The Champion and Hawkings families are only recorded as living at the farm for a short amount of time towards the end of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries up to the tragic death of Jesse Hawkings on the farm in 1917, the farm is important in the memories of the families of Jesse Hawkings, and his two wives, Annie Corley and Ethel Champion.
From Somerset Archives Facebook page
This plan of Brean Down Farm, showing the sea wall (‘the west wall lately made new’ – written bottom right,) wharves and the River Axe, is one of a number of fascinating maps and plans of areas of Somerset, Devon and Wiltshire in the Wyndham family archive. Bean Down Farm was part of the manor of Brean which was presented to Walter de Douai by William I. In 1663 Sir Wadham Wyndham bought part of these lands from the then owner Philip Jackson, and it remained in the possession of the Wyndham family into the 20th Century. The title written on the map reads: ‘This Farme called Brean Down was surveighed by a Circumpherence divided into 360 dgs and protracted by a scale of 20 pearch in the Intch for William Windam Esq Anno Dni 1702.’
- On 4 Apr 1786 the Hon. James Everard Arundell of Ashcombe, Wiltshire and Ann his wife (late Ann Wyndham only child and heir of John Wyndham late of the Close, New Sarum, esq., deceased) leased to Charles Penruddocke of Compton Chamberlayne, Wiltshire esq. the manor or farm of Breane (Brean Down Farm) for a term of 99 years determinable on the lives of James Everard Arundell esq., Thomas Raymond Arundell esq., and Catherine Elizabeth Arundell. For the yearly rent of £15 6s 8d.
On 3 Apr 1794 the Hon. James Everard Arundell of Ashcombe, Wiltshire and Ann his wife (late Ann Wyndham only child and heir of John Wyndham late of the Close, New Sarum, esq., deceased) leased to Thomas Yeatman of Brean Down, yeoman, a farmhouse commonly called Old Brean Farm House together with the fishing house with Brean Down Fishery for the term of 5 years. For the yearly rent of £70.
On 5 Apr 1816 William Wyndham of Dinton esq. leased to John Chapman and Henry Chapman of Rodney Stoke, gents., Brean Down Farm and fishery for the term of 10 years. For the yearly rent of £850.
On 25 Mar 1826 William Wyndham of Dinton esq. leased to John Chapman and Henry Chapman of Breane, gents., Brean Down Farm for the term of 7 years. For the yearly rent of £1000. (Lease and counterpart lease.)
On 25 Mar 1826 William Wyndham of Dinton esq. leased to Henry Chapman of Breane, gent., Brean Down Hill and several closes of arable land, and Brean Down Fishery, for