Road leading from the main road to Cowdown
It appears that Cowdown, consisting of a farmyard, pond, and two cottages, was never an independent farm, because none of the censuses record the inhabitants as being 'farmer'. Also, no maps or plans appear to show a farmhouse there.
Any mentions of the relationship appear to indicate it as part of Manor Farm - see Baring Sale 1920 below.
This makes sense as the Cowdown area starts near the village in sight of the original Manor formerly on the Dever and Barron Close sites.
In feudal times the farms were in the village. Mainly at the time of the Enclosures, new outlying farmsteads appeared - New Down, Borough Down, Hunton Down, etc, presumably to house more workers and recently invented implements, closer to or on newly enclosed land and outlying areas with more arable and stock. Cowdown Farm could be one of these. It could also suit siting anti-social features such as piggeries and middens away from the village. It is noticeable that in earlier times rabbits were kept as far away from the villages as possible - eg Micheldever Warren and Steventon Warren.
Downs were for sheep grazing - the Hampshire Down being the local breed. The only downs with animal designations are Cowdown - probably as the Southbrook flows through the area - cattle need water whereas sheep do not; and a Hogdown beyond Micheldever wood, possibly handy to woodland food - beech mast, acorns, etc.
Cowdown Cottages Inhabitants – 1871 - 1911
Census - heads of family and farm workers - Baring Estate
1871 MILES, Peter Ag Lab, MILES, William Son Ag Lab. LUNFEAR, Isaac - Head - Carter
1881 JAMES, Noah Shepherd JAMES, Thomas Son Shepherd.
COLE, George - Head - Agrl Labr COLE, William Agrl Labr MILES, Henry Lodger Agrl L
1891 HOLDER, Henry Carter Farm Servant. Deaf. PUMPHERY, William - Head
1901 COLE, Thomas General Laborer BATSON, George Robert Boarder Carter On Farm WHITE, Frank Gilbert Boarder General Laborer
1911 SEYMOUR Percy Stockman on Farm. BRAMBLE William Farm Labourer
1920 Baring Sale
To pay death duties the Barings sold off their property west of the A33 ie mainly Micheldever Parish
Lot 12, Manor and Cow Down Farm
Coloured pink on Plan 1. A total of 861 acres, 0 rood, and 38 perches, or 861.236 acres. It was let, together with Lot 33, a cottage and garden (in Duke St now owned by Peter Attwood), to Mr. W V Judd on a 14-year lease from Michaelmas 1916, determinable at Michaelmas 1923, by two years' notice. The rental income was £1,107.3s.0d.
Duke St, Manor Farm & Cowdown Farm
JUDD, W[illiam] V[ernon]
Lot 012. House & Farms, 861 acres.
Let to W V JUDD on 14 yr lease from 1916.
Cow Down Farmstead
Pair of double-fronted brick-built and slated cottages – Nos 1 and 2 Cowdown Cottages
Each with 2 bedrooms, a living room, a kitchen, and a pantry. Out premises are 2 wash-houses each with a brick oven, 2 privies, and a lean-to wood house. Windlass well. Gardens.
Farm Buildings -
Arranged around three sides of a 5-division yard, built principally of brick and flint with slated and tiled roofs. They comprise a fowl house, loose box, 3-bay open cattle shed, all brick paved, cart horse stable for 5, cobble paved, hay house, collar house, 3-bay open cattle shed, 2 loose boxes, three 4-bay open cattle sheds, two with loose boxes attached. Also a large double bay barn, lean-to implement shed, and 5-bay open cart shed. Yards are provided with brick and cement water troughs, galvanized iron water trough,s and 2 pumps.
Occupation since 1920
1920 - 1960s – not known
Date? Lord Rank (d.1972 aged 83) built up his Estate, including Cowdown Farm of course, very soon after the end of the war.
The 1939 Register - wartime substitute for census - shows the farm having a piggery; and the cottages: 1 Cowdown - Kirby family; 2 Cowdown - Fletcher family.
Hampshire Farm Developments (Peas) Limited operated the site (without cottages) from 1970 – rented from the Rank Estate.
TFK remembers a Jim Stefanzec lived in number 2 at the time, but not who was in number 1.
Wendy Pursey lived in No 1 1959-68 as a child - her father Mr Moody was a Rank gamekeeper. Then a Fletcher - farm worker lived there.
1981-88 Boucher lived in No 2 - his then wife was Suzy now Suzy Findley.
In 1999 the Peas company sold the farm & cottages.
Number 1 was bought by Giles & Lucy Stanford
Number 2 was bought by the Veldhuis family
No 1 - Mr & Mrs Lloyd
No 2 Mr &Mrs Wilkinson
Conveyance - Eagle Star Insurance Company to Hampshire Farm Developments (Peas) Limited for £18,500....
1. land and premises comprising part OS number 5227 with two cottages 1 & 2 thereon - edged red
2. all the land OS number 4820 shown on the plan and edged blue
1980 2 December
Planning Permission Winchester City Council to HFD (Peas) Ltd to develop the site as a pea /bean freezing plant
plus land edged red (original Cowdown Farm?) - permission to dispose of effluent from the plant per relevant Act ......blanching water from the freezing process ...essentially uncontaminated ... no hard detergent ... [plus various rules]
Farmyard, now Cowdown Business Park, possibly bought by Haynes Agricultural?
Buildings - some also used by other businesses
The eastern part developed as a mushroom farm.
Later a storage facility for high-value cars was built
Research by Hugh Sandars
Fenella Lloyd, No 1 Cowdown Cottages with copies of the 1979 and 1980 documents.
Tim Finn Kelcey (TFK) who ran the pea processing plant on the site.
Wendy Pursey and Suzy Findley.