The name ‘Farringford’ occurs in various forms in documents from the end of the 13th century; some versions of the name are spelt with an ‘e’ as the first vowel (see ‘Place Name Derivation’). During the course of the 13th and 14th centuries, the de Ferringford family gradually acquired lands in the Freshwater region, centred on Middleton. Dating from c.1280 to 1341, there are a number of deeds that refer to land in the Middleton/Sutton area of Freshwater and concern members of the de Ferringford family: Roger de Ferringford, William de Ferringford, Walter de Ferringford, Walter’s wife Aveline, his daughter Isabel, and his sons Walter, Robert, Roger and John. The actual holding of Farringford was relatively small and later became a part of the manor of Brook. It was only in the late 18th century, when the clergyman and MP Edward Rushworth bought up various properties in the area, that Farringford became a large estate of about 300 acres centred on a manor house.
In 1324, the core of Farringford Farm consisted of a tenement and 15 acres of land. William de Ferringford (of Barmeton, Hampshire) sold the estate to Henry Patrick (also of Barmeton) in 1393. A decade later, Patrick granted it to his step-son, John Rookley of Brook. In 1419 Rookley purchased a tenement at Easton with 21 acres of land from John Mohun or Mowne, who then granted Rookley the rest of his lands in Freshwater in 1428. John Rookley had also inherited a “Moiety of the manor of Brook” in 1390 from his father Geoffrey Roucle or Rookley. When, in 1452, John Rookley died, he bequeathed his half of the manor of Brook – which now included Farringford – to his younger daughter, Joan, and her husband, Thomas Bowerman. The other half of Brook manor was owned by the Gilbert family and was finally acquired by Thomas's great grandson, William Bowerman, in 1566, when he bought it off George Gilbert.
The Farringford holding remained in the Bowerman family for almost 350 years, occasionally being leased to other parties. In the last half of the 18th century, Farringford was one of a parcel of properties that a William Bowerman used to obtain a mortgage. In 1774, he entered into a mortgage agreement with William Hardley of Whitwell, and Farringford was one of the holdings that formed part of the secured property. Again in 1789, Bowerman mortgaged various properties to six mortgagees, one of whom still remained to be paid off by Bowerman in 1790, when he sold Farringford. Of these mortgaged properties, one was Walls Farm in Freshwater, subsequently known as ‘Home Farm’, containing 20 acres.
Farringford Estate was bought by Edward Rushworth in 1790. Rushworth was a clergyman, MP for Yarmouth and Newport, and Mayor of Yarmouth thirteen times.
moiety: one of two parts.
Based on the ‘Analytical Record’ of Farringford by Robert Martin: