The Larkfield Historical Society

Where memories are recalled

Church Farm History

Church Farm formed part of the ”Larkfield Estate” established at the end of the 19th Century by Samuel Lee-Smith

He lived in ”Larkfield Hall” a ragstone Victorian house roughly opposite Larkfield Fire Station. The ragstone wall still marks the boundary, with the remains of the two access points were the wall goes in.

Lee -Smith was the Grandson of William Lee of Holborough Court, Snodland and he was a local cement manufacturer.(Holborough Court was demolished pre-second World War) . Lee-Smith a bachelor was a J.P. a Parish and County Councillor. He died on 6th September 1923 and is buried in Holy Trinity Churchyard. His grave is marked by a Celtic cross.

He left his estate to his brother who sold it, the Auction particulars show it was split up into lots. The part owned by the Parish Council is what was left of the farm after the M20 cut through in the late 1960’s.

The site of ”Larkfield Hall” and its grounds is occupied by the “Trees Estate”

When the Parish Council took over the land, the main farm buildings were is a poor state. The building closest to the road was converted into the Parish office and committee room; followed by the conversion of Church Farm hall; and lastly the Granary. it is thought that the Granary was built later than the other two buildings.

 

The last farmers were the Offen and Chapman family.

 

Anyone with recollections of the farm when it operated, photos or documents please let David Thornewell know. He can be contacted on 01732 847415

 

 

© The Larkfield Historical Society 2015-2017