Mollett’s Farm has a recorded history going back to the early 17th century, but has moved with the times and is now most definitely part of the 21st century.
Although not listed, the farmhouse preserves an early-17th century timber-framed parlour bay with chamfered ceiling joists and a clasped-purlin roof structure to the east of its contemporary axial chimney. The rest of the original house is reputed to have been destroyed by fire in the mid-19th century. The site was formerly accessible only by a track from Friday Street to the east, which formed the boundary between Farnham parish to the south and Benhall to the north. At the time of the tithe survey in 1841 the farm was a modest tenanted holding of approximately 20 acres on the estate of Benhall Lodge. This was expanded to 60 acres over the following decades, as evidenced in the corresponding Census records.
An early map also shows how the field boundaries have changed over the years – reflecting the changing agricultural land-use and practices.
The barn to the west of the farmhouse is shown on the tithe map and retains at least one bay of early-17th century timber-framing to the north, but has otherwise been extensively rebuilt in recent years. Its thatched roof structure was unfortunately lost in the 1987 storm and has subsequently been replaced with a modern materials. There are however still many glimpses of its former life still remaining to be found inside.
Early photographs hint at how both the farmhouse and outbuildings once looked, whilst a surviving WWII-era poster shows the farm’s clear links with the community.
Whilst horses (most likely Suffolk Punch) clearly played an important role in the farm’s past, modern machinery is now regularly seen tending the crops on our land and in the adjacent fields. Crops currently include Wheat, Barley, Oil Seed Rape, Potatoes and Maize – often requiring dedicated and specialist machinery to tend and harvest.