ID: PH01_IVS / Elaine Barker

TitleHistory of Ives Farm, Peldon

An early postcard showing Ives Farm. On the right is the gate and entrance to the footpath leading up to Church Road. View looking south.

Although Ives Farm and the hill on which it stands have, in modern times, been known as St. Ives it would seem the name derives from a former farmer who lived and worked there, James Ives; the word Saint seems to have been added later! It is likely James Ives lived in the farm for about 22 years between 1816 and his death in 1838. What the farm was called prior to James Ives has not, so far, been discovered. In conveyances referring to the farm between 1943 and 1978 both St. Ives and Ives are used, the latter as late as 1978.

As so often happens with apostrophes, whether in documents, road signs or advertising materials sometimes they are used and sometimes not. For consistency, and to reflect how it is spelt today, I will not use the apostrophe unless quoting a document. Note also that, within the last few years, new road signs now name the hill as St. Ives Road not St. Ives Hill.

In the Suffolk Chronicle of 25th May 1816 the sale of a freehold farm in Peldon is advertised. For sale were 22 acres in the occupation of Mr Stammers along with two tenements in the occupation of Bibby and Cooke 1½ miles from Stroud [sic] and shipping. No name is given but comparison with a later advert from 1838 would indicate this was Ives Farm.

The later advertisement for an auction on 31st July 1838 quotes a similar acreage, again with two tenements and 1½ miles from the wharf. A member of the Cook family is still living there.

Auction at The Cups of freehold and valuable estate late in the occupancy of Mr James Ives deceased ... dwelling house, barn with excellent granary attached, good stable for 4 horses, Cartlodge and 21 acres 0 roods 35 perches. Superior arable land and a slated house and good garden, now in occupation of Charles Cook and James Miller, tenants at will, at rents amounting to £8 8s per annum. Also two other tenements and good garden in occupation of Richard Cranfield and George Cook tenants at will at rents amounting to £8 per annum. Within 1 ½ miles of a wharf. Chelmsford Chronicle 13.7.1838

The deceased, James Ives, was born in 1765 and died in 1838 aged 72. A note in the margin of the Peldon burials' register reveals he died from typhus. He is listed in an 1830 poll book as an owner occupier of a house and land in Peldon. Did he buy the farm at the auction in 1816 and own it until his death 22 years later resulting in the farm still bearing his name today?

Of the tenants listed above, Charles Cook and James Miller were agricultural labourers.

The other two tenements listed in the auction particulars were likely to be labourers' cottages known as Ives Cottages which are no longer standing but were demolished within living memory. Their tenants were Richard Cranfield, born in Abberton, who in 1841 was an agricultural labourer aged 76 and in 1851, was still an agricultural labourer at 86, living on Colchester Road (I believe this was referring to Ives Hill),. The other tenant of the cottages was George Cooke, listed as a wheelwright in 1841 and 1851 and living next door to Richard Cranfield in both censuses.

It is likely that John Tettrell of Abberton was the successful bidder at auction in 1838 for he is listed as the owner in the Peldon tithe awards of 1838 - 1840. Upon his death, according to his will of 1869, he owned an unnamed farm in Peldon. [ERO D/Del T328 Deeds of Farm]

Tettrel's tenant in the tithe awards of c 1838 is listed as John Chignell [also spelt Chignall] who occupied a beerhouse in Peldon which later became The Plough public House. Chignell was also a farmer and in 1840 was the successful bidder at the auction of Moor Farm, Peldon, where he stayed until 1857, presumably having given up the tenancy of Ives Farm.

John Tettrell doesn't seem to have ever lived in Ives Farm. In 1841 he is a maltster on Abberton Green living with his wife Harriet, in 1851 he is a farmer of 253 acres, a maltster and employer of 21 men in the east end of Abberton and in 1861 he is farming 413 acres at Monkwick Farm, Colchester. In his will, John Tettrell bequeathed the Peldon farm to his wife Harriet, giving her the option to continue running the business or to ask the executors to put it up for sale. In the event, John Tettrell died in June 1869 and Harriet only a few months later in November. Ives Farm was sold in 1870 following Harriet's death.

The purchaser was Thomas Phelps, an attorney at law, who had married John Tettrell's daughter, Harriet, in 1867. According to the Essex Standard of 28th January 1870 he paid £1,290 for the farm, (then in the occupation of farmer, Moses Wood), and £156 for the two double cottages, the first occupied by Charles Cook and Martin Harvey and the second by John Cranfield and George Cant. An absentee landlord, Phelps lived in Kensington, where he died in 1923 but when the farm was sold has not yet been discovered.

