Gaol Farm Barling

Extract from ‘The History of Rochford Hundred – History of Barling’ by Philip Benton of Wakering Hall 1867 [p.24]

There exists very conclusive evidence that the dean and chapter in this parish exercised the power of Infangtheof and Utfangtheof (so called In Anglo Saxon), or the right of lords of manors to have a gallows and execute robbers. The privilege conferred was sometimes known as "Furca and Fossa" (the gallows and pit), in reference to the mode of execution, the men by hanging, and women by drowning.

At a small farm called the "Gaol" which (although freehold) pays a quit rent to the manor of Barling Hall, is "a small ancient building of ragstone, about the date of the latter part of the 15th century, with a flat-pointed doorway, and mullioned windows." This, Mr. King  (who visited the place in 1865)  supposes to have been the Manorial Court-house,  and the field upon Mucking Hall called "Gallows Field," corroborates his conclusions.

There was likewise from 1719 to a late period, a house rated as "Gallas, Galous, or  Galus" the site of which cannot now be identified. He sent an account of this discovery to the editor of "The Essex and West Suffolk Gazette" and "doubts whether another example of an ancient Manorial Court-house exists within the limits of this county."

According to tradition this gallows stood in a field on Mucking Hall, near the foot-path from Barling to Rochford, leading to the wood in Shopland. The place where this was erected is said to have been in a hollow, upon the side of the hill, where the poor wretches could command a view of their native land once more,  before the fatal cart moved forward, leaving them suspended a spectacle and a warning to other criminals. * Old men who have not long since departed could remember Cutts, of Sutton, (who, if living, would be 140 years old) who used to relate that he could remember the posts. The records relating to these things are probably to be found in London. Near this spot used to be a famous spring called Redberry Well, which was in much repute: 1 it is now filled up, and the water conveyed to the brook by means of a landitch of pipes.  In this field near the brook, a few years ago, were dug up several earthen jars, containing bones.

* There were serious punishments in vogue in Barling, as late as 1775. When Isaac Inous settled his accounts as churchwarden, " it is directed with the overplus due to the parish, a pair of stocks and whipping post be bought. Stocks, of which a specimen is still extant in Little Wakering, are called the drunkard's pillory. Jeremiah mentions the punishment (which he suffered)  chap. 20,  more than 600 years before Christ. The great Solon of Athens alludes to them.  In our own country the incumbent of  Lymington, Wolsey (afterwards Cardinal), for getting drunk at a fair, was placed in them, by the orders of Sir Amias Paulet, a reformer of morals.

1 Green's balloon fell in this bog, about 40 years ago. The National school children were returning in waggons from the anniversary at Rochford, and ran delighted through the fields to witness the novelty.

Jail Farm Heritage

Extract from ‘The History of Rochford Hundred – History of Barling’ by Philip Benton of Wakering Hall 1867 [p.37]

Bays and Wallets" (arable, two acres, one rood, twenty-four poles), adjoining the road leading from Barling to Little Wakering, was sold in 1800 to Mr. William Meakens, of Habathalls, for £75. This was added to some property he possessed near the vicarage, upon which was a residence, which his son James Meakens afterwards enlarged. It is now in the Hilliard family.

This Farm, now called the “Jail”, * but in the old deeds Barbours and Spotylls, otherwise Coal farm, and in the rate books of the last century Hawkers, was the property (circa 1700) of Edward Hawker 1 of Much Baddow, who left a son and heir, Edward, whose wife was Elizabeth Hall. This Edward Hawker left three daughters co-heiresses. One of them, Anne, married the Rev. Charles Cowley, of Chignal Saint James, in Essex, who left an only daughter, Honoria Mary Cowley, who became the wife of the Rev. Thomas Clarke, of Westbury, Buckinghamshire. A hatchment of the Hawkers is extant in Great Baddow church. This farm, which was then tenanted by Daniel Phillips 2, was purchased by him at the New Ship Inn, Rochford, in 1805, for £1710, (the auctioneer being Robert Baker). At the death of Mrs. James Phillips (his son’s wife) in 1833, it was sold to Mr Kernot for £1530. In 1725 it was tenanted by “Jareymiha Brabey or Bravery,” and John Cause held it previously to Mr. Phillips. To account for this farm, which had long been noted for its fertility, receding in value, a potash 3 manufactury was in existence at the time of Mr. Phillip’s purchase, the exhausted ashes of which called “Ash lip”, after the alkali has been withdrawn, is a capital fertilizer. The ruins on this property have before been alluded to. During some repairs consequent upon Mr. Kernot's purchase, executed by Isaac Francis, carpenter, some human bones were dug up, during the construction of a stable. No inquest was held, but they were accounted for in a way, unconnected with antiquity. The head was missing, and old gossips remembered the disappearance of a boy, whose age answered to the size of the skeleton, and whose death, it was rumoured, was caused by unfair means. The place where the remains were found was under the whiting shed, where formerly stood a pigstye.

* This farm pays a fee farm rent to Barling Hall manor. As a general rule they were Grown lands originally. A fee farm rent is recoverable, if not paid, or even demanded for any number of years, as the law knows no limit for Crown rents.

1 Hawker had an estate in Foulness. (See Morant).

2 Daniel Phillips died in 1814, during the great frost. The body being frozen, and the roads blocked up by snow, he was not buried until three weeks after death.   He was a man of great size, and his coffin is immense.

3 For an account of potash manufacture see Rochford.


Extract from ‘The History of Rochford Hundred – History of Barling’ by Philip Benton of Wakering Hall 1867 [p.39])

Blewhouse, the residence of Mr. Hudson, is mentioned in 1719, when it was rated at £2 10s. Its owners are not clearly defined, but it was tenanted with Walkers in 1755 by George Vassal. There was formerly a small marsh belonging to it; and the meadow in front was at one time part of Walkers. The front rooms were erected by the late Mr. James Phillips. To prevent mistakes on the part of antiquaries, it is as well to state that the stone wall dividing the garden and meadow was erected from the surplus materials, after the recent enlargement of the church-yard.

Barling & Wakering Heritage

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