Farmworkers' cottage with family history

Farmworkers' cottages by their very nature tend to have rural settings and uninterrupted countryside views.

Tuesday, 15th November 2016, 12:00 pm
Updated Thursday, 7th June 2018, 8:16 pm

Here in the South Downs National Park at Racton, one such cottage also has a third of an acre of garden and comes with a slice of country life history.

The house, which spans a generous 1300 sqft, has been lived in by generations of the Daniels family since it was built in 1948.

Originally, water was pumped up from the well, which is still at the back of the property, before running water and electricity arrived in the early 1950s.

Granddaughter Zena, the current owner, takes up the story: “The pair of Ems Cottages were originally built as show houses on land donated by the Earl of Dartmouth. Fortunately the tenant farmer was able to use them for his farmworkers and my grandparents were given the chance to move into No.2.”

Zena’s grandfather, Jack, had learnt to plough the land with heavy horses, winning trophies at ploughing matches.

He received the ‘Long Service Medal’ from the Queen and then an additional ‘Bar’ from the Duchess of Gloucester for clocking up 57 hard and loyal years working on Racton Park Farm.

Alfred ‘Jack’ Daniels and his wife Elsie lived happily together in the cottage for many years, celebrating their Golden Wedding anniversary there.

“My father, John Daniels (also known as ‘Jacker’) was 21 when they moved into the cottage from the neighbouring ‘New’ farm cottages where he’d been born. Jacker became a shepherd at Racton Park Farm until his retirement when he also received a ‘Long Service Medal’ for devoted service on the land,” said Zena, who now lives with at the cottage with her husband, Mark Finley, and their daughter, Cassie.

“We have spent many happy and memorable times with our family and friends – times spent playing in the fields, looking after and raising various animals from ponies to chickens, ducks, rabbits and the occasional sickly lamb.”

The cottage has been considerably modernised and improved over the years to include a ground floor extension which provides an additional reception room and a utility room.

There are now three reception rooms and three bedrooms, one of which has a staircase up to the carpeted loft space where a Velux window overlooks countryside to Racton Monument.

No.2 Ems Cottages is now on the market with Henry Adams at £575,000 but buyers will need to have already be living in the National Park for the past three years, or working there by order of section 157(3) of the Housing Act 1985.

For more information, contact Steve Tickner at Henry Adams on 01243 533377 or email [email protected]

Zena said: “Fortunately for us, there have only ever been treasured memories in this wonderful place. One lucky family will have the good fortune to enjoy living in such a loving home.”