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General remarks regarding the sale of the Downend Estate, 1956

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General remarks regarding the sale of the Downend Estate is part of the Prospectus of the Fleming Downend Estate, 1956[1].




The Estate extends from the village of Haven Street, about 3.5 miles South-West of Ryde and 3 miles East of Newport, in the Eastern part of the Isle of Wight, Southwards for some 3 miles through the hamlet of Downend to the upper reaches of the River Yar. It lies on the North and South sides of Arreton Down, which is crossed by the public road from Newport to Brading via Downend. The public road (A.3056) between Newport and Sandown adjoins part of the Southern portion of the Estate.


Stations. The Isle of Wight Central Railway from Newport to Ryde runs just to the North of the Estate with a station at Haven Street.

Bus Services. The Southern Vectis Bus Company runs services in the island, service NO.3 between Newport and Ryde passing along the Northern boundary and services Nos. 14 and 41 between Newport and Sandown passing along part of the South-Western boundary.

Communications with the Mainland. There is a frequent boat service from Ryde to Portsmouth Harbour, the journey taking about half an hour. From Portsmouth Harbour station fast trains connect to London (Waterloo), the whole journey from Waterloo to Ryde taking approximately 2.5 hours. From West Cowes there is a boat service to Southampton, the journey taking about an hour, there is also a ferry between Lymington and Yarmouth. Motor vehicles are conveyed by the latter two services, and also by the motor vehicle ferry between Portsmouth and Fishbourne (Ryde).

Summary of the estate

The Let Portions comprise five farms from 158 to 378 acres, about 354 acres of woodland and three cottages let to the Forestry Commission, Gravel Pit, Chalk Pit, and Accommodation lands. The Shooting Rights over the Southern portion of the estate are let until 1st February 1957 and there are also Royalties receivable from the Chalk Pit, the Gravel Pit and from sales of turf on Arreton Down. In addition four woodland lots are In Hand, including Salt Moor Copse.

Tenure, area, possession and rental

The Estate is Freehold and extends to about 1,788 acres, of which about 69 acres are In Hand and will be offered with Vacant Possession. The remaining area is Let and produces a total of £ 1,868 l0s. 4d. per annum, excluding the shooting rent of £35 and an average amount of £360 per annum in respect of Royalties and Sale of Turf, giving a total of £2,263 per annum.

Loss of development value

The following claims for loss of development value were admitted under the Town and Country Planning Act 1947; the amounts are the original determinations but the Vendors give no warranty as to the present unexpended balances of development value now existing.

Claim Ref. No. Land Affected Lot No. Development Value £

6/4/S3204 Downend Chalk Pit 2 1,43° 6/4/S3208 Pt. O.S. 215, (unexpended balance only) 3 129 6/4/S3209 Duxmore Chalk Pit 5 14° 6/4/S3206 I acre, N.E. corner O.S.

995 at Lynn 7 81 6/4/S3203 Pt O.S. 1279 at Downend.

(Part only) 8 252*(part)

-- Total £2032

  • This amount is based on 4.200 acres; only 3.039 acres is included in the Sale.


A trunk Gas Main runs along the western side of the Estate and is available for tapping.

Overhead Electric Mains run through various parts of the Estate, notably a high-tension grid from the Lynn area to Arreton and also certain minor services to Downend and Heasley. All dwellings and the principal buildings at Heasley Farms (Lots I & 2) have electricity installed, and also Downend Chalk Pit (Lot 2).

A private Estate Water Main is tapped into the Company's main near Haven Street Station and supplies the Northern part of the Estate with piped water. Initially, it crosses land forming part of Guildford Farm which does not belong to the Estate. This main will be conveyed with Lot 4 together with the requisite rights of entry and maintenance. The water pipes running under Lots 4 and 6 will be conveyed with Lot 4 and those under Lot 5 will be conveyed with Lot 5. Four other parties have interests in the water supply from this main. Of these the owner of Guildford Farm including Guildford Cottage and the Minister of Agriculture (as Tenant of Lot 6) are charged direct for water consumed by the Isle of Wight Water Board, who will charge Lot 4 for all water consumed as recorded by the master meter (meter A) at the Northern corner of O.S. 928. This meter is beyond the points of consumption of the two users who are charged direct and thus it does not record water consumed by them. Lot 4 will then recover payment for water consumed by reference to readings on the three meters included in the . system (the owner of Lot 4 being liable for reading these . meters, not the Water Board). The liability being apportioned as follows:

The consumption of the tenant of Combley Farm (Lot 4) The reading of meter 'A' as referred to minus that of meter 'B' (in the Western boundary of O.S. 1335). The consumption of the tenant of Duxmore Farm (Lot 5) The reading of meter 'B' minus that of meter 'C' (in the Southern boundary of O.S. 514). The consumption of the owner of Little Duxmore Farm (not included in the Sale)-The reading of meter 'C'.

