Otterton History - Mullins or Mollands Farm
MULLINS OR MOLLANDS FARM FORE STREET, OTTERTON
Housterns Farm with yard of Mullins to left. Village to right 1968
Tithe No 1126
First named in Auction Prospectus 1779 but farmed by George Molland earlier in 18th. century. He died 5th. March 1785. His son Samuel, in 1779 was holding messuage & tenement in Otterton Fore Street, 33 ½ acres, 3 fields of 9 acres and two fields called Cleales or Clayles of 6 acres. late Bayleis . The rental of £2 plus a “pullet” and providing a “ horse and man at harvest-time” and “Man to clear the leat”. This suggests that his 99 year conventionary lease had been running since about 1710, The Mollands may have held the lease since that time. Samuel was Churchwarden 3 times, in 1783, 1787 & 1794. In 1784/5 he is buying a “slate Register Book and other things for Church use £5.7/1d”. 3 years later he is supplying a “barel(sic) of cyder” 11/-.to the Church. (see below re Cyder Mill)
Samuel Molland died 28th. October 1806 age 75 as reported by the Exeter Flying Post. The Rolle Estates took over the Lease and put Mullins (corruption of Mollands!) on a Rack Rent annual basis also dividing up the land. Part went to the Bishop family living in the farm to the east, which later became part of Watering Farm. Thomas Bridle was renting “part Baileys, ½ Clayles” in 1814 (Land Tax) and by the Tithe Award 1843 James Bridle is holding Mullins of 38 acres 3 rood, on Rack Rent Nos.7, 23 & 47. The house and courtlage (ie.barns), Home Orchard and about 9 acres No.23 were in and south of the village, but the remaining 16 fields were all at Ladram Bay. All were arable except 4 acres 3 rood of Orchards. The farmhouse faced onto Fore Street and the Home Orchard stretched south to Behind Hayes and was filled with appletrees.
From the evidence it seems that the Mollands
built up a lucrative cider producing business at Mullins during the 18th. and
early 19th. centuries. They had a fair acreage of apple orchards and they
probably had supplies of apples from other farmer/growers. Their cider mill was
housed in a round house with a donkey/pony walking a wheel powering the press. A
substantial machine compared to the other mills known in the village. By 1888
the O/S map marks the round house as joined to a barn and Halse’s farmhouse.
A Cider Press in Round House with horse drawn wheel 1930’s
There were two separate Halse families known to be living
at “Housterns” and it is probable that one of the families moved into
Mullins farmhouse after 1852. By 1881 William Beer was the tenant farmer and
Mullins farmhouse had been demolished. It is not marked on the 1888 O/S map.
© Gerald Millington 2013
© Otterton Village 2016