Thursday, 25 January 2007

Era of Hodgson and Dennis & Sons


John Hodgson created a lake in the Park (which was later filled in by the Air Ministry). After Mr Hodgson’s death, the Estate was kept on by his family, being managed by Mr Norman Hodgson until 1919, when it was purchased by Messrs WH Dennis and Sons of Kirton.

Dennis & Sons
Up to this date all the farms on the estate had been let to tenants, but from now onwards Messrs Dennis commenced to get possession of the farms (except Nocton Rise) and within a few years they were farming the estate as a whole. They erected the concrete corn mill for storing and grinding corn, and making up cattle rations.

It was Messrs Dennis who laid a two foot gauge light railway, extending to about 30 miles over the Estate – principally on the Fens – and connected this to the mill at Railhead with a siding for loading into railway trucks. They also built the maintenance sheds, Engine Shed and Bag Store, and engaged maintenance staff for repairing implements etc and shoeing horses. In those days over 200 horses were used on the Estate.

Messrs Dennis and Sons finally sold the estate in 1926 to a Mr J Herbert Dennis, who farmed it until 1936 when it was purchased by the Estates Company.

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