Debdale Farm

Debdale Farm (by George Walker)

The now converted and modernised farmhouse and buildings are situated off Kings Road just 100 yards along Corn Hill Lane.

The property is contained in a rectangular area of 1 acre of land, with the farm house on the left of the yard entrance, and on the right is what was a shippon building for cattle with a hay loft above.

On entering the yard, to the left lay a long pond, and at the top of the yard was a long building used probably as the stable and proven store for feeding stuffs.

In the middle of this barn on the right hand side was a large doorway some 15 feet high where horse drawn wagons could be backed in for the purpose of unloading hay into the lofts on each side of this doorway.

This building appears to have been older than the shippon building, having old original hand cut roof beams.

The dating of the farm is not specific as it appears on the Yates 1786 map as a part of a large farming estate; however it is later named on an OS map of 1875.

The farms acreage might have been around 50 acres up to the 1870's.

The access to the farm originally would have been from Debdale Lane, prior to the 1870’s there was no Kings Road.

The Manchester Corporation Water Works constructed Kings Road as an access during the building of the reservoirs in the 1880’s.

In the late 1980' s the now North West Water Authority sold off the properties on Corn Hill Lane, and a private developer purchased Debdale Farm house and buildings and converted them into separate dwellings. The pond was filled in.

During the course of alterations to the farmhouse the developer uncovered an early cruck frame.

Cruck frames are difficult to date as they were used in earlier times for construction up to around the 16th century.

This could lead to a possible time of construction for Debdale Farm.

This was probably a part arable and grassland farm, because of the shippon and stalls milk cows would have been a major source of income.

However it is reasonable to assume that not much farming would have taken place after the formation of Denton Golf Club in 1909, when much of the land at Debdale Farm would have been absorbed in the construction of the new golf course

 

Please click on the thumbnail image to enlarge:




Barn (converted) Farmhouse (converted)

 

Debdale Farm, the farmers (by Anthony Steven)

A look at the census returns from 1841 to 1901 shows that just two families occupied Debdale Farm over the period.  The Moss family are enumerated from 1841 to 1871 and it is assumed they left the farm sometime during the next ten years as the Higginbottom family are enumerated there from 1881 to 1901.  It seems likely that the Moss family farmed at Debdale Farm for some years prior to 1841 and some of the children were born at Debdale in the early 1830s though it should be considered that they may have been at another site in the area.
In 1841 William Moss is shown with his wife, 6 daughters and 4 sons.  The 1851 census shows him as a farmer of 44 acres employing 2 labourers and his wife, 7 daughters, 3 sons and a farm labourer are shown with him.  By 1861 he is a farmer of 50 statute acres employing 2 men and 1 boy.  With him are again his wife, 5 daughters and 1 son.  1871 shows him as a farmer of 48 acres employing 1 labourer and this time his wife, 3 daughters, 2 sons and a granddaughter are living at Debdale Farm.
Ten years later in 1881 the Higginbottom family are now at the farm with William Higginbottom a farmer of 70 acres employing 1 man, his wife Maria, 3 daughters, 4 sons and a domestic servant.  The next return in 1891 lists Maria Higginbottom, a widow, as a farmer and also her 2 daughters, 1 son, a visitor aged 3 years and a farm servant.  Maria Higginbottom appears to have died before the 1901 census on which William Higginbottom is enumerated as a farmer and listed with 2 sisters and a farm servant (boy).  Williams age and those of the 2 sisters identify them as the children of William and Maria.
Slater’s Directory of 1909 shows the occupant of Debdale Farm as Wm Higginbottom giving the possibility that only two families were at Debdale Farm for about 100 years.