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National Farm Survey-Kirkby Malham

National Farm Survey of England and Wales, 1941

When the Second World War began Britain was faced with the need to increase home food production and the area of land under cultivation had to be increased significantly. The Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries set up County War Agricultural Executive Committees ('County War Ags') to oversee this increased food production. They had powers to direct what was grown, to take possession of land, to terminate tenancies, to inspect property, and to organise mobile groups of farm workers. One of the first tasks was to direct a ploughing-up campaign with large expanses of grassland being prepared for cultivation and instructions given as to what should be planted. To assist in this campaign, a preliminary farm survey was started in June 1940 and farms were classified A, B, or C, depending on their productive state (ie. the physical condition of the land) and the managerial efficiency (or otherwise) of the farmer (in extreme cases land was taken over by the local Committee). The War Ag instructed farmers to plough part of their land and plant alternative crops, as can be seen in the extracts below.

Oats in the Dales
Oats being grown in Malhamdale. The fertile soil
produced long stems which caused problems at harvest.
Sugar beet
Sugar Beet being grown at Newfield. It proved too
difficult to harvest and was trialled for one year only.

Second Domesday Book

Having reached their initial goals, the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries then started a 2nd survey to be used in forward planning, which like Domesday would provide a "permanent and comprehensive record of the conditions on the farms of England and Wales". The National Farm Survey undertaken by district committees consisting of experienced farmers, and was begun in early 1941 and completed by the end of 1943. Every farm and holding of five acres or more was surveyed in addition to the information already gathered in a census return of farms completed by the farmers on June 4th 1941, which had included crop acreage, livestock numbers, information on rents and their length of occupancy.
The records created by the inspectors for each farm included information on the conditions of tenure and occupation, and the general state of the farm including its fertility, adequacy of equipment, water and electricity supplies, weeds or pest infestations, and general management. A map showing the fields and boundaries for each farm was also produced.

View a complete transcript of the National Farm Survey for Malhamdale, complete with maps.

National Farm Survey - Kirkby Malham 1941
This extract shows some of the details recorded for the farms in the township of Kirkby Malham, taken from both the farm census return and the inspector's report. These are available at the National Archives in the record series Kirkby Malham MAF32/1144/459/1-8. The entries in red show the land ploughed up and planted under the direction of the County War Agricultural Executive Committee.

Green Farm (Manor House)  
Farm Green Farm 459/1 - Category B
Tenant George Alderson
Owner JA Procter, Holgate Head 189 acres & M Knowles 33.9 acres
Rent 152 pa
Length of occupation 7 years
Family workers 2M 2F
Workers employed 1M
Grass -Mowing 39 acres
Grass - Grazing 212 acres
Rough Grazing 6 acres
Other (WAEC) 6.5 acres oats, mixed corn, kale and roots
Cattle and calves 40
Sheep and Lambs 315
Pigs 2
Poultry 85
Goats 2
Horses 3
Notes Electric light, spring water supply (seasonal) , no tractor
Farm Accraplatts 459/2 - Category B
Tenant Richard Brown
Owner *GCM Barlow, Hazeldene, Altham, Accrington 222.5 acres &
E Hodkinson, The Green, Hellifield 66.6 acres
Rent 178pa
Length of occupation *26 years, rest 8 yrs
Family workers 2M 2F
Workers employed 1M 1F
Grass -Mowing 34 acres
Grass - Grazing 110 acres
Rough Grazing 115 acres
Other (WAEC) 6 acres rape and kale
Cattle and calves 40
Sheep and Lambs 326
Pigs 1
Poultry 46
Goats 7
Horses 3
Notes No Electric, spring water supply (constant) , no tractor
Church Farm  
Farm Church Farm 459/3 - Category B
Tenant John Bradley
Owner JA Procter, Holgate Head 363 acres &
KM School Trustees 71 acres
Rent 200 pa
Length of occupation 7 years
Family workers 3M 2F
Workers employed 3M
Grass -Mowing 41 acres
Grass - Grazing 175 acres
Rough Grazing 186 acres
Other (WAEC) 10 acres oats, rape, kale and turnips
Cattle and calves 42
Sheep and Lambs 405
Pigs 2
Poultry 175
Goats 13
Horses 2
Notes No Electric, spring water supply (constant) , no tractor
Westbank Farm  
Farm Westbank Farm 459/5 - Category B
Tenant Edward Newhouse
Owner JA Procter, Holgate Head
Rent 65 pa
Length of occupation 40years
Family workers 1M
Workers employed 0
Grass -Mowing 13.5 acres
Grass - Grazing 64 acres
Rough Grazing  
Other (WAEC) 3.5a oats and potatoes
Cattle and calves 18
Sheep and Lambs 101
Poultry 110
Horses 1
Notes No Electric, piped water supply (constant), no tractor
Kirkby Top Farm  
Farm Kirkby Top Farm 459/6 - Category B
Tenant Joseph Ernest Johnson
Owner Exors Wilbury Kendal, Bournemouth 186 acres &
TH Geldard, Prior Hall 18 acres
Rent 155 pa
Length of occupation 5 years
Family workers 1M
Workers employed 0
Grass -Mowing 27 acres
Grass - Grazing 30 acres
Rough Grazing 128.5 acres
Other (WAEC) 5.5 acres oats, kale, roots and potatoes, 1.5 acres oats
Cattle and calves 24
Sheep and Lambs 187
Pigs 2
Poultry 50
Goats 0
Horses 2
Notes No Electric, piped water supply (poor/constant), no tractor
New Close  
Farm New Close 459/8 - Category A
Tenant Silvester James Verity
Owner JA Procter, Holgate Head 635 acres, KM School Trustees 7 acres & Hanlith Estates Ltd 4 acres
Rent 288pa
Length of occupation 8 years
Family workers 1M
Workers employed 2M
Grass -Mowing 55 acres
Grass - Grazing 130 acres
Rough Grazing 400 acres
Other (WAEC) 6 acres oats and seeds, 6 acres oats, kale , roots and potatoes
Cattle and calves 70
Sheep and Lambs 750
Pigs 0
Poultry 67
Goats 3
Horses 4
Notes No Electric, piped water supply (constant), no tractor
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Transcribed and from original material in the National Archives ©

A more comprehensive Research Guide with details of the National Farm Surveys External Website logo can be downloaded from the NA website.

Searching the National Archives Catalogue External Website logo you will find the records listed for the other townships under these references.

Malham Moor




Kirkby Malham












Coniston Cold







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