The remainder of the Estate is dependent on borehole supplies. The main could be connected to Heasley Farms (Lots I and 2) at comparatively small expense.

The agricultural holdings

Heasley Farm (East) with Hall, three Reception Rooms, four Bedrooms. Buildings include Cow Houses for 40, Yard and Barn. Three Cottages and about 253 acres.

Heasley Farm (West) with Hall, two Reception Rooms, three Bedrooms. Buildings include Barn, Yard and Storage. Four Cottages and about 275 acres, also the Chalk Pit and other lands separately let.

Combley Farm with Hall, two Reception Rooms, six Bedrooms, Bathroom. Extensive buildings including Cow Standings for 38. Three Bungalow Cottages and about 378 acres. A further 16 acres (Pt Lot 13) is also let with the farm.

Duxmore Farm with Hall, three Reception Rooms, four Bedrooms, Bathroom. Buildings include new range of Cattle Boxes, suitable for conversion to Cow Stable, Barn and Yards. Two Cottages and about 239 acres.

Lynn Farm with Hall, two Reception Rooms, and three Bedrooms and bathroom in course of construction. Buildings include Cow Standings for 26. One Cottage and about 158 acres. A further I I acres (Lot 8) is also let with the farm. The rent payable for Lots 7 and 8 has been revised conditional on certain works which will be carried out by the Vendors before completion and that for Lot I has been revised with effect from Michaelmas 1956. All other rents have not been reviewed for a period in excess of three years, thus a revision can be undertaken at any time.

The two cottages at Duxmore Farm (Lot 5) were reconditioned in 1938 under the Housing (Rural Workers) Acts and the rent is fixed accordingly at 8s. I0d. per week for each cottage until 3rd February 1958.

All principal farm units are let on annual agricultural tenancies governed by the Agriculture Acts under written agreements. There are no known sub-tenancies except for the cottages which, so far as is known are let on service tenancies to farm employees and for the two farm houses at Heasley (Lots I and 2) and the one at Duxmore (Lot 5) which are let on service tenancies to farm foremen.

The minor tenancies are also governed by written agreements or leases apart from the two tenancies of Major H. Perowne and O. B. Hayden (Pt Lot 2) which are governed by correspondence and are also annual agricultural tenancies.

The whole of the Island is subject to a Rabbit Clearance Order made under the Pests Act 1954 under notice of the Isle of Wight A.E.C.

The following are included on a list prepared under Section 30 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1947 as buildings etc. of special Architectural and Historic interest: Combley Farm House Heasley Manor Farm House and two round Barrows standing on land now in hand on Arreton Down known as Michael Morey's hump to which a local legend attaches are scheduled as an ancient monument under Section 6 of the Ancient Monuments Act 1931.

State of repair and capital improvements

The buildings throughout all farm holdings are generally ample and substantial but not of modern construction. Some of the thatched roofing has been replaced with more modern material. Considerable work has been carried out by the Vendors to roofing of buildings and the majority of the farm house roof, large areas of which have been completely stripped and re-conditioned, during the past year or two at Heasley Farms (Lots I and 2), with the intention of effecting lasting repairs to any defective roofs at this large farm homestead. The liabilities to repair are largely conferred on tenants by virtue of written tenancy agreements subject to any defects that existed at the entry of the two tenants of Heasley Farms (Lots I and 2) as recorded on Schedules of Condition, the landlord supplying the main materials, and this liability extends to the repair of occupation roads included in the tenancies.

