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Cavenham Estate Diary of an Agricultural Worker 1956/2000

Park Farm buildingsThe Cavenham Estate of 2,627 acres was acquired by Douglas Gough in 1946. Douglas, owner of the Lackford estate combined the two halves to operated as one with 4,961 acres. The combined estates became a limited company in 1956. On the death of Douglas in 1958 his son Richard took over the running of the estate though residing at Lackford Manor. His son Robert lives in Park Farm, Cavenham.

Sections of the estate have since been sold: 

Lark Hall Farm with 604 acres was sold in 1958, with 250 acres on Tuddenham Hill sold in 1998. The heath and quarry were requisitioned by the War Office during the 2nd World War. Over the same period many estate houses were also privatised; The Post Office in ‘64, The School and Mill in ‘71, The Bothy and Gardener’s Cottage in ‘81, Ivy Cottage in ‘85, 11,13 & 15 in ‘84 and 10, 12, 14, &16 in July 88. As a result Cavenham’s estate acreage is, as we enter the 21st century, about 800 acres with Lackford remaining the same at 2,334. Of the combined land 1000 acres are woodland, 40 acres leased for pig farming and a larger portion for potato and onion crops. The Cavenham estate currently has 420 head of cattle cared for by two dairymen. The farm also employs one agricultural worker and a gamekeeper. Two further employees from Lackford work on the combined estates. 

Dick Gough, owner. July 2000.
©2000 Steven Hayden

Historical Information

In contrast in 1956 there were 72 employees working on the estate with the dairymen paid a weekly wage of £10 with the added bonus of a 2 day annual trip for all courtesy of the farmer. Between 1958-1993 the estate had 800 -1000 head of cattle with 68 calves every 4-6 weeks, 500 pedigree sheep and 1000 commercial ewes and with 100 sows up until 1996. The work force of 17 comprised of 2 full-time and 1 part-time workers on beef, 4 shepherds, 3 pig men, 4 game keepers and 3 warreners. 

Dennis Palmer, Estate cowman, May 2000.

The following diary of the farm year compiled by Dennis Palmer, the estate cowman, shows the timetable of the agricultural workers during the year 1956 with tasks such as muck spreading listed to the left and the month the task was completed blocked in.

go to a Diary of the Farming Year 1956

The following diary compiled by Robert Gough lists the timetable of the Cavenham Estate run from Park Farm in the year 2000

go to a Diary of the Farming Year 2000


A Forest Heath District Council (Suffolk) Project supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund as part of the Millennium Festival ©2000 Designed by ArtAtac