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Far End from the garden.

The garden

The Cottage before  restoration.  Note the two front doors.

The Cottage in 1978.

Far End & The Cottage

Far End is one of the most interesting properties in Knowle, doubtless so named because it is clearly near the far end of Kixley Lane.  The property occupies a small square plot not far from the canal.  In 1816 it sat in the corner of a larger parcel of land owned by one John Hurst, whose wife was Elizabeth Willcox, a sister of William Willcox Snr. of Grimshaw Hall - a small fact which may have no significance.  The present house comprises a two-storey central block flanked by two extensions sideways to the road.  The enclosure map of 1817 shows what appears to be the main building placed centrally in the plot - not on the footprint it is today, suggesting that it has been rebuilt, possibly incorporating materials from an earlier building.  Beyond the house is an attractive range of small outbuildings, part of the Far End property in the Willcox era, but now in the curtilege of the neighbouring Yew Tree Farm.

In the nineteenth and twentieth centuries Far End was associated with two families: the Eagles and the Willcox’s.  The Eagles were coal merchants, who used the wharf at Kixley Bridge.  About 1871 the property was purchased by William Willcox Jnr., who was a farmer and whose family owned Grimshaw Hall for most of the 19th century.  It remained in the family until  they sold it to Mr. & Mrs. Goad in 1953.

For a short time, possibly in the late nineteenth century, Far End was a public house.  Until recently the words 'Kixley Tavern' could just be seen between two first floor windows, and a low arch in the front wall marks the entrance to the cellar.  There was a considerable amount of canal traffic in the early 19th century, but not all goods reached their intended destination - dishonest boatmen were reputedly caught at the Kixley Tavern with stolen goods unloaded at the nearby wharf.

Far End is now run as a Bed and Breakfast business.

An aerial view of the property.

Some of the outbuildings, now belonging to Yew Tree Farm.

A little further down the lane is The Cottage, now separately owned, but originally part of the Far End property.  The Cottage first appears on the 1888 Ordnance Survey map, and has every appearance of being mid to late 19th century.  It was originally two cottages, each one-up one-down, which were eventually combined into a single dwelling.  The Willcox family, who still own The Cottage, have restored and extended it to create a charming residence in an idyllic spot.