Finmere and Merton College

Information from Dr Steven Gunn, College Archivist.

The assembly and dispersal of Merton’s Finmere estate occurred as follows:

When purchased, the two farms were let to Mrs Mary Treadwell (Bacon’s House Farm, £143 p.a.) and William Barrett (Finmere Grounds, £237 p.a.). With six cottages in the village at £10 p.a., the College’s total rental in Finmere came to £390. The purchase price from the Marquis of Chandos was £11,833. By 1932, the farm rents had risen to £572 11s, but from that year they were reduced to £450. In 1947, they were raised again to £700, and from that point financial details had best be kept confidential. The Tredwells continued to farm Bacon’s House until the death of Charles Tredwell in 1978 and also farmed Finmere Grounds by 1929 after the tenancy of William Roper. Mrs J.A. Tredwell remained tenant of Bacon’s House farmhouse until her death in 1991, but by then the lands were being farmed with those of Finmere Grounds by Radstones Estates Ltd.

Perhaps the most interesting thing to emerge from these records for the history of the village is the dramatic change in land use in the course of this century. In 1919, Finmere Grounds was reckoned to contain 90.607 acres of arable land and 152.589 of grass, Bacon’s House 73.576 of arable and 131.105 of grass. In 1991, the consolidated Grounds Farm contained 422.396 acres of arable and 17.494 of pasture.

See also: Map of Merton Land in 1893