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Peter Stanley's Farm 1850
Seven years after the Willersey tragedy, when seven people lost their lives, a huge fire destroyed Peter Stanley's Farm on Broadway Hill. Fortunately, on this occassion, there was no loss of life.
The farm, probably the one now known as Peter's farm, was owned by Sir Thomas Phillipps of Middle Hill, and occupied by Thomas Savage, a farmer and miller from Hampton, near Evesham. On the morning of Wednesday 5th June 1850 a farm labourer named Richard Dobbins was burning weeds. To assist him with this task he pulled a handful of straw from a rick, and lit it with a match. Unfortunately, in the process, he also set fire to the rick.
The fire quickly got out of control, and spread to the sheds, barn, stables, cottage and house. A hole had to be knocked in the wall of the cottage to allow the woman occupier to escape. She suffered burns to her leg.
The fire engine from Chipping Campden, which belonged to the Birmingham and District Insurance Company, turned up but was of little use due to the shortage of water. Although all the furniture was saved, much other property was lost, including twelve tons of straw, two tons of hay, two carts and a large number of valuable implements. The buildings and contents were insured with the Sun Fire Office.
What happened to the unlucky Mr Dobbins was not recorded.
It is interesting to note that almost one hundred and fifty years later, in the 1990s, there was another fire at Peter's Farm which caused severe damage. Just as at the 1850 fire the brigade was hampered in it's attempt to control the blaze by a lack of a good water supply.
late 19th Century map of Broadway Hill showing Peter's Farm.
In the bottom left hand corner is Broadway Tower, then known as The Beacon.