Jail Farm in 1960 was a 58 acre farm which was demolished between 1980 and 1982 by ‘Biff’ Rayner 1. Records as far back as 1060 first support the existence of a Jail associated with the farm. Where Mucking Hall joins Barling Road is an ordinary field with an extraordinary past. Known as Gallows Field, this is reputedly where men were hanged as Barling held the right of 'furca and fossa' - the right to hang the men and dip the witches. Condemned prisoners for this area were hung at Gallows Field until the late 18th century.
Blew House Cottage (Photo left courtesy Google Earth) exists today (2012) and is a Grade II listed building. It is a clapboard cottage which overlooks Gallows Field and together with its adjoining house are thought to be the oldest houses in Barling since a stone house near Jail Farm Cottage was knocked down.
Apparently, Bishop's Prison was near here and Mrs Watson's father was the last village constable and she remembers him taking men there handcuffed. More recently the prisoners from Chelmsford gaol were taken nearby to work the land where Ropers and Trumpions once stood backing on to the river.
Source: 1881 Census, PRO Ref: RG11/1772/87-94
There were 2 families living at ‘Gaol’ Farm in 1881
Charles C. FEWSTER, Occ: Land Surveyor Head M 37 Maldon, Essex
Matilda FEWSTER Wife M 37 Rochford, Essex
Louise E. FEWSTER, Occ: Scholar Daur - 10 Bermondsey, Surrey
Harry W. FEWSTER, Occ: Scholar Son - 6 Bermondsey, Surrey
Hartas C. FEWSTER, Occ: Scholar Son - 4 Bermondsey, Surrey
Blanche M. FEWSTER Daur - 2 Bermondsey, Surrey
Norah Q. FEWSTER Daur - 6 m Bermondsey, Surrey
Rosaline B. ROGERS, Occ: Merchants Wife Sister M 28 Maldon, Essex
Hannah FORSTER, Occ: Housemaid Serv - 16 Brixton, Surrey
George RAYNER, Occ: Ag Lab Head M 34 Great Stambridge, Essex
Elizabeth RAYNER Wife M 27 Barling, Essex
Lucy RAYNER, Occ: Scholar Daur - 10 Barling, Essex
George RAYNER, Occ: Scholar Son - 8 Barling, Essex
Arthur RAYNER, Occ: Scholar Son - 6 Barling, Essex
Alfred RAYNER, Occ: Scholar Son - 5 Barling, Essex
Frederick RAYNER Son - 2 Barling, Essex
1 Source: Phillip Burns - Oldbury Farm Manager