Friday, 22 March 2013

A Farm Journal ~ from the 16th to the 31st July 1868

My great great great uncle John Bayliff Bowman lived at Summer Hill, near Monyash in the County of Derby.
The Bowman family, who were Quakers, had three farms, One Ash Grange [which John Bayliff Bowman often referred to as O.A.], Cales and Summer Hill [which he usually referred to as S.Hill or S.H.]

JBB's Farm Journal

A Farm Journal continues :~
5 - 16 Fine

6 - 17 to Middleton to tea  met F[ather] & M[other]

7 - 18 drizzly rain x 1 or 2 showers rain to now very much wanted all the mears are empty but 1 or 2 at S.H. pastures very dry & short give 1 1/2 lbs cake to cows at S.H. 1 cheese 1 day 2 the other - lead water for horse from Monyash & must lead for cows very shortly

1 - 19 Fine

2 - 20 Ditto hot no rain parted lambs put 54 W lambs on Rape

to 27 Very hot & dry occassional appearances of thunder & rain & then cooler but no rain to signify began to cut corn in Winkerley S.H. lead water from Fear meer Monyash lead 3 different days into the meers at S.H. nearly dry now is the Fear meer - preparing to draw water from the Knotlow shaft with buckets

These were obviously dry days in and around Summer Hill and Cales ... Monyash generally. I can't recall John ever writing about such a shortage of water before and certainly not of him having to lead any water from Fere Mere.

There were four or five meres in Monyash originally but Fere Mere is now the only one ...

Fere Mere, Monyash  

At there's the description of a day trip by Wirral Caving Group to Knotlow Mine on the 21st June 2009. A series of interesting photographs includes one image of the coffin level in the old mine which is particularly worth looking at. The coffin level was all worked by hand.


  1. I am surprised they had to cart water from Fere Mere and even that running dry.I wonder how deep it is,as children at Monyash school we would catch frogs and newts at playtime.I remember there been lots of crested newts which seem to be rare now.The other pond which was next to it was a slide at playtime in winter when it was frozen.Ann

    1. I thought this fortnight in John's journal was an interesting one ~ he gave us an insight into what was happening in Monyash. I wonder how the villagers reacted when they saw him taking water from the mere ~ I know there were four or five of them but didn't the villagers get their drinking water from the mere[s] too.

  2. Seems like there was a pretty bad drought.

    I followed your link to the photo of the 'coffin level'. Appropriate name!!

    1. It is amazing what is below ground ...

  3. I am surprised that nobody questioned what Rape was. We call it canola now in Canada as folk were sensitive to the word "rapeseed". I gives a wonderful, healthy oil for cooking though, and looks like miles of mustard flowers when in bloom....miles and miles of yellow. It also is one of the better paying crops for farmers if they can harvest it before winter.

    1. There's a lot of oil seed rape around and there's been no hoo-hah as far as I know about the word 'rape'. We don't have it quite so much in our area but ten miles or so away you can see it from our higher ground.

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