Red Cow Farm

Chatted to Don Green at Red Cow Farm in Bidwell on Saturday. 

Red Cow Farm cottage with thatched roof, pictured by Alan Winter in 2013.

Showed him some of the old photos including one of a thatched cottage....
Unknown cottage, caption cut off says "Houghton". Came from a collection of a resident who used to reside in Bidwell. Photographer on lower right corner 'Taylor' well known for photography about Dunstable.

When I mentioned the possibility of this being Drury Lane he seemed most excited about that option.

Had a little chuckle when he mentioned that in the past he drove his cows up the (Bedford) road, along the High Street and down the side of the Village Green and around the back of Houghton Hall into the meadow beyond. Wonder what today's folks would make of that if it still went on?

Interestingly he told me the farmhouse was listed on English Heritage site as having an old clay tile roof [link]. But according to Don it's had a thatched roof since 1979. He mentioned that it had been thatched in about 1917, too.

The old duck sheds are maturing gracefully in the back garden. Apparently there is only one official duck supplier in the country now, just outside Aylesbury. It's not a business that is profitable these days. 

He's resigned to the coming of new housing estates that will come up to his rear boundary; says there's not a lot he can do about it.

Further research shows that T G Barnard of Red Cow Farm was mentioned in papers concerning Orders to Plough 1918-19, which was about the breaking up of land for ploughing to produce food.   

Red Cow Farm:
From my album
List Entry Number: 1114704 Historic England
Heritage Category: Listing
Grade: II

Location: RED COW FARM COTTAGE, BEDFORD ROAD, BIDWELL, Houghton Regis, BIDWELL, Central Bedfordshire
TL 02 SW 38/202 5125
C17. Timber-framed with whitewashed brick nogging. Two storeys. Old clay tile roof. Five modern casements. C19 bracketed gabled doorhood. Central brick chimney stack.


  1. I took the clay peg tiles of in 1979 and thatched the roof. It was thatched up until 1917. When it was being thatched. The thatcher was going back up hill to Toddington , when he looked back and saw it on fire. When I took the tiles of most of the roof timbers where black with smoke stains. I have re-ridged it a least every two times. Now re-ridging it again 40 years later.


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