logo Noakes Grove History
- mid-19th century to the present


The Tithe Awards map and ownership details - 1840s

Note: the two halves of what is now Noakes Grove nature reserve were in different ownership and had different tenants

Sewards Farm - home of the Reeves:

Noakes Grove was part of Sewards End Farm which was owned and farmed by the Reeve family from the 1920s to 2003. This map shows how the farm was split up and sold after the last brother (Frank) died.

Noakes Grove was split off from the farmhouse land and bought by a Saffron Walden couple who wished to use it for horse rearing. Planning permission was refused and it was sold again: to us as a nature reserve.




Aerial photo - about 2000:

This old aerial photo shows that, late in the Reeve brothers lives, Arbury field had become covered in scrub. It was used for game bird shooting and the rides through the scrub allowed access to the hunters and their gundogs.

Hattie Jacques visits Noakes Grove:

A frequent, and famous, visitor to the Sewards End fêtes was Hattie Jacques. She stayed regularly with theatre friends who lived in Elms Farm.


The Reeve brothers at the village fête:

The Reeve brothers loaned Arbury Field for use each year for the Sewards End village fete. Indeed, it is still called “the fete field” by long-term residents of Sewards End.

The three Reeve brothers (Kinver, Frank & Dennis) are in position 1, 3 and 5 starting on the left. Between them are visiting American airmen who had been stationed nearby during the war.






"Building plots" going cheap?:

Part of Sewards End Farm was sold at auction to shady London Estate Agent companies. They sold the land in small and expensive plots to unwary people who they mislead into believing they were buying building plots. Planning permission refused the land is unused.

"Land-banking" con-men:

Today the plotland con-trick is being played again by a new company. Plots are being sold on three fields just across the road from Noakes Grove for £80,000 an acre. Noakes Grove cost us less than £10,000 an acre.




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Organic Countryside Community Interest Company
Trading as Walden Countryside
Company number 06794848 - registered in England
VAT No: 947 3003 317

Updated 1 December 2020