Great Wellsworth Farm

The following articles were written by Bob Hind, and appeared in the Border Times, a local newspaper edited by Elise Sargent (a Rowlands Castle resident) and was distributed in Rowlands Castle and surrounding areas during the early 2020s. Our thanks go to Bob for allowing us to publish his articles.

The historical picture of the farm above was painted by Charles Cotton, one of many he painted capturing views of the local area.

In January 2021, Bob wrote:

Wellsworth Farmhouse was well known to me in years past. When walking from Rowlands Castle railway station with my late father, Jack Hind, to play cricket, anyone from outside the area would walk from the station, along Uplands Road to the footpath that leads through the back of the houses, to Wellsworth Lane then past Wellsworth Farm and over the Downs to Finchdean.

The house has always held a fascination for me. Perhaps the oldest house in Rowlands Castle, Wellsworth Farmhouse lies a quarter of a mile along Wellsworth Lane. Believed to be built around 1600, with 18th Century additions, the house had become somewhat run down in recent years until it was purchased by a former lawyer from Liverpool, some 18 months ago.

The new owner immediately moved builders in to refurbish the house and an extension was added to the south side. The roof was completely re-thatched, bringing the house back to life. The new owner and his wife moved in after just two months.

Originally a farmhouse for Great Wellsworth Farm, most local people will remember Farmer Brown, the last known farmer who worked the land. Opposite the house was a market garden, now overgrown and not part of the recent purchase.

It is a Grade II listed building, first listed in 1954. In 1960 a great fire damaged the upper floor so that everything seen above the ground floor today is comparatively new. After the fire a timber framed middle wall was exposed. If anyone can remember Farmer Brown or who lived in the house in years past, please let me know.

To the west of the house at the rear is a large barn that belonged to the farm that has recently been converted to living accommodation

Further to the article above appearing, In March 2021, Bob wrote:

I have received some interesting emails about Wellsworth Farm, in Rowlands Castle.

A responder to my request told me: ‘Farmer Bernard Barton Brown, born in Chalton, is on the electoral roll at Wellsworth Farm by 1934 and is there in the 1939 Register. He died in 1975. He was the son of George, also a farmer, and in 1901 the family is living in Clanfield with 17-year-old Bernard as an apprentice engineer. However, in the 1911 Census he is a farmer at Woodhouse Farm, Rowlands Castle.’

Another responder told me: ‘My partner and I grew up in Rowlands Castle and have lived here for most of our lives. We now live in Wellswood Gardens with our two children. My partner lived in Wellsworth Lane as a child in the 1970s and remembers playing outside Great Wellsworth Farmhouse. All the children in Wellsworth Lane used to call it Mrs Brown’s cottage.’

‘I’m wondering if you know who owns the land opposite the house that used to be a market garden? In the 1970s, all the children called this piece of land The Secret Garden.’

The editor would be interested if you have any memories of the farmer, the farmhouse or the ‘Secret Garden’.

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