Rose Farm, Cess

Also known as Rose Cottage.

Aerial view of Rose Farm and surroundings Cess area. Circa 1970’s

The property was known as Rose Cottage up until 1911 when it was named Rose Farm in the census of that year which it seems to have been known as since. It can be found opposite the end of Sandy Lane in Cess Road, Cess. The house dates from the early 19th century and has been occupied at times by at least two of the longest established families from Martham.

The house did not exist at the time of the 1812 Inclosure Award although the plot did have a couple of small buildings on it in the position of former known barns.  The house did exist in 1842 when it was shown on plot No142 of the Tithe Award map, shown here.

Plot 142 Tithe Award map – Rose Farm

The plot was owned by William Rising (1769-1846) of West Somerton Hall and it is highly likely that he had the house built between 1812 and 1842. Whilst it is not as grand as the other houses the Rising family occupied like Martham House, Sutfield House or Elmside it is quite large for a tenanted farmhouse and a little deceptive because inside there are features that show a reasonable amount of money was spent on it. For instance the house has two staircases, there is the man front one plus a back staircase, probably for servants. At the top of the back stairs are indications of another narrow set that may have once gone up to attic rooms but there is a family rumour that the top floor caught fire many, many years ago and was never replaced as living quarters. Also, in the main living room there is a very large and beautifully chamfered beam. It has all the appearances of coming from a ship and it was not unusual at the time for shipwrecks to be sold by auction where they foundered on local beaches. Timber stocks feature in many Wills of the time. The farmhouse was owned by William Rising but was occupied by Robert Long who had married Ann Annison on 19th September 1823 at Hemsby. Robert, Ann and their children were listed as living at the farm in the 1841 & 1851 census returns.

Robert remained at the farm for the next 18 years as shown by Whites Business Directories of 1854 and 1864 as well as the Post Office Directory of 1869 but thereafter Thomas Sutfield Rising (1825-1899) the son of William, moved in. Thomas was living there at the time of the 1871, 1881 & 1891 censuses and was listed as a ‘landowner’.  The farm only consisted of 38 acres in 1881 but Thomas also owned other land which made him financially independent to such an extent that in 1881 & 1891 he had a servant/gardener and housekeeper/cook who lived in. They were George Easter and his wife Mahala, nee Crow.  

The ownership situation seems to have been a bit complicated because when William Rising Snr. died in 1846 he left Rose Farm (with other properties and land) to his son Benjamin (1827-1902) but Benjamin had, firstly, a career in the army and then as a vicar for most of his life. So, when Thomas died in 1899 Benjamin was the absent owner living as a vicar in Shropshire. Hence the farm was let again in 1901.

William & Rosamond Smith occupied the farm in 1901. They were originally from Thurlton but had lived at several farms and sadly William died in 1902 and Rosamond in 1907 and both are buried at St Mary’s section H, plot B5 – their gravestone is on the right.
A John Harman was the tenant for a short while thereafter.

Benjamin Rising died in 1902 and as a consequence the whole of the Rising’s Martham Estate was put up sale, including Rose Cottage, by auction on 22nd July 1908 which was advertised in the Yarmouth Independent. Below is a copy of the catalogue description of the house and farm.

Abutting on the Cess Road and land of Mr John Harman and known as “Rose Cottage” now in the occupation of Mr Benjamin Goose, a yearly tenant at the rent of £20 per annum. The comfortably house contains entrance hall, two sitting rooms with flow combustion register, stove kitchen with corner cupboard, large dairy pantry, sunk cellar. Four bedrooms with convenient hanging closets approached by front and rear staircases. Dressing room and linen cupboard.
In the front is paled in flower garden. In the rear is paved garden with wash house, other offices approached by a covered way. Rain water system and well of good water. A well cultivated garden. Substantially built barn. Stable with hay loft over. Cart shed. Fowl house and piggeries with walled in horse and bullock yards.
Front of house is enclosure of pasture land containing two acres, two rods & twelve perches.

The purchaser was Benjamin Isaac Goose and he paid £500. On the right is a copy of the purchase agreement. The Goose family are one of the longest established smallholding families of Cess. Benjamin’s wife was Judith, nee Dove, and she was the oldest resident in Martham when she died, aged 105, in 1954. Both Benjamin & Judith are buried at St Mary’s at section H, plot K37. Their grave is shown below.

Other photos of Rose Farm:

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