Bolton and Fangfoss Local History

Sampsons at Bolton House Farm

Bolton House Farm stands on Bolton Lane, and is now almost 150 years old. For all that time it has been in the hands of one family - the Sampsons.

Samuel Sampson bought the freehold estate, previously occupied by John Houselay, at auction on the 17th May 1859. Samuel was then 45 years old, and had been born in Moor Monkton in 1814. At the time of the 1851 census he had been farming 229 acres at North Duffield, unmarried and living with his older sister Hannah Sampson.  The farm, which came with 135 acres, was offered for auction at The Black Swan Inn on Coney Street in York. Samuel paid £6,030, the equivalent of around £440,000 now. There were 40 acres of grassland, the remainder being taken up with arable crops of wheat, oats, turnips and potatoes. Some land was fallow. The land was drained and marled – that is clay put on top of the sandy soil to stop it blowing away. 

Samuel Sampson

Details of the purchase of the estate 1859 (click to enlarge)


Map of Chapel Burial Ground with site of Samuel and Hannah's grave

A new farmhouse and buildings were built in 1860-1 by Grant’s of Pocklington. When the house was built, in keeping with most East Riding farms, the master bedroom over looked the fold yard so that a close eye could be kept on the livestock through the night. Rooms were made to enable 2 maids and 4 workers to ‘live in’. They had a separate staircase. The worker’s quarters were connected to the Master’s bedroom with wire bell pulls.

Samuel Sampson gave permission for the new Wesleyan Methodist Chapel to be built on his land in the village in 1869. He became a trustee of the Chapel and is buried in the Chapel graveyard. Samuel was unmarried and his sister Hannah, who also did not marry, continued to live with him in Bolton as housekeeper. She is also buried in the Sampson plot in the burial ground. When Samuel died in 1884, aged 70, the farm was passed on to William Sampson his nephew, the son of his younger brother Thomas.  


William Sampson was part owner of the farm with his brother Samuel and also leased Manor Farm in Bolton (now known as Corner Farm) in 1890. William married Eleanor Stephenson in 1878, and six children. He was one of the "Pocklington Board of Guardians" responsible for the Pocklington Workhouse there is a photograph of the Board taken in 1897 to celebrate Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee in which William can be identified. William surrendered the lease of Manor Farm in 1909 when his eldest son emigrated to Canada and three other sons became sea-going engineers, living in America and New Zealand.  

Eleanor Sampson 


This description of Bolton House Farm is taken from the 1910 Valuation Survey. [For more about the survey - click here]

Occupier: William Sampson

Part Owner: William Sampson [other part Samuel Sampson, Nether Poppleton] occupied by part owner under yearly agreement

Estimated rent: £120

Situate in Bolton Lane 3 miles from Pocklington. Compact farm 30% grass, rest arable. Grass land fairly good, on light side, arable land moderate to fair light, sand land. Fences live, timber 6 oak & ash. Water supply good Garden 12 fruit trees, few gooseberries, currents etc.

  • A. Brick & slate house, good repair, 6 bedrooms, boxroom, 2 kitchens, dairy, cellar, entrance hall, 2 rooms, coal ho[use], E[arth]C[loset]
  • B. Stable (2), harness room, stable (5), box, trap ho[use]
  • C. 2 boxes, granary over; 2 bay cart shed (brick & tile)
  • D. Implement shed (brick & tile) Barn, cart shed (4 bay) granary over
  • E. 2 boxes, root ho[use]: cowshed (4), box
  • F. Barn, piggery, Cart ho[use]
  • G. Wood fold
  • H. Wood fold K. Wood & iron shed, since 1909 Buildings unless given otherwise brick & slate good repair


Leonard Sampson

Leonard Sampson, William’s son, was born in 1888. He joined the East Riding Yeomanry in 1912 serving in Palestine and returned to the farm in 1919 when William retired. William Sampson died at the age of 80 in 1931; his wife Eleanor lived a further 15 years, dying at the age of 92 in 1947. The farm passed on to Leonard in 1919 and remained in his occupancy until 1963 when he retired and passed the farm onto his son Timothy. During Leonard’s ownership of the farm it was the headquarters for ‘C’ Company Home guard during the 1939/45 war; Leonard was a company commander. As previous Sampson’s had done, Leonard kept a daily diary of life on the farm – digital copies of some of these diaries are now housed at the Treasure House. 

Leonard Sampson 


In 1970 Manor Farm (now known as Corner Farm) having 130 acres of land was bought by Timothy Sampson and joined to Bolton House Farm. The farmhouse and farm buildings were sold for private occupancy while Bolton House Farm farmed the land. At the turn of the 21st century Bolton House continues in the Sampson family under the management of Robert Sampson – son of Timothy and Judith, now the fifth generation to farm here.  

Five Generations

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