by Mrs J.R.B. Flint
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Although I was born in Grays, I have lived in Stanford-le-Hope all my life. I lived at Great Garlands, High Road, Stanford-le-Hope, for over 30 years until I moved. Not many people know where the High Road is. If you go down Rainbow Lane it takes you directly down to the seawall but there is a turning on the left near the electric sub-station, which is the High Road which brings you out to Giffords Cross Road. Years ago there was a number of cottages scattered along these roads. Just past the road on the left were two wooden cottages, then a bricked house and further on were farm buildings, then you came to Broad Hope Farm. Just before you came to the farm house, on the right hand side, was a large pond. On the same side was a brick building which had double doors one side and single door on the other side where the horse was stabled. Returning back down the road and along the High Road were four cottages on the right hand side and further along on the left hand side (what we called the bullock lodge) was a squared building and large yard in the middle, where the cattle were kept. Right next to this were six white cottages. Then you came to Oak Farm, The original house was pulled down in the 50's and right opposite, down the end of the long chase, is Great Garlands Farm, where I lived. On the right of the chase was a lovely old chestnut tree and then the cottage which belonged to the farm, with a willow tree in the garden, where the German prisoner of war, who stayed and worked for us after the war, lived. Continuing along the High Road was Old Garlands and then on the corner were two cottages called Springhouse and the road then lead onto Giffords Cross Road

Cowshed and milking parlour, south east of the farmhouse, with Friesian herd,
c 1957

The pond with the island built by prisoner of war Henry Brecht, who stayed on as a farmworker after World War II, c 1956

Great Garlands was built in 1753 by a Thomas Masshiter and it has a plaque to this effect on the front of the house (See Great Garlands, Stanford-le-Hope by Randal Bingley, Panorama 45, p 46). The house was built of brick and flint stone with a garden at the front facing the river with a brick wall around it. In front of the brick wall was the pond and we had set willow trees around the pond and an island was made in the middle where another willow tree was planted.

Further on the left hand side were the thatched sheds for the milking cows and the dairy. Opposite the farm house was a granary which I believe still exists and underneath this was a bricked surround where we kept the pigs. Through the gates brought you into the farm yard. On the left was the pond and beside this, when I lived there, was a very large stone which they called 'a growing stone'. On the right was an open shed where the tractors were kept and a wooden hut on four iron wheels (where the chicken and ducks liked to get under and lay their eggs). I believe this was the shepherd's hut which would have been in the field when the sheep were lambing so that the shepherd could spend the night in it, but we used it so the men could sit and eat their breakfast in the dry. Then a building next to this where the food for the pigs was cooked and a large bath where the vegetables were washed before being taken to the market. Then a large barn and further buildings with the stables at the bottom which lead down the lane to the marshes.

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