Birches Farm

Unlike Cowden, Whitecarr or Squires Birches Farm does not seem to be of any great age and probably only came into existence as a unit some time after 1800.

It is likely the name came from James Birch who leased land in Lower Town between 1832 and 1836 and possibly longer but there's no evidence yet.

The map of c.1800 doesn't show any buildings in the area and together with the statement by John Mercer, in his autobiography "Another of father's brothers Henry had a factory in Lower Town where the shipon now stands behind the lowest public house" indicates that the building and the farm are of comparatively recent origin.

In 1803 various fields that were later part of Birches farm were held as part of separate holdings. This, together with evidence pointing towards few buildings in the area and field names such as 'Dole' could mean that the area was once part of the town known as the Great Hey, or Great Field.