Upper Bearfield Farm

Ashley Road, Bradford on Avon, Wiltshire


Upper Bearfield old farmhouse, Bradford on Avon

The former Upper Bearfield Farmhouse, 34 Ashley Road

Upper Bearfield Farm was one of two farms and a couple of smallholdings in Ashley Road, on the northern side of Bradford on Avon.

Once just called Bearfield Farm, it had also been known as Earle’s after a family at Budbury Manor House in the 17th century. The land was part of the Manor of Budbury and Ashley that passed early in the 18th century to Edward Bailey of Ashley and then to Edward Thresher of the Chantry in Bradford. With all the Ashley land and a large part of Winsley too, by 1746 it belonged to the brothers William and David Lea of Frankleigh and it remained part of the Frankleigh estate until sold off, with 82 acres and 39 perches* of land, in 1878.

The big farmhouse, which has some 17th century features and is grade II listed, stands on the northern side of Ashley Road, while its farmyard with a large stone barn and other buildings were on the opposite side. It was almost entirely a livestock farm, producing milk.

Upper Bearfield Farm, Bradford on Avon, 1990s

The farmyard shortly before demolition began, with the house on the right

The farmyard was relocated to a site towards Great Ashley, where a covered yard was built, followed by a new farmhouse and a labourer’s house, followed by another in 2019. The old farmhouse was sold off separately and the old yard was redeveloped by Bellway Homes in 1994 as a housing estate of about 40 homes, called The Old Batch, taking its name from that of an old field. When the farm was sold, some fields between the old farmhouse, Frankleigh and the Bath Road were retained by the previous owner for horses and managed as part of Merkins Farm, Bradford Leigh. The house, now called The Old Farmhouse, of five bedrooms with garden and orchard of 2.27 acres was for sale in 2019 for £1.3m.

new Upper Bearfield Farm

The houses of the replacement farm; the middle one was added in 2019


* 39 perches was just under a quarter of an acre or 0.1 hectare