Yeoveney Farm, Staines

152 acres of arable land and 100 of meadow

William Reffell (1851-1928) had moved around the country before coming back to farm in Buckinghamshire. He had began as an iron monger in the north, and his wife, Sarah Ann Rodgers (1858-1940) was born at Whitehouse in Shropshire. They were married in Worcester during 1875.

Their first child was called Raymond but he died in infancy in 1876, so the second child was also called Raymond (1878-1940), both were born in Shropshire. The next five children; William Percy (1880-1971), Jessie (1882-1953), Norah Alice (1883-1961), Herbert Alfred (1886-1948) and Joseph Harold (1887-1891) were all born in Peterborough, and finally Ethel Margery (1891-1981) was born back at Staines.

William died on 20 December 1928 at Knighton Pampesford Road South Croydon and Sarah Ann died at Eastgate House Cookham Berkshire on 28 September 1940. They are both are buried at the church of St Michael Horton.

As with Manor Farm Wraysbury, we have a good idea of the farms thanks to the newspaper report of January 1896. Electricity had arrived during 1895, but this had been preceded by a telephone link that had been installed between the farms around 1893.

At the time of the article, in regular employment were two foremen, sixty-five men and boys and ten women. Amongst the produce of the farms were wheat, grass and flowers. Vegetable products produced were beans, peas, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, turnips and potatoes and sold at Covent Garden. Milk was also sold, both locally and at 101 Kew Road, Richmond-upon-Thames.

It was stated in the article that very few such extensive farms existed at that time so close to the metropolis. However, it was this closeness that was to ultimately be their demise, being swallowed up by the water needs of the inhabitants of London. The drawing of the farm above comes from the 1896 article.

In 1892 the Metropolitan Rifle Range Company opened a rifle range for the Metropolitan Volunteers called the Runemede or Runnymede Range. This was situated on Staines Moor on land belonging to Yeoveney and Moor farms.

The farm was offered for sale by auction, along with the adjacent rifle ranges, on 6 January 1921 at the rooms of Messers Knight, Frank & Rutley in Hanover Square.

Today Yeoveney Farm is under the 1967 Wraysbury Reservoir. There is a residential area called Yeoveney Close just to the south-east of the reservoir.

1891 William Reffell
1901 William Reffell
1911 Thomas James Chitty
1939 Frank L Greenwood