Sponsoring the Kestrel
BTO Bird Atlas
Hilltop Farm Holidays
Welbourn, Lincolnshire LN5 0QH
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The History of your Self catering Cottage and Barn Retreat
The original cow byre is still intact and all the bricks have been reassembled into the small cottage. The traditional three bay barn is a complete reconstruction and has been developed in the past ten years in the field where brick workers cottages used to stand but have now been demolished and are covered with trees.
Welbourn Parish had 139 inhabited houses and 12 uninhabited in 1871 with a total of 320 males and 357 females. By 1881 the population had fallen to 550 and ten years later it is recorded at 546. The current population is not much larger since it has not suffered from tack-on development and the village retains its historic character, with village green and village pond, post office and pub.
In 1871 Hill Top Cow Cottage was occupied by Thomas Carter, a brick and tile journeyman (labourer) and his wife Mary. By 1891 an agricultural labourer born in Metheringham named William Thorpe (57) was at Hill Top Cottage with his wife Sarah (56), born in Owmby, Mary Eva Thorpe continued to live in the cottage until some time before World War 1, subsequently living the remainder of her long life in the village of Welbourn. Her family was succeeded by a smallholder, Edward Graves, who occupied the cottage and surrounding land until 1975. At that time of agricultural industrial development, the land was held to be derelict, with little farming potential since the wildlife consumed too much of the crops and the lie of the land precluded field enlargement. This both ‘saved’ this fine corner of Lincolnshire from destruction and created the opportunity for the current owner, whose family has farmed on the Lincoln Heath for over 100 years, to develop the area for its natural beauty and its wildlife. The derelict cottage was renovated and enlarged into a fine house, set in 20 acres of conservation area and surrounded by farmland beyond.
The sunken Soggin Lane indicates a centuries-old history of usage as a cart track, passing alongside the current house and barn. Its junction with the Heath Lane would be a logical stopping place. With Roman remains being widely found in the immediate vicinity we are confident that visitors will be sleeping on a historic site occupied for at least 2000 years!
The Welbourn Enclosure Award in April 1781 records a tiny area of 35 perches (about one fifth of an acre) on the current site, Although the map does not show a dwelling, it seems highly likely that the separate ownership of such a small area indicated there may have been one there. Because of the nature of the site, with good water supply and some shelter from the wind due to the lie of the land, it is likely that a house stood on the site of Hill Top Farm at some stage prior to 1861. It is said that Hilltop Cow Cottage, as it was known at the time of the 1891 Census, was built from bricks thrown off the wagon on its way along Soggin Lane from the nearby brick pit, now a secluded nature reserve, for the enjoyment of resident visitors.