Moses Wood, the farm's tenant, was born in Berechurch, Colchester and spent much of his life farming at East Mersea. He is living and working at Ives Farm in the 1861 census and listed in the Post Office directory for Peldon in 1862. He seems to have only been resident in Peldon for a little while because by the 1871 census he is living in East Mersea, farming 92 acres.

The name Ives Farm made it officially onto the Ordnance Survey map of 1875.

We have to jump to the census of 1891 to find evidence of subsequent owners and occupiers, the Mason family.

George Mason (born in Brightlingsea and brought up on Moverons Farm) lost his first wife in 1887, leaving him with five children aged 10 and under. In the 1891 census he was living on his own means and had a housekeeper, Elizabeth Siles, whom he later married. The address given is West Mersea Road, Peldon, which I believe to be St. Ives Hill. (Street names seem to have regularly changed from census to census!) Given the place of birth of several of his children (George was farming Bower Hall, Mersea, in 1881) it would seem the Masons had moved to Peldon between 1881 and 1887. Susannah his first wife died in 1887, did that trigger a move from Mersea?

George involved himself in village life and was to be the clerk to the Peldon Parish Council from its formation in 1894 until March 1936. He also served as the Peldon school Correspondent, responsible for the management of the school and close scrutiny of the registers.

In 1901, the farm in Peldon occupied by the Mason family, which had expanded to include 6 sons and 3 daughters is listed as Mason's Farm.

In 1911 (where George is the census enumerator for Peldon) the family is listed as living at Ives Farm, Peldon, and George is a farmer and poultry dealer. George Mason is listed as a farmer in Kelly's trade directories for Peldon in 1899, 1902 and 1914.

Between 1914 and 1918 the family moved from Ives Farm, for in the 1918 electoral roll they are to be found in Norfolk Cottage (known today as Pyefleet House) on the Strood, the road that crosses from Peldon to Mersea. George Mason was to end his days in Norfolk Cottage in 1936.

In the 1918 electoral roll, Arthur Foakes and his wife, Ellen, were living at Ives Farm. Arthur Leonard Foakes was born in Layer de la Haye and seems to have travelled around as a journeyman butcher.

There are four households listed at Ives Cottages, Esther Green, George and Mary Jane King, Jessie Mason, Alfred and John Mason.

Kelly's 1929 trade directory for Peldon lists Arthur Foakes as a farmer. In the electoral roll of the same year it appears the farm may have been divided into two as Ives Farm is given as the address of John and Mary Holland as well as that of Arthur and Ellen Foakes. Ives Cottages are let out again to the same families as eleven years earlier. John Green, George and Mary Jane King, Jessie and Charles Edward Mason

In 1931 when Arthur Foakes retired he was succeeded at Ives Farm by Edward Leslie Harvey.

In a Kelly's directory of 1933 Edward Harvey is listed as a farmer in Peldon.

Edward Leslie Harvey was a successful rearer of poultry at South Green Poultry Farm in Fingringhoe before moving to Ives Farm, where he was assisted by his son, also Edward Leslie Harvey but known as Leslie. Edward (Senior) was born to a Suffolk family, his father having been a maltster, brewer and farmer, and Edward spent some of his working life in London working as a butcher. When Edward died in 1937 at the age of 60 he left a widow, Amy Louise Harvey, his daughter Kathleen, and his son, Leslie, who continued the family business.

In the 1939 register Edward's son, Leslie Harvey, is listed as a poultry farmer with his wife, Olive. Living next door in Tamlin, are his widowed mother Amy L Harvey, born in 1876 and sister Kathleen Harvey born in 1906.

On 20th April 1955 Leslie sold Ives Farm to Noel Edward Fausset, a haulage contractor of Bishop's Stortford for £4,800.

All that freehold farm known as Ive's Farm Peldon in the County of Essex Together with the buildings erected thereon comprising in the whole 41.101 acres...delineated on the plan drawn hereon and thereon coloured pink. Conveyance of Ives Farm 20th April 1955 in private ownership

The same year, Fausset sold the northernmost portion of the field No 183 to G F Walker, which was subsequently sold to Hector South in 1979, proprietor of Peldon Filling Station. On 1st December 1959 Fausset sold a portion of field No 156 to David Michael Payne, presumably, being adjacent to the road, as a building plot.

Plan from the conveyance of 20th April 1955. Note the labels for church and school have been placed incorrectly.

