Southwold Railway Trust Archive of Wenhaston

History Note #34: Farming

History Note #34: Farming
Farming: from 1086 to C20th

In the Domesday Book of 1086 Wenhaston had woodland for 110 swine and arable land for 10 ploughs. There were 30 pigs and 16 sheep in Mells. Sibton Abbey later owned Wenhaston Grange and used it as a sheep farm. Hemp and flax were grown, as in the Tithe Map of 1839 there appears two fields named Hemplands, six called Clay Pits and three Maltster Fields with one Kiln Ground, which would seem to indicate the owners’ occupations.

There were two windmills and one watermill in the parish dealing with corn products. In the Tithe Map of 1839 there were 260 arable fields and 130 pastures. Wheat and barley were grown and sugar beet first made its appearance at Laurel Farm in 1936.

In the 1841 Census Wenhaston showed 13 farmers and 114 farm workers but with the advent of machinery by 1861 farm workers numbered 53. Wenhaston Young Farmers Club was formed in 1938.