Middle Farm


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Middle Farm was located towards the south end of the village on the east side of Main Street formerly Main Road.  The farm stretched between Main Street and Back Lane.

The farm house built in 1683 was demolished around 1974 but part of the C20th. plot is still retained by the last farmer, the late Mr Roy Wholey.  Only one of the original buildings survive and that is in a bad state of repair.  That part referred to has now been sold (2008) and will be developed into a small estate of expensive quality housing.

This building was built in 1683, a date that appeared on the building, but sadly lost when the building was demolished.

The former Middle Farm prior to demolition c.1973/74.

The above image is the building that became the house of Middle Farm.  Prior to 1928, the building belonging to Hill Top House Farm had been divided into two parts.  The two parts were occupied by farm workers and their families.  These farm workers worked at Hill Top House Farm.

My research can find no mention of Middle Farm existing prior to 1928.  Quite simply, prior to March 1928, it was not a farm house.  It was only when the Wholey family moved to the village that it became a farm house.

Why the year 1928?  This was the year when John Thomas Wholey and his family moved to Palterton and occupied Hill Top House Farm

At that time, the Simpson family lived in one part of the house that became Midle Farm and probably the Ward family lived in the other half.  Around that time Charlie Green and his wife also occupied part of this house before moving across the road to one of the three cottages known as Heathcote Cottages.

Arthur Wholey, the son of John Thomas Wholey, moved with his parents and family to the village and moved into one part of the house.  From thereon Middle Farm came into existence.  He helped farm the land occupied by his father.  I can find no evidence that Arthur Wholey and his family lived at Hill Top House Farm when he first moved into the village.

There is no mention of the farm on the 1901 census, but one can follow the route taken by the Enumerator as he walked from Highfield Farm along Main Street to the Hare and Hounds public house.  His next stop was a cottage and then a farm house occupied by Hugh Palfreyman.  From other documentary evidence we know this latter farm house was Elm Tree Farm.

1881.  No mention of this farm on the census and I cannot identify either the house or the occupants on that document.

1891.  No mention of this farm on the census and I cannot identify either the house or the occupants on that document.

Another view of the old Middle Farm prior to demolition in 1973/74.

1901.  The census reveals that Fred Hoe aged 32 years, a waggoner on farm, lives there with his wife Hannah, aged 24 years.  He was born at Corby in Lincolnshire but his wife was born in Palterton.  They have two young daughters Elizabeth and Edith both born in Palterton.  Also they have three boarders, all of whom work on a farm and were not born in Palterton.

Although I cannot prove it, I believe they worked at Hill Top House Farm and the cottage where they were living was part of Hill Top House Farm.

Consequently, it is reasonable to conclude that the cottage, number 93 on the schedule, was the building that became Middle Farm.  I do not believe that Middle farm existed until 1928, when the Wholey family moved into the village.

The front elevation of the old Middle Farm. The front faced Main Street and the Nags Head public house.

1928  Mr George Godber left Hill Top House Farm and Mr John Thomas Wholey moved in.  During March 1928, there were two auction sales on behalf of Mr Godber relating to his farm.  He sold both the contents of his home and separately his animals and poultry were auctioned.  He retired from farming aged 63 years and went to live at Mansfield.

1928.  The Wholey family came to Palterton in 1928 from nearby Stainsby.  At that time the last incumbent of the property, the late Mr Roy Wholey was aged 2 years.  His parents were Mr Arthur J. Wholey and mother Edna.

They came with the parents of Mr Arthur J. Wholey namely Mr John Thomas Wholey and his wife together with their children.

At that time John Thomas Wholey moved to Hill Top Farm. His other children were Mary, Dorothy and William (Billy).

However, his son Arthur J. Wholey and his family did not go to Hill Top Farm.  Instead they took up residence at the house that became known as Middle Farm.

John Thomas Wholey may also have farmed a third farm at Rylah, part of Palterton, but I am not sure if he purchased it.  I suspect it was Rylah farm that is located on the "S" bends down Rylah Hill and that it was rented.

Readers of this page should cross reference to the page about Hill Top House.

This image was taken halfway up the 'right of way' depicting the south side elevation and wall that surrounded the farmstead, stated to be 3 feet out of alignment prior to demolition. The farm building at the top of the driveway can clearly be seen with the two doors just in view. The outbuildings on the left irectly behind the old farmstead have since been demolished.

1938.  Fire at Middle Farm, Palterton.
Fire broke out on the Middle Farm belonging to John Wholey on Saturday, 15 January 1938.  Flames were discovered about mid-day in the Dutch barn, which contained a large quantity of wheat, straw and hay.  These flames spread to the cattle shed almost adjoining, and in a short time this also was blazing.  The Shirebrook Fire Brigade was immediately summoned.  Helped by a strong wind, the fire had practically destroyed the contents and severely damaged the barn itself before the brigade arrived.

Mr John Dickinson, aged 49 of Thirteen Row, Palterton, was walking past and saw the fire and immediately rushed to the scene.  There were cattle in the burning shed, and Mr Dickinson climbed onto a wall and thus reached the roof, through which he made a hole by loosening a board, and dropped down among the homed cattle, which were in a state of frenzy.  He then crawled his way to the door and was just about to unlock it when it was opened from the outside by the farmer's son, Arthur Wholey, who lived at and farmed Middle Farm.  None of the thirteen beast was burned or hurt.

When the Fire Brigade arrived they experienced great difficulty in getting enough pressure on the water to reach the height of the fire, and when they had it under control it was thought necessary to leave the hoses and a man in charge over the weekend, on account of the high gale.

The cause of the outbreak is not known, but as a footpath joining the back and front lanes of Palterton passes by the side of the barn, it is thought that a match, dropped accidentally, might easily have started the blaze, which would soon catch hold under such windy conditions.

Mr John Wholey owns two farms at Palterton - Hill Top and Middle Farm and also one at Riley.

Extracted from the Derbyshire Times - 21 January 1938.

This is Chapel Close that was built on the site of the old farm house. It was owned and occupied by the author of this web site until March 2007.  In the background right can be seen the old farm buildings of Elm Tree farm. The driveway bottom right can also be seen in the old images.

1974.  After the demolition of the old farm house and yard, two properties were built on the land.  Chapel Close, a bungalow was built on the site of the farm house and next door to the north another bungalow was built on the site of the farm yard.

This is the view from Chapel Close to the west that the occupants of Middle Farm would have viewed. The building in front left is the old Nags Head public house, with the Mission Church to its right. The house on the right was also built in 1974, hence it would not have been visible.

The images of the old farm house on this page were taken by Charles Brumby, the builder of properties that replaced this old building.  They show the 287 year old farmstead in its last days prior to demolition.  The coloured images of Chapel Close were taken by the late Paul Nix of Nottingham.

Middle Farm


Email: ronstan@richardsbygonetimes.co.uk

Home Page: http://www.richardsbygonetimes.co.uk/

Created 2 December 2001
Last updated: 16 March 2012