A programme of capital improvements has been in hand since the war and the Vendors have provided internal sanitation with hot water systems and modern drainage to all farm houses and cowstable and dairy accommodation to comply with the Milk and Dairies Regulations 1949 wherever milking operations are carried on except at Lynn Farm (Lot 7), and the Vendors undertake to carry out this work at this farm before completion. The cowstable accommodation at Combley Farm (Lot 4) has been converted to comply with the regulations partly at the expense of the tenant but the landlord has no liability in this respect.

Dairy operations are not carried on at the Western portion of Heasley Farm (Lot 2) or at Duxmore Farm (Lot 5) but, in the latter case, a large range of calf boxes has been erected to provide for the present stock raising activities and this building is suitable for conversion to a cowstable.

The Purchaser will be asked to indemnify the Vendor against any claim that may be made by the tenant of Duxmore Farm (Lot 5) for the replacement of an implement shed destroyed by fire.

Rights of mineral workings and royalties

The narrow bands of strata in the neighbourhood of Arreton Down contain valuable deposits of sand, chalk, brickearth and gravel and pits are being worked for the winning of all these products in close proximity to the Estate; there are several disused pits on the Estate which still contain ample reserves. Rights of mineral workings are reserved to the landlord under agricultural tenancy agreements. Details of leases, acreage, rent and average royalties obtainable from the two pits in active operation on the Estate are set out under Lots 2 and 13. The average income during recent years from the Chalk pit (Pt Lot 2) has been approximately £180 per annum and from the Gravel pit (Pt Lot 13) has been approximately £80 per annum.


The peculiar nature of the soil on Arreton Down, which has a shallow depth over chalk, produces a type of turf which contains a great variety of rare botanical species and is very suitable for establishment of lawns etc. The Estate has cut and sold this turf and built up useful connections over a number of years, the turf being organised on a rotation of approximately 17 years which enables all demands to be met each season. The goodwill of this business is included in the sale and the purchaser will, if so desiring, be put in touch with the skilled turf cutter employed by the Vendors, and who lives nearby, and also works and sells the turf on terms which enables the landlord to obtain an average net income, during recent years, of about £100 per annum, this figure being approximately 50 per cent of the average gross proceeds.


The northern part of the Estate is situated on strong, stiff loam over the Hamstead clay beds subsoil, the level at Haven Street being approximately 50 O.D. The land rises steadily as it runs Southwards and then steeply through several narrow bands of strata, including clay (London and Reading Beds) and Limestone (Osborne, Bagshot and Bembridge Beds) formations to the Upper Chalk on top of Arreton Down at Downend, at about 400 O.D. The Estate then falls steeply Southwards through further narrow bands of strata, including the middle and lower chalk, Upper Greensand, Gault and Carstone formations, before becoming fairly level with a gradual fall on a very fertile ferruginous sand subsoil to the River Yar at about. 40 O.D. There are certain deposits of Plateau gravel at the very Southern end of the Estate and again to the West of the Estate at Lynn. Apart from the immediate approaches to Arreton Down, where the soil is thin over chalk as the land rises steeply and which occupy no more than half a mile in' the three mile length, and the outcrops of gravel, the estate may be said to be generally inherently fertile and productive, notably as regards the ferruginous sand subsoil at the Southern end which is well known as comprising some of the most fertile soil in the Isle of Wight.


The sporting rights over the Estate are well known and sought after, notably the partridge shooting on Heasley Fields, and the lay-out of contours and small woods on the north side of Arreton Down ensures good rises for birds.

The rights of sporting over woodlands leased to the Forestry Commission are included in the lease.

The Estate has obtained a sub-tenancy of the rights which terminates under the present arrangement at 7th June 1956. The present apportioned sub-rent payable by the Estate to the Commission is £43 per annum.

The rights over the part of the Estate North of the Downend Road (apart from the sub-rented woodlands) are In Hand. The southern portion is let until 2nd February 1957 at £35 per annum, tenant J. F. W. Chandler. It is understood that he is anxious to renew his tenancy from that date if the landlord so wishes.


Tithe Redemption Annuity-NIL. Land Tax-NIL. The only rates payable by the landlord are on the Sporting Rights over the Estate.


The properties which are In Hand may be seen at any reasonable time. The properties which are let may only be inspected by courtesy of the respective tenants and intending Purchasers are asked, where possible, to warn the tenants of their proposed inspection.


  1. WFMS:23
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