History of Bottom Farm, Soames Lane.
Now known as Soames Farm this was a mixed farm with pigs, dairy cows, vegetable growing and an orchard. The large house built in the 1860’s at the centre of the holding is bigger than would be expected for a farm of the current size with three floors and a cellar and once had servants and had fireplaces for each room.
At some stage Bottom Farm was renamed Soames Farm, in 1961 the farm, then some 60 acres, was owned by Cecil Childs. It was then sold to new owners, Gordon and Nora Martin who managed it as a dairy farm. Dairy farming on a small scale became progressively more difficult. The Martins decided to sell 40 acres of the land to Butser Turf and establish a retail dairy business selling local milk and distributing bottle milk as far as Basingstoke. The retail dairy business ceased by 1985 and David Harrison bought Soames Farm, subsequently also acquiring the land sold to Butser Turf amalgamating the land again.
See associated document written by Rodney Skinner who worked as a dairy lad at Soames Farm in the early 1960’s and gives an impression of what working at the farm in that role was like at that time.
Many questions remain on the history of the farm, and it would be good to know more. Was the farm part of a larger holding? When and why was the name changed to Soames Farm? There is another Bottom Farm in Brewers Lane – is there any link? Soames Farm had two ponds and like many ponds in the parish have been filled in – why did this happen?