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History of Ash and Ridley from Earliest Records to 1957
Compiled by Dorothy G. Meager on behalf of Ash and Ridley Women's Institute           Page 52

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Interesting Houses - continued

Olivers Farm watercolour

Olivers Farm
The farm may derive its name from one Edmund Olyver a citizen and stockfishmonger in London, who in 1370 was involved in a law suit over a piece of land in Asshe. Whether this is so or not, the place has clearly been inhabited for many years. Such things as odd pieces of horse furniture, pack horse bells, hand wrought nails and other strange pieces of iron ware and fragments of pottery, especially of Wrotham pottery have been found. About Wrotham pottery, with its very distinctive brown and yellow stripes, little seems to be known. There are a few pieces in the Fitzwilliam Museum at Cambridge. Very few complete pieces exist, though a large dish, broken it is true, but capable of being mended, came to light recently. Bits of old clay pipes are constantly being dug up and one ingenious suggestion is that the place was once a fairground, but the much more likely view is that Cromwell’s Roundheads were once billeted at the Farm. It is apparently a fact that quantities of clay pipes are often 

found where the Roundheads were quartered for any length of time. In 1860 the farm was owned by J. Duff, but on one of the windows are the initials O.H. and J.H. and the date October 28th 1885. These initials are those of Oliver and Jesse Hollands, two brothers, and uncles of John Hollands of Rumsey Farm, both emigrated to Australia. The present owner of Olivers Farm is Sir Geofffrey S. King K.C.B., K.B.E., M.C. who has lived there since 1925. Additions and alterations have been made to the house since that time, but all in keeping with the original building. Olivers Farm is a typical Kentish timber framed house with long sloping tiled roof and when a few years ago one of the walls needed repair some of the original daub and wattle was found. The timbers came originally from a ship and one of them bears the date 1650. One cannot but wonder to what strange places they had sailed before coming to rest 500 feet upon the Kentish Hills

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