Q. I am helping the local allotments research the history of their site – I was wondering if your society has any details relating to Red Hill Farm, Burr Field, which I have found on the 1851 census. Robert Allen is the farmer and the land was owned at that time by the Townshend family (Lord/Viscount Sydney family).
I wonder if you have any details about the Allen family or old photos of the farm or details of when the farm was sold?
A. One of our History Group members has been researching the agricultural files of the Marsham Townshend Estate and was able to ‘unearth’ the following:
According to the 1843 Tithe record Robert Allen Senior was renting over 69 acres of land in Chislehurst from John Robert Townshend, and Robert Allen was renting over 72 acres from same. You can see this and more details on the Chislehurst Tithe record in local studies. A Thomas Allen was also a tenant of the Townshends according the Orpington Tithe of 1843. He rented almost 35 acres of mostly arable land.
I found Robert Allen in the 1851 census living at Red Hill Farm. In the 1861 census a George Denny, retired Master Mariner is living at Red Hill Farm, his son is an East India merchant. I found George Denny in the Greenwich Archives with his ship!
A 1915 reference to Red Hill Farm in Chislehurst comprising 30 acres pasture being rented by CU Fisher from Marsham-Townshends. You can see this in the Marsham Townshend papers ref 1080/1/1/5/15.
We were also able to provide a photograph of the farm.