Three farmers mentioned in “Fingest Unforgotten – Fingest Farms:1700s and 1800s” were still farming in Fingest at the start of the 20th Century, i.e. William Nash of Fingest Manor Farm, Thomas Prince of Fingest Farm and Edmund Deane12. Thomas Collier, Albert Prince, Norman Gold, Bill Tapping, Dennis Montefiore and Joe and Grace Robinson were also farming in the village during the first half of the 20th Century.
William Nash died in 1902 and Fingest (Manor) Farm was purchased and farmed by Thomas Collier, about this time its name changed to Manor Farm1. Thomas Collier died in 1938 and the farm was acquired by Major Norman P. Gold. During WW II Major Gold was Officer Commanding the local Home Guard13 and Manor Farm served as their headquarters (see “Fingest Unforgotten – Home Guard”). In 1952 Norman Gold built a pair of semi-detached cottages in Chequers Lane, Manor Farm Cottages, for his farm workers1,2.
Thomas Prince and his wife Annie married in 1894. Thomas became a tenant farmer at Fingest Farm, acreage 63 acres, on the Parmoor Estate. They moved into the new farmhouse, built at a cost of £250, the same year2,3. A stockyard already existed enclosed on two sides by barns, stables and a milking parlour and on the third side by Ivy Cottage (see Fingest Unforgotten – Fingest Farms: 1700s and 1800s). According to their Grade II listing the barns, stables and milking parlour are of the 16th and 17th Century. There is a date of 1784 carved into one of the uprights in the barn. Thomas made a rick yard between the barn and the farmhouse, bounded on the south side by a new granary. In the 1930s the rick yard was moved away from the barn to a small paddock to the south of the farmhouse.
Thomas farmed livestock (milking cows, pigs, poultry), cereals (wheat, oats, barley) and vegetables (potatoes, livestock feed eg. mangold)4. Produce from the farm was sold locally and in Marlow and Henley. One activity on the farm was stone picking which he sold by the load4. Thomas was fatally injured in 1937 whilst milking at Fingest Farm. His son Albert took over the farm helped by his Uncle Amos who had retired from his carrier and omnibus business. Amos was an expert rick thatcher and in his younger days thatched ricks for local farmers5.
Bucks Free Press Account:
Extracts from Thomas Prince’s Farm Accounts
£ s d
1910 Nov 5 Sold 4 pigs to Mr Bond at 20s each 4 0 0
Oct 15 Paid for stone picking 7 6
Oct 29 Paid for stone picking 2 6
1911 Feb 9 Took for stones 8. 15 0
Mar 4 Sold 1 ton 9 cwt 3qrs of hay to
Breakspere at £4 per ton 5 19 0
In addition to the buildings mentioned above there was a corrugated iron cart shed, calving shed, machine shed, three pigsties, bull shed, two-bay cattle shelter and stabling for four horses. There was also a timber garage built by Albert to house his taxi (see “Finest Unforgotten – Carriers: Goods and People). In 1946 the farm was let on a yearly Michaelmas tenancy at a rental of £82 with a Tithe Redemption Annuity of £16 14s 11d and Land Tax of £1 6s 6d per annum6. Albert purchased Fingest Farm in 1946 when the Parmoor Estate was sold. He married Jessie Harman the same year.
William “Bill” Tapping was a small-holder farming in the 1930s7. He and his wife lived in Chequers Lane in a property, Glebe Farm, attached to the barn. The house is now called Glebe Barn and the attached barn has been converted into three residential properties8. During WW II Bill Tapping was a sergeant in the local Home Guard9. In the early 1950s he was the chairman of Wycombe District Council and then chairman of its planning committee1.
Mousells Barn Small-holding consisted of 37 acres of land and a partly weather-boarded barn with yard. During the first half of the 20 Century it was farmed by a number of farmers; Ken Tapping brother to Bill Tapping of Glebe Farm1 and Thomas Collier who kept pigs in the barn. The Michaelmas tenancy was £40 per annum with a Tithe Redemption Annuity of £17 17s. 0d. and Land Tax of £1 1s. 6d. At the time of the sale of the Parmoor Estate in 1946 it was let to a Mr. Fryer of Marlow6.
In 1931 Dennis Montefiore of The Old Rectory operated Fingest Egg Farm7. It was situated in the field next to The Old Rectory opposite Fingest Farm (see map below). In 1936 he built Tingehurst and moved there with his family. In recent years Tingehurst has been altered and extensively added to. It is now known as Fingest Manor10.
In 1936/37 Joe and Grace Robinson from North End became tenants at Murrage Farm Smallholding1,11 (owner Mr. Gray). Their son, Leslie, took over the running of the smallholding in 1945 following his demobilization from the army. He married Evelyn in 1949. They kept a herd of milking cattle and chickens selling the eggs to the Egg Marketing Board. Sadly, a fire in 1952 destroyed the old thatched barn and the two adjoining cowsheds. The barn housed the milking parlour with a new milking machine, equipment and stock feed all of which was destroyed.
William Cook was listed as farming at Hill Farm, Cadmore End in the 1930s7, which at that time was in Fingest Parish but outside the village. The present Fingest ecclesiastical parish was established in 1976 and does not include Hill Farm.
- Personal Communication
- Fingest Unforgotten, Map and Location References, 3a and 3b
- Henley-on-Thames Archaeological & Historical Group, Report No. 17/1984
- Thomas Prince’s Farm Accounts 1910 to 1919
- David and Mary Hussey’s Farm Accounts and Diary 1869 to 1882
- The Parmoor Estate, Sale Catalogue 1946
- Kelly’s Directory of Buckinghamshire, 1931
- Fingest Unforgotten, Map and Location Reference, 10
- Fingest Unforgotten, Home Guard
- Fingest Unforgotten, Map and Location Reference, 1
- Fingest Unforgotten, Map and Location Reference, 28
- Kelly’s Directory of Buckinghamshire, 1911
- Tom Wintringham, Picture Post 16th December, 1944, The HOME GUARD’S last parade
(Hulton Press ltd., London)
Fingest Farms: 1900 to 1947 V-1