Ordnance Survey NumberDescriptionAcreage
189House buildings etc       .683
190a part1.351
156 part   .100
191 part7.088

Having left Peldon, Leslie Harvey died in 1980 in Cumbria. A brief obituary appeared in the December issue of the parish magazine.

He will be remembered by many in Peldon as a poultry and pig farmer who also served as chief fire officer in the auxiliary fire service in the Peldon area during the last war.

Eight years after purchasing the farm, Noel Edward Fausset died on 27th September 1963 and his wife, Mabel, inherited the farm. Fausset's address listed on his probate is Gowans, The Lane, in West Mersea. It is likely that his son, who was assisting his father with the family business, was already resident at Ives Farm.

On 29th March 1965 Mabel conveyed the property to her son, Michael Godfrey Fausset, except for field No. 183. Michael's address on the conveyance is given as Ives Farm.

In 1971 Mabel sold a strip of land, fifteen feet wide with a depth of 2077 feet, belonging to field No. 183 and abutting Peldon Filling Station to the proprietor, Hector South. This land had belonged to previous proprietors of the garage, the Patmores, and had been sold to Edward Leslie Harvey in June 1943.

Within living memory, the Fausset's son, Michael Godfrey Fausset, kept a pig farm at Ives Farm but also had a workshop there (out at the back of the farmhouse) where he ran a business selling and making equipment for pig breeding. He kept chickens too.

Mike Fausset also rented the old Women's Land Army Hostel on Wigborough Road having gutted the building to install his own equipment for breeding pigs.

Fausset was to move down South in 1971 and the next occupier of Ives farm was Ken Walton (married to Julia) who also kept chickens as well as pigs. Ken kept about 80 sows and several boars. There were 'fat pigs' which weighed 40 kg plus which went for meat and 'store pigs' 15-20kg which were sent to other farms to be fattened.

Ken also rented the old Women's Land Army Hostel as a piggery and circa 2000 gave up as a pig farmer, retiring to Mersea about a year later.

Someone who worked at Ives Farm and the pig unit at the Hostel for many years, Nick Hines, remembers Ives farmhouse being a white weather-boarded farm cottage, as seen on old postcards. In the 1980s it was rebuilt completely only retaining the old framework. Nick carefully removed the weather-boarding intending to use it to patch up the barn but it ended up being used as shuttering for laying concrete.

Behind the farm was an old barn - not of any great age, made of sawn timbers. There was also a cart-lodge, an area used for sorting eggs. It slowly decayed with the roof getting lower and lower until one morning Nick's co-worker, Ruby Theobald, turned up to find the roof had sunk to the ground! There was also a small barn by the road to the left of the farmhouse which was used as a garage but is no longer there.

Following Ken Walton's move to the village, he submitted a planning application to Colchester Borough Council for housing on his land on the east side of the lower part of St. Ives Hill. These plans for housing were refused but a small industrial unit was subsequently built in 2011. A purpose-built unit was erected for Hosplant and today (2022) six other companies have units there.

Field No.183 on the west side of St. Ives Road is still in private ownership and is maintained as a meadow.

Signage either side of the drive into the industrial units called St. Ives Farm Buildings

As for the farmhouse, it was bought by the current owners in 2015 who then rebuilt some dilapidated farm buildings to house an upmarket spa offering gym, sauna, hydrotherapy pool, and spa lounge known as St Ives Barns.

This postcard shows the view from the top of the footpath leading from Church Road down to Ives Hill. Ives Farm can be seen in the distance.

Elaine Barker
Peldon History project

Thanks to the South family and Nick Hines

AuthorElaine Barker
SourceMersea Museum
Related Images:
 Ive's Farm, Peldon. Hammond postcard.
 View down what is now St Ives Hill, with Ive's Farm on the left.  IA01_715
ImageID:   IA01_715
Title: Ive's Farm, Peldon. Hammond postcard.
View down what is now St Ives Hill, with Ive's Farm on the left.
Source:Mersea Museum
 Plan of Ives Farm, Peldon the conveyance. The labels for church and school have been placed incorrectly.  PH01_IVS_001
ImageID:   PH01_IVS_001
Title: Plan of Ives Farm, Peldon the conveyance. The labels for church and school have been placed incorrectly.
Date:20 April 1955
Source:Peldon History Project
 Peldon. Footpath from Church Road down towards Ives Hill and Ives Farm.  PH02_049
ImageID:   PH02_049
Title: Peldon. Footpath from Church Road down towards Ives Hill and Ives Farm.
Source:Peldon History Project