Winsham Web Museum


Heron House & Bridge Farm

September 2000
Heron House is the farmhouse for Bridge Farm, the actual Bridge Farm House being let to non-farming tenants. At this date the farm is purely livestock (sheep and beef) and measures 50 acres (Bridge Farm) and 17 acres (Heron House) the two parts being divided by the Waterloo to Exeter railway line built in the 1860s. 27 acres of Forde Abbey Estate land - Ammerham Meadows - formerly part of Ammerham Farm is tenanted and summer keep is leased from Forde Abbey (29 acres this year). Bridge Farm was formerly a tenanted dairy farm belonging to the Leigh Estate and was sold out of the estate in 1919. Livestock consists of 350 North Country Mule ewes and some 550 lambs and a mixed herd of some 25 suckler beef cows and their calves. Land is permanent pasture or grass ley with occasional forays into whole crop silage, stubble turnips and kale between leys
Heron House was formerly The Knap Inn, an angler's inn for fishermen seeking sport on the River Axe and as such is mentioned in Pulman 's Book of the Axe. At the time of this early "Good Food Guide" plaudit, the landlord was William Bonfield of the well- known local family. In the 1890s William Bonfield transferred the license to the newly built Victoria Hotel in Chard and The Knap Inn became simply The Knap. In the early part of the 20th Century The Knap belonged to Cornish Henley of Leigh House who used it as a retreat and would retire there with his butler presumably to escape the business pressures involved in running the Leigh Estate. It remained as The Knap until changed to Heron House by Captain and Mrs Warren in the 1940s. Major and Mrs Loveluck bought the house in 1954 and the house is currently occupied and the land farmed by their daughter and son-in-law. Heron Cottage (adjacent), formerly a gardener's cottage is now a private house and has recently been enlarged



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This page revised 15 February 2004