Country houses for sale

The history of a Cotswold town house

Coalyard Farm is a picturesque Georgian town house situated on the outskirts of the market town of Northleach in the Cotswolds. First built in the late 18th century, but rebuilt in the early 19th century, the house was formerly part of the Sherborne estate and can be traced back to the very first owners who moved in during the 1780s.

Records show that the first occupant of the house, in the 1780s, was James Hall and the property was part of the Sherborne estate, in the hands of James Dutton, 1st Baron Sherborne. By the 1820s, when James Dutton died and the estate passed to his son, John Dutton, 2nd Baron Sherborne, the house had become the home of Mr. Charles Hall. The estate survey in 1820 recorded that Charles Hall not only occupied Coalyard Farm, but also worked over 100 acres of surrounding land, including ‘What Further Ground’, limekiln and the mill.

Coalyard Farm then disappeared from records towards the end of the 1820s and it is clear that it was at this time the house was rebuilt and the house we see today was constructed. By the end of the 1830s, Coalyard Farm reappeared in the records and had become the home of Mr. James Walker. The 1841 census gives further details of Mr Walker, who was recorded as ‘coal dealer’ and lived in the house with his 65 year old mother, Mary. By the time of the 1851 census, James had married Ann and they had four children, and the house was also the home of James’s assistant, John Taylor and two live-in servants.

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James Walker continued his successful business at Coalyard Farm during the mid to late 19th century, while also expanding his farming interests, and dealing in seed. The 1861 census shows that he was employing 18 men, 4 women and 6 boys and the Gloucestershire directories in the 1870s record him as a ‘corn, seed and coal merchant and farmer’. James Walker passed away in 1883 at the age of 74 and after his wife passed away in 1899, Coalyard Farm passed to their son Thomas. However, by the early 1900s Coalyard Farm was in the hands of John Osborne Taylor.

The Taylors of Northleach were also a prominent local family as the brewers and maltsters in the village. Thomas Taylor was the landlord at the Wheatsheaf Hotel, while Taylor & Co. were the owners of the Cotswold brewery, recorded in the Gloucestershire Directory as ‘maltsters, wine & Spirit merchants and aerated water manufacturers’. John’s son, Thomas Taylor was recorded in the house in 1918, but a few years later it had become the home of Mr. John Barlett.

In 1925, John Bartlett still occupied the house and land, but in September the freehold of the house and surrounding land was put up for auction. The house was sold, but few documents survive to give details of the later events in the history of Coalyard Farm.

Today, Coalyard Farm is Grade II listed and has recently undergone extensive refurbishment to create a high quality 21st century home.

** For more details on Coalyard Farm

** To read the full history visit my blog – The House Historian

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