extended eastwards, and the substantial farm buildings added, although we suspect that the connecting section which is now Douglas’s Barn was yet anotherand slighlty later development when the then owner, with convenience rather than style uppermost in his mind, connected the outbuildings to the house.
The section between what is now Douglas’s Barn and our house, when we bought the house was an extremely rough cart shed with rickety wooden steps leading up to a bothy, with no connecting doorway into the main house. Bagshaws the estate agents rather grandly decribed this bit in their sales particulars as ‘the coach house’! It is now a lovely airy second sitting room, one of the nices rooms in the house.
As far as one can tell from village records and the censuses Orchard Farm had always been a farm, although some of the older Parwich residents can remember a Dame School being held in the upstairs bothy for a while. When we bought the house at auction in 1983 the farm land – somewhat depeleted in area over the years was sold separately, happily to a local buyer.
The Parwich and District Local History Society http://www.parwichhistory.com has some interesting information on our house and many others in the village.