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Bridgefoot Farm

by janet on 1 December 2011 · 1 comment

Bridgefoot Farm, Walkern

Bridgefoot Farm, Walkern abt 1910

Bridgefoot Farm, an interesting and picturesque timber-framed house, stands a little to the south-west of the church. Originally a mid 15th century open hall house, the hall was floored over and the chimney built in the late 16th century. The rear wing dates from the late 17th century or early 18th. It has been very little altered externally, and internally the old arrangement of the plan is still quite clear, though a few partitions have been added and the rooms modernized.

The plan is L-shaped and the principal entrance is on the north side, and formerly opened directly into the common living room or hall, but this has been subdivided into a sitting-room, dairy and passage to the kitchen at the back. The beams over the hall are 17 in. wide, and the soffits are carved with a flat geometrical ornament consisting of alternate rows of four circles and four rectangular figures all connected together by fillets. There is no other carved work in the house.

The old wide square-headed fireplace of the hall still remains in the sitting room, but a modern grate has been inserted and the sides filled with cupboards. To the right of the hall is the old parlour, with a wide slightly projecting bay window, which is carried up to the floor above and finished with a gable, very similar to those at Wymondley Hall and Egerton House, Great Berkhampstead.

Between the parlour and the north front is a small outhouse, evidently part of the original plan. Beyond the hall, and forming the wing of the building, is the kitchen, which still retains its old fireplace, 10 ft. 6 in. in width, although it is partly occupied by a modern range. The old seats have given way to cupboards, but the small niches for flagons still remain, as at Upp Hall, Braughing.

Bridgefoot Farm, Walkern, (in pink) on the 1841 Tithe map. The map has north orientated to the right. Source HALS DP 114 /27 /1.

A small gabled staircase occupies the angle of the L between the old hall and the kitchen, but the stair itself is very plain. All the external walls are timber-framed, lathed and plastered on the outside, the plaster being ornamented with the usual large flush panels filled with some roughly scratched pattern. The roofs are steep and covered with tiles and all terminate in plain gables. There is an overhanging upper story on the east side. Some of the windows retain their oak mullions and transoms. The two old chimneys are groups of plain shafts of bricks 2 in. in thickness. From ?Parishes: Walkern?, A History of the County of Hertford: volume 3 (1912), pp. 151-158. British History Online

Occupants of Bridgefoot Farm

1841 James Winter (owned by John Smedley. Ref: tithe award)

1851 James Savage (census)

1855 James Savage (P.O. Directory)

1859 William Pearman (P.O. Directory)

1861 William Pearman (census)

1862 William Pearman (Kelly?s Directory)

1864 William Pearman (Cussan?s Directory)

1898

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Polly Macmillan November 6, 2013 at 4:31 pm

My family (Swain) lived in ‘Beaulah”, Totts Lane and I often took the 7/6d weekly rent to Bridgefoot Farm, known to me as Cordell’s Farm. This was the 1950’s.

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