The Friends of St. Peter's Berkhamsted

Friends of St Peter's, Great Berkhamsted

Noah and Elizabeth Newman

Grave Number 114

Inscription:   Elizabeth, wife of Noah Newman, died 23rd January 1860, aged 68    Noah Newman who died the following 8th December aged 71    Sarah Catherine Newman, their daughter, died 2nd April 1904 aged 83

The Newman Family occupied the farmhouse (now The Keep and Pear Tree Cottage) for Castle Farm at Berkhamsted Place.

In the Tithe Award of 1839 (above), Plot 310 is described as: ‘House and Garden (0.0.28 perches) occupied by Noah Newman and owned by ‘The Queens Most Excellent Majesty in Right of Her Duchy of Cornwall’. At this time, the house faced north-east, linked to the associated farm buildings (including the Great Barn) the majority of which have now been converted to residential use. (Plot 31,  described as ‘Buildings and Fold Yard’ (0.2.7)  In addition, Plot 309 comprised a Paddock, Road and Pond (0.2.33), 315 was the Stack Yard (0.1.36), and 316 an ‘Orchard’ (0.2.12) All of the above were occupied by farmer Noah Newman.

The 1841 Census records that Noah aged 50 and his wife Elizabeth (nee Stevens) were living in the house (then called Castle Farm) with four daughters (Ann, b.1819[1]; Sarah, b. 1820[2], Martha b.1823[3] and Kate, b.1833[4].  There were 4 servants (3 male, 1 female) living in the house (presumably occupying the attic bedrooms) and possibly a visitor Ann, aged 35.[5]

In 1851, Noah was still at Castle Farm, but now only with his wife. There were five house servants aged between 14 and 24. The farm was described as being 310 acres with Noah employing 14 labourers.

Noah passed away in 1860[6] aged 71 and was buried in Rectory Lane Cemetery. Probate was granted in January 1861, Noah’s effects being valued under £3,000. He had married Elizabeth in 1818 and it is therefore probable that he occupied the farmhouse for 42 years, their first daughter being born at Berkhamsted in March 1819.  Typical of farming family life cycles, the Newman household swelled in the early years of occupation, with the birth of 5 daughters. There were at least 11 people residing or staying in the farmhouse in 1841.

At the end of that cycle, the 1861 Census records that Noah’s unmarried daughter Sarah  (pretending she was 38 rather than 40) was occupying the house with 5 male farm servants and one female house servant (all aged 14-19).  Sarah is the only child to be buried with her parents in Rectory Lane Cemetery. There were no sons to inherit. After the Newman’s occupation came to an end, a new farmhouse (now converted to flats) was built to the north-east,  Noah’s former farmhouse was re-modelled and re-orientated to face south-east, becoming  a cottage (later in the C19th further sub-divided to form a pair of cottages) to house staff serving Berkhamsted Place.

Dr James Moir



[1] Ann b. 2/3/19, bap 27/4/19

[2] Sarah Catherine b. 8/12/20, bap. 22/4/21

[3] Martha b. 12/4/23, bap 7/8/23.

Also: Elizabeth Stevens, b Mar 1827 and bap 5/8/27;

[4] Kate bap 25/1/33

[5] The sizeable, mature family with only daughters living at home and entertaining visitors – including visitors from the mansion – would all justify assigning the addition of the parlour extension during Noah’s tenancy.

[6] 8 December 1860. His wife Elizabeth had died 23 Jan 1860.

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