Birchensale Farm


SP 02670 68195

Low Field Ln, Redditch, Worcestershire B97 6QB,

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Pre-New Town Location

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Norman Neasom, a well known Redditch author and artist, was born and grew up on "Birchensale Farm". Situated on the outskirts of Redditch in Worcestershire, the name "Birchensale" dates back to Roman times and means 'Birches on the Saltway' as the monks from the nearby Bordesley Abbey used to carry the salt from Droitwich back to Bordesley over the land where the farm was later built. It is no longer a working farm and the land that was farmed all those years ago has given away to an expansive development of private housing estates. The old farm house and barn still exist but have been renovated after years of neglect and are now used as a local community centre. Norman has gained success and recognition as a professional watercolour painter in the intervening years since leaving "Birchensale", but has never forgotten his roots. This account is a fond memory of farming how it used to be in a world very different from the world we live in now.

Farmhouse, now house. Late C18 with mid-C19 alterations and additions.  Brick with-in tiled roof. Two storeys, attic and cellar; dentilled  eaves cornice; three bays; window openings have flat heads and windows  have been replaced by ones with boldly detailed mullions and transoms;  outer bays have 3-light windows on both floors; central first floor cross- casement; central entrance has a C19 gabled porch with pierced scalloped  bargeboards and moulded finial; pointed archway and loopholes in side  elevations; half-glazed door within. Attic lights in gable ends. Interior:  some large main ceiling beams exposed. Large fireplace to rear left.  Original wing to rear left encloses large chimney. Also C19 additions at rear.

BIRCHENSALE FARM, once covered some 200 acres between Brockhill Woods and Salter's Lane, Redditch but today only the farmhouse and barn (grade 2 listed buildings) now survive, the surrounding land having been recently developed as the Brockhill Estate.

Following the dissolution of the monasteries in 1539, what had been Bordesley Abbey land became part of the Hewell Estate, and it is believed that the first Birchensale farmhouse, later replaced, was built soon afterwards, around the time of Elizabeth I, since Elizabethan two-inch bricks were discovered in the pigsty some years ago.

In the early part of the nineteenth century Birchensale was tenanted by Thomas Sarsons, then by William Neasom, who a partner, Percy White, in 1856 founded the firm of Estate Agents and Auctioneers  in Redditch, Neasom and White.

In 1946 Birchensale Farm was bought for £7,000, by Wiilams gradson, Arthur Neason, Arthur's son was Norman Neasom, who grew up on the farm with his brother Paddy, and who became an art lecturer and illustrator, living in Redditch.

Source: A Hundred Years In Tardebigge – The Revd Alan White

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