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1858: Laine's Farm major fire destroys buildings and equipment

Updated: Dec 5, 2023

Brighton Gazette - Thursday 02 September 1858


Extensive fire.

—A fire broke out on Tuesday se’nnight at “Laines” Farm, occupied by Mr Henry Webber, about a quarter of a mile from the church, which destroyed a large barn, three hovels, a granary, cart shed, broad wheel waggon, cart, thrashing machine, winnowing machine, edget, large quantity of minor agricultural implements, about 100 sacks of barley, 40 sacks of thrashed wheat, five sacks tares, and a good deal of hay. About five o’clock in the afternoon several persons noticed smoke issuing from the thatched roof, and soon afterwards the flames burst forth.

Farm fire near Salisbury 2022 (photograph thanks to Salisbury Journal)

The townspeople instantly turned out, as did also the neighbouring farmers and their men, to assist. It was soon seen that the barn and adjacent buildings could not be saved, and parties were formed to protect the other property. The Rev. Mr Cooper was prominent in facing danger, taking on himself save the tackling and implements. The fire communicated with one the haystacks, but waggons and horses were procured, and a great portion was saved. To prevent the other stacks being consumed, the water from the wells being exhausted, a line was formed a pond, yards distant, and kept up by Messrs. Byass and Maberly, jun., the Misses Fearon supplying the men with refreshments.

Mr R. Webber, of Ansty Farm, and Mr Taylor, Churchwarden, mounted the roof, and for hours kept the fire at bay, Mr Webber being scorched and having bis hair and whiskers singed. Mr Clark, Mr W. Packham, the Rev. H Hawkins, and Dr. TS Byass, took a very active part, as did the Messrs. Jenner, Mr Bristy, Superintendents Akehurst, Wood, and Murrell, E.S.C.

At the height of the conflagration the wind shifted, but the house being in danger, a party was soon at work, removing every combustible likely to lead the fire to it. The fire was not mastered until ten o’clock. The farm is the property of the Earl of Abergavenny, but the loss to Mr Webber is estimated at £350. No clue of the origin of the fire can be obtained. Several beads of poultry were burned, but beyond them no animal life was lost.



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