. Walnut Tree Farm is situated in Walnut Tree Road, at the entrance to the village. This more recent name alludes to a stand of walnut trees that grew adjacent to the Hitchin Road. It is a large farmhouse, built in the seventeenth century and having undergone much reconstruction in the eighteenth century. Walnut Tree Farm, part of the Hitchin Priory Estates, had been farmed by tenant farmers such as the Franklins until it passed into private ownership in 1997. Its recent history is typical of many of Pirton’s farms. The land has been sold and the barns and out-buildings converted into luxury private houses
Highdown House was built on high ground by Thomas Docwra in 1612. Its adjacent farmyard, seen here, replaced the one attached to Middle Farm in Docklands, when it was burnt down in the 1860s. Highdown ,Walnut Tree and Middle Farm were owned by Radcliffe lord of manor who owned 50% of land in the parish. After his death it passed to the Priory Estates in Hitchin. The Estate in Pirton was sold in lots in 1975, land went to Parish Brothers of Higham Gobion and houses sold separately.
Derek enjoyed riding his pony.
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