History of the farm
The name Onecote, first recorded in 1199, means a remote cottage, or one cottage. Lane Head farmhouse was built around 1670 and it is likely that the barns date to a similar period. We know little of the history from those early years but it is possible that the farm was owned by one of the many abbeys in the area. (See British History Online for more)
Census records provide names of the families living and farming here in the 19th century – usually several generations as well as a cow hand and dairy maid. We know that the current farmhouse kitchen used to be a self-contained annex where farm workers lived.
In 1900 the farm was sold in 3 lots totalling 142 acres. The farmhouse and 77 acres around it went to W. Finney. This is the area in pink on the image. It is likely that a mix of cattle, pigs, chickens and possibly sheep were kept on the land. Hay would have been made in the summer months although that would have presented a challenge as we get few days suitable for haymaking at this elevation (1100 ft above sea level) and of course there was no machinery to speed up the process.
During the harsh winter of 1947 the Swindells family, who still farm in Onecote, lived at Lane Head and kept dairy cattle. The farm passed to the Cappers in the 1950s and from 1970 an eccentric gentleman called Dr Martin Dent lived and farmed here while also teaching politics at Keele University. Dr Dent is remembered for his kindliness – growing raspberries in the front field for the villagers to pick. After leaving Lane Head in 1987 he went on to found the Jubilee 2000 campaign that successfully campaigned for the cancellation of debt for the developing world – he was awarded an OBE for this work.
When Martin Dent left in 1987 the Clowes family bought the farm and undertook major renovations to the farmhouse. They kept a range of livestock, using the shippon (cow barn) which is now Morridge View for housing cattle over the winter.
We (Paul and Kate) bought the farm in 2015. We love living and farming here on a small scale with our ‘EasyCare’ sheep. The renovation and conversion of the shippon to create Morridge View was completed over the winter of 2017/18 and Mixon View was converted in 2021. We now enjoy sharing this wonderful historic location with our guests.
Below is an aerial view of Lane Head Farm in 1967 when the Capper family farmed here.
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