Wyndmere, is a modern name from the late 1920s, apparently applied initially to a house and then a herd of pigs. It came to be used to refer to the plot of land and pig farm located there. Generally, it was simply Wyndmere, although also known as Wyndmere Farm. Find here the earlier history of all the land south of Ashwell Road.
The original farming story began in 1841 at the Mabbott sale, when this four acre plot of arable land was bought by William Kitchiner (also Kitchener). His sister Elizabeth Barker owned the mill opposite and had persuaded William to move to Steeple Morden after the death of her husband Thomas in 1837 and William became the de facto miller. Having bought this plot he built a modest farmhouse to accommodate his family. It was quite a small house and at a later date it was doubled in size. Today it No 27 Ashwell Road. Having acquired these four acres of arable land William upgraded his stated occupation from miller to farmer and miller.
This plot was Lot 6 in the Mabbott sale and cost William £250; it is Plot 144C on the 1927 Tithe Map Revision – for details of both please see below. The progression of owners and occupiers of this plot appears to be as follows:
|1870-1896||Thomas Swan||James Pateman||Exors of Thomas from 1876|
|1915-1966||Annie Pepper||Pepper family|
|1966-Today||E W Pepper Ltd||Various|
The Pepper Era
Ernest Wilfred Pepper was the son of a blacksmith. Instead of pounding iron, Ernest became a small-holder farming family land and over the years acquiring other parcels. It was Ernest, who raised the agricultural standing of this location, by establishing a herd of Large Black pigs, which increased in fame. At auctions held at Peterborough in 1946 and 1947 the Wyndmere Large Blacks featured and in 1948 with 100+ pigs to sell the auction was held on the premises at Wyndmere. This annual sale became a feature and was held for a number of years. A report of the 1954 sale is below.
Ernest and wife Millie lived at Wyndmere from their marriage in 1927 until 1950, when they moved to Ringdale, on the corner of Bogs Gap and North Brook End. The air was probably sweeter there.
The house at Wyndmere became the offices for E W Pepper Ltd formed in 1949, which had become a major farming force and further expansion was lead by Ernie’s son in law James Amphlett Clayton, who in 1952 married Cynthia Ann, only daughter of Ernie and Millie. E W Pepper Ltd eventually farmed in excess of 4000 acres, although most lay outside the parish of Steeple Morden.
The Pepper family also owned the small field between Wyndmere and the parish boundary with Guilden Morden, which was Lot 7 at the Mabbott sale and 144e on the 1927 Tithe Map Revision. At some point they acquired the field on the south that on the 1839 Tithe Map below was shown as owned by James Christmas, Thomas Pain and Samuel Miller. Part of this field was absorbed when Wyndmere was extended southwards and most was run together with the small field between Wyndmere and the parish boundary. Part of it was sold to Michael Joseph Brown and Lindy Brown of Albany House on 1 August 1988 and the eastern most part, by Station Road was made available as parish allotments.
Under the stewardship of the current generation the business gradually moved away from farming into land ownership and property development, whilst also establishing significant retail operations at Bury Lane Farm Shop and Arrington Nurseries.
An application was made to develop Wyndmere with houses, but the planners demurred and instead of farming Wyndmere became a Business Park, with a wide range of businesses.
Sale Particulars, Maps & Photographs
Last Updated on January 8, 2021