Built circa 1875. The original thatched farmhouse was destroyed by fire in 1953
when Geoffrey Varley was using parafin to light the fire whilst his family slept upstairs. It was rebuilt to
present specifications that same year by Harris of Martham. Constructed of rendered brick, scored to imitate
ashlar. Gabled roof clad with concrete pantiles. Two storeys.
Ruinous three-stead barn of the late 19th century, with a full-length outshut to
the south, either side of the south transept. red brick laid in Flemish bond. Originally thatched, but now has no
roof. The north cart entrance has been bricked in; the west gable wall fell out in 1992 and has been consolidated.
The north side has the remains of three iron-framed windows either side of the entrance, probably of the 1930's. A
granary abuts to the east gable.
Granary abutting the east gable of the main barn. Late 19th century. Nearly
ruinous. red brick laid in Flemish bond. Gabled roof to which adheres clumps of thatch. Two storeys. The north
front has a wide carriage doorway and a plank loading door above. the south side has an outshut with two rooms,
each with plank doors but without roofs.
Inside are square-section bridging beams and joists supporting the grain floor. A
doorway leads into the cartshed abutting to the east.
Cartshed, not yet ruinous. Red brick laid in Flemish bond under a gabled roof.
Roof is clad with thatch. One storey. the north side has three open bays, defined by square timber posts. There is
an outshut to the rear and minor tumbling in the east gable. Remains of stockyard to south. the interior is a rough
roof of tree-trunk rafters.
Families Who Lived at Fords Farm.
1875 Johnathan RIBBANDS, farm Bailiff to B.J. CUDDON-FLETCHER of Somerton and
Little Waxham, who was farming Fords Farm
1890 J. DURRANT - farmer and bailiff
1894 H. GRIMSON
1900 William Ransom MYHILL
1905 - 1913 John Henry BURTON
1915 William George LINFORD
1922 William George LINFORD
1926 William George LINFORD - with sons Harry and Dick
1929 Mrs Clara LINFORD
1936 LINFORD brothers
1947 Mr John PRATT
1950 Mr POLES lived in the house - Dairy herd. Calor gas lights in
1954 George YOUNGS had Street Farm,
but farmed Fords Farm
1959 Electricity installed
Geoffrey VARLEY lived at house before taking on the Nelson Head
As part of our Horsey Memories, Sam Warnes
of Martham, recalled this story concerning Fords Farm:
"In about 1943 old Hubert Pratt, took over the hire of Fords Farm at Horsey, for his son John
to run; Starlings had run the farm till then.
The farm house had to be done up, and I spent some time over there , doing a bit of
brickwork and such like to trim the place up, a Mr and Mrs Powles were living there then and Mr Powles worked
for John Pratt feeding cattle and such.
One day I was working on building a new fire back in the kitchen fire place, and Ted
Gotts from Repps was working in the barn, there had been a problem with the water pump that was used to lift
water from the well, which is built in the barn floor . Old Ted was a real tradesman, and would have no
problem making bits up that were needed if he had to, the well was not too deep, and the water was crystal
clear. which is a bit of luck considering the sea with salt water is not too far away. I doubt this is the
case today , with so much chemical being put on the land instead of real manure; I bet the water is
contaminated, and would need to be purified.
During the morning I had a chat with Ted and then got on with my job , a bit later I
came out to mix a drop of cement up, and old Ted was sitting on the barn floor, as white as a sheet, he
looked terrible. I asked what was wrong, and he said "nothing to worry about, I was on the ladder down the
well fixing the pipe back to the wall, and came over dizzy and felt sick so I climbed out", he said "do me a
favour Sam, just nip down that ladder and screw that pipe back to the wall and the jobs done and I can go
Just then, Harry Page from Somerton turned up with an old truck, with some Land Army
Girls on board, to do some work on the farm. They soon sorted old Ted out, Mrs Powles brought some tea out ,
and he started to look a bit better.
I climbed down the ladder into the well, and started fixing this pipe
The next thing I knew, was laying on the barn floor soaking wet, with these Land Army Girls around me, my head was
spinning round I was sick and had no idea where I was or what had happened. After a while I came to my senses, and
it soon sank in what had happened to Ted and me.
For some reason or another some sort of gas had crept into the well and settled at the
lower level; there was no smell that I can recall when I was down there, clearly I was breathing it in and
passed out. Luckily for me, Harry Page and old Ted were there to pull me out. After a few hours my head
cleared, and I started to come home on my bike, I still felt queer, and along the track I saw Jack King ,
Ernie Kings brother, he said he was then going to Martham with this horse and cart and he would give me a
lift. Well, it seemed a good idea at the time, but first he had to round up a calf off a marsh there and get
it onto the cart, this took ages, then he had to call in at Hall Farm to get a net to put over the cart to
stop the calf jumping off, the horse plodded along to Martham - it seemed I could have walked quicker, but I
got home safe and sound in the end.
Sam obviously did a good job on the well, as it was in use until mains water was laid to the
farm, in 1996!