Willow Court Farmhouse, Droitwich
In March 2020 The Worcestershire Building Preservation Trust was awarded development funding of £259,400 by The National Lottery Heritage Fund to help secure the future of the Willow Court Farmhouse and progress our plans to apply for a full National Lottery grant in 2023. We are working together in a new partnership with Wychavon District Council and Platform Housing Group to rescue this empty Grade II listed building.
The farmhouse, which has not been lived in for decades, is in a very poor condition, so the first stage of the project will make the site secure and develop detailed plans to save the building. The longer-term plan will see essential conservation work undertaken to stabilise it, including preservation of a historic timber frame hidden inside, and create six new affordable flats for rent.
Willow Court farmhouse was historically know as Boycott Farm and this name first appears in documents as early as 1456. A farmhouse on the current site appears to have been built in the later 16th century, represented by a surviving timber framed element tucked away at the rear of the house complete with star shaped brick chimney stacks. We hope to discover more about this early structure during the project. In the 18th century the old farmhouse was enlarged with the addition of a new brick extension which forms the main frontage of the house we can see today.
We shall be exploring the history of the farm and the people who lived and worked there as the restoration work proceeds.
As part of the project we are aiming to create apprenticeships to enable young people to acquire new skills and we shall be holding a series of community events and activities which will help unlock the lost history of the farm and surrounding land. Research into a possible royal link will be also be undertaken as it is thought that Boycott farm was part of the Salwarpe estate lands once owned by the family of Katherine of Aragon, wife of King Henry VIII.
Thanks to Tim Cornah and Professor Bob Stone, who captured the drone footage to create the model.
We are delighted to be awarded a grant from the Arts Council England Let’s Create Jubilee Fund, administered by Worcestershire Community Foundation.
This funding will allow WBPT to run an exciting multi-generational pilot project to gather oral history, comparing the 7 decades of Queen Elizabeth’s reign in the Droitwich West area where Willow Court Farmhouse is situated. The ACE funding will enable us to employ Julia Letts, an experienced oral historian, who will work with children from the local school. The children will learn how to prepare questions and have an opportunity to ask the local community about their experiences.
After the project audios, video, and selected transcripts will be available on The Worcestershire Building Preservation Trust Website.