Manor Farm, Horton

208 acres of arable land and 86 of meadow

When Joseph Reffell died on 13 September 1848 aged 49, he was farming as a tenant at Manor Farm in Horton. In the 1851 census, Horton Manor Farm was held by his widow and is shown as being of 212 acres and employing 12 labourers. Elizabeth died of ‘general decay’ also at Horton Manor Farm on 13 September 1862 aged 75, and the eldest surviving son Raymond took over the farm until he died in 1882, when it then passed to his son, Joseph Reffell. Unlike his brother, Joseph stayed in the area with his three children being registered locally. He married Emily Caroline Perkins in 1890 and they had three children; Frank Mortimer 1891, Eileen Winifred 1893 and Madge Noel 1894. Joseph and Emily both died at St. Leonards, Hastings in 1936 and 1959 respectively. He was buried at the church of St Michael Horton together with the ashes of Emily who was cremated at Hastings.

The family rented the land and was tenant to Colonel Owen Williams. They were well known locally and would have been affluent by the standards of the day. We have a good idea of how the farms developed and how they were operated, thanks to a newspaper report of a visit to the farms during January 1896. It was stated in this article that very few such extensive farms existed at that time so close to the metropolis. Horton Manor Farm still exists today, but without any connection to the Reffell family.

1841 Joseph Reffell
1851 Elizabeth Reffell
1861 Elizabeth Reffell
1871 Raymond Reffell
1881 Raymond Reffell
1891 Joseph Reffell
1901 Joseph Reffell
1911 Joseph Reffell