Barling & Wakering Heritage - Jail (Gaol) Farm

Jail Farm, Barling


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.

‘Gaol’ Farm, Barling – 1881 Census

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

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