8 Newgate Street

Formerly known as Newgate Street Farm and in the mid fifties ‘Shirley House’, Number 8 is a traditional East Midlands three storey Georgian farmhouse of the late seventeenth or early eighteenth century. Narrow 2¼ inch bricks suggest some age. The land directly attached to the farmhouse once included the whole of what is now Gillotts Close, named for the farming family here in Victorian times. Chapel Close, now a row of modern houses numbers 2 to 6 Newgate Street, used to abut the property and it is possible that the tenements here housed workers at the farm. Bricked up spaces in the wall between the farmyard and the yard seem to suggest this. Various farm outbuildings survive to the rear of number 8 and at the front of number 10.

Like all Bingham’s farmhouses and much other property, Newgate Street Farm was part of the Shelford Estate of the Earls of Chesterfields and after (by marriage) the Earls of Carnarvon. Following the death in 1923 of the 5th Earl of Carnarvon the Bingham estates passed in 1925 to the crown in lieu of death duties and have since been administered by the Crown Estates. The earl reserved to himself and his heirs all mineral rights below 600 feet and covenanted to pay any death duties that would become payable on the death of his mother, the Dowager Lady Almina.

As with other Estate properties no written records are available until the properties reach the open market. The Crown Estate Commissioners sold the whole property in 1952 for £3500 to one Fred Bower, described as a Road Haulier. He obtained planning permission for a development of light industry and warehousing on what is now Gillotts Close, but for reasons that are not clear at present the plan was changed to a small housing estate. Could that have commanded a higher price?

Bower sold the house minus the Gillotts Close area to Mr and Mrs Heafford, of the family that owned Hardstaff and Brown in the thirties. They passed on the piece of land on the corner of Gillotts Close to their son to build a house, number 10. The front garden to that property contains an old barn with a primitive but readable date picked out in dark header bricks on the west gable end -1817. There are also old stables to the farm in the same garden. The present owners purchased the property in 1991. During renovations they discovered several uncompleted copies of a form issued to all householders in 1814 on which they were to record names and details of all male occupants between the ages of 18 and 45, presumably in preparation for call up for the Napoleonic war.

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