The History of a Farmhouse


Forncett has a wealth of listed buildings, among which are many historically important farmhouses. The stories of these farmhouses, and the people who lived in them over the centuries, constitute a significant part of the history of the parish. With invaluable help from two of William Thurston's grandchildren we have recently compiled the fascinating story of one of these farmhouses - Corner Farm in Forncett End (now known as Corner House Farm).

The story starts in the early 1800s with the Palmer family, including Thomas Palmer who later lived at Austhorpe House (see last month's History Group article) but it centres on William Thurston who farmed here from around 1914 to 1940. A marvellous collection of photographs (example below) gives a picture of farming in Forncett at this time. 

Left to right - William Thurston, two farm workers, Jack Thurston and Harry Thurston (about 1922).

To read the full story go to Corner Farm - Forncett End, where you can also listen to recordings of William's son Ted talking about driving cattle to market and getting the horse-drawn fire engine from Long Stratton to put out a barn fire!

We hope to document the histories of many more Forncett farmhouses in the future.

Mike Merrick