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Long Lost Balls Farm

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Balls Farm was most probably demolished around the middle part of 1943,
as it stood directly in the path of the proposed Wormingford Airfield.

balls farm location
The 1825 map of the area shows three cottages along Balls Chase, no idea if these were demolished together with Balls Farm.

Aerial Photograph taken Novenber 1943

Balls, Ablongrove, Harveys Farm together with Woodhouse all demolished.

Redundant entrance,
Balls Chase leading to Balls Farm
Photographs taken by the RAF in June 1943
These buildings appear to have been abandoned for several years.

Very little is known about this property, apart from the references listed below:-

(a) Court Rolls of 1769 indicate, John Patterson as Landlord with Thomas Rayner as Tenant paying £3.8s rent annually
Ref: Ida Mcmasters Book page 138

(b) Philip Salmon, (b 1783) Widower. Married in Lt Bromley Church to Lydia Mills, 3rd April 1832 ( b 1792)
Later to be Tenant of Balls Farm as shown in Census returns for 1848 and 1851

daughter, Mary Salmon b1814 married John Newman

(c) Mount Bures Workhouse 1841.
The Poor House did not last long. It was sold by the Guardians
at the Sudbury Union to Mrs Mary Newman, wife of John Newman, miller, and daughter of Philip Salmon of Balls farm


(d)Whites Trade Directory 1848
Philip Salmon, Farmer

(e)Register of Electors County of Essex 1841/42

This seems to indicate the Salmons were tenant farmers. The owner being Joseph Wilkinson

(f)1851 Mount Bures Census
Philip Salmon b1783, so at this Census date he would have been 68

(g) 1861 Census, Phlip Salmon no longer at Balls farm

(h) History of Wormingford Airfield
" Wormingford was originally earmarked for an Eighth Heavy Bomb Group, being built by Richard Costain Ltd. and helped by a number of sub contractors during the period 1942/1943"
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RAF_Wormingford .
How could it have been in operation in 1942, when the Balls Farm photographed in June 1943, shows it still standing

(i) British History online
"In 1943 the airfield was extended to provide 3 runways, 2 hangars, 50 aircraft parking areas, and living quarters for 3,000 men"
This seems to be a more likely statement

(j)Ida McMaster in her bóok "Mount Bures Its Lands and its Peoples" makes only two references:-

Page 91:- No early records have been found for Balls Farm, they may well be with the War Department"
Page 104- see reference above (a) but with the addition of:- "Balls was demolished in 1942 for the war time airfield"

k)Arthur Bartholomew, Farmer
Recorded in 1911 Census, aged 40 married to Bertha
Son Alan together with Harriet Green, Mother in law
Recorded as farmer in the 1914 Kellys Trade Directory

Last known Tenant



Research Alan Beales 25/02/2017
updated 20/3/2017