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Wrightsbridge Rd map 1881 cleaned.jpg

The Quilters of Manor Farm

James Quilter senior was farming in Noak Hill as a tenant prior to 1919. When the opportunity to purchase land arose he was enthusiastic to buy. On the 5th June 1919 he purchased Manor Farm (Lot 8) and three further fields opposite on the north side of the Noak Hill Rd (Lot 13) for £2,650 with a further payment for timber of £210. Below is a copy a letter from the auctioneers confirming Quilters payment of £265 deposit. Some time after the sale Little Manor was built on the land to the north of the Noak Hill Rd and James Jnr lived there with his family. His parents lived in the main farmhouse at Manor Farm.

In 1946 Manor Farm was included in the compulsary purchase pursuant to the building of Harold Hill. The Quilters then leased back the farm buildings and the land that wasn't built upon. In addition they also rented from the LCC extra land between the Cow Pond and the Priory as well as Fields 165 and 166 which are two fields between Priory Rd and Hatters Wood. It seems this arrangement was made to make up for farmland lost under Harold Hill. Following James Quilter Jnr's death in the 1990's the Manor Farm tenancy was revoked and the land is now within Dagnam Park. The buildings have been sold off to private purchasers.

"James Quilter Jnr had a fierce reputation amongst the local kids, as a child I remember the punishment that he dished out if he happened to catch any of us trespassing. His favourite trick would be to roll us in the stinging nettles. He was the most fearsome of local farmers. If we saw him coming we would run like hell, every boy for himself. On one occasion whilst bird's nesting he captured me and Ray, my younger brother. I hid behind the little lad. Quilter grabbed him and gave him the nettle treatment, whilst that was going on I saw my chance and legged it. Later on when we both arrived home I berated him for not "running for it". I think he said he couldn't because I was holding his shoulders and hiding behind him, such is the loyalty of brothers, I have never forgiven him for this slander.

Later on in 1964 I met both Quilters when they travelled over to Wrightsbridge Farm, where I worked, to recover an escaped bull. Needless to say I was somewhat nervous of helping to capture the huge beast but it was quite passive. It was the only time I saw James Snr and he seemed pretty ancient to me, but then I was only sixteen. Some years after that I crept up to the farmhouse to ask James Jnr for permission to bird watch on his land. Looking back I was a bit stupid to think he might recognise me but of course with the number of young trespassers from Harold Hill that he had dealt with over the years he had no hope.

Anyway he never gave it a second thought before giving me permission. Somewhat surprised I realised I may just have had him wrong for the whole of my life up till then .....

Del Smith

Quilter letter 1919.jpg
Maylands Farm
Air Show Film Maylands

Maylands Farm House

Maylands Farm House 1981

A somewhat shy and rather inappropriate modern conservatory can be seen peeping around the corner.

On the bottom photograph the front elevation is shown with what could be a somewhat later large side addition. Today (2004) the extensive old farm buildings are the headquarters of The Maylands golf club and they include an Italian Restaurant. See bottome section regarding transition to Golf Club.

Below a map from 1896 and then the description taken from the 1919 auction catalogue

                                                                                LOT 1. MAYLANDS FARM

                                                                       THE FARM HOUSE.

Containing : Five Bed Rooms, Bath Room, hot and cold water. Lavatory Basin and W,C, Dinning Room, Drawing Room, Breakfast Room, Kitchen, Larder, Pantry, Cellar and detached Wood and Coal Sheds.


Comprising : Two-stall Nag Stable and Harness Room, Cart Horse Stable for Six, with Loft and Lean-to Hen House, Cow Stall accommodation for 44 Cows (including Cow Shed which has been converted by the Tenant into Loose Boxes and which he is under Agreement to return to its original condition if required to do so by an incoming Tenant), Coach House, Granary, large Barn used for Fodder or Mixing Room with Loft over, Lean-to Grain Pit, and Loose Box and large Waggon Lodge, together with Barn and open Sheds in Field No. 183.


Which each contain Three Bed Rooms, Sitting Room, Larder and Wash House, Wood and Coal Lodges and W. C.
The whole Farm comprising : 247a. Or. 39p. of Arable Pasture and Woodland.Let at Rents apportioned for the purpose of this sale as follows. 240a. Ir. 24p. of Arable and Pasture at a Rent of £262 per annum and 6a. 3r. 15p. of Woodland in hand (valued at £475 to be added to the Purchase Money.)

The Occupier was Mr. G. Gotheridge

The Outgoings : Tithe Rent Charge (Commuted Amount) £55 : 2s : 8d.
The Land Tax is Redeemed.
Mr. G. Gotheridge was the Purchaser paying £7,100 + £475 for the growing Timber

From 1919 Auction Catalogue


Maylands Aerodrome

Maylands Aerodrome in about 1935, the hangars in the foreground look new. In the background Maylands Farm (The Golf Club opened in 1936 ) The two cottages on the track to the club from the A12 were badly damaged by a parachute bomb during WW2. They were replaced after the war. Alongside the A12 on the left of the picture is the control tower and some offices. The Hangars in the foreground containing eight aircraft were destroyed in a catastrophic fire in 1940 and the airport was never used again. In the distance at the left hand top corner can be seen the houses of Kenilworth and Woodstock Avenues.

Information from Maylands Aerodrome 1928 -1940. by Anthony K Philpot. Ian Henry Publications. 2003

Please refer to this website to read a useful History of the Aerodrome

NEW 11MARCH 2023

Below is a link to an interesting video from the University of East Anglia Film Archive website. It's Exclusive B/W footage from  1932 of ''Sir Alan Cobham's Great Air Display'' held at Mayland's Aerodrome (aka Hillman's Aerodrome)


Sir Alan Cobham pioneering Aviator

Maylands Golf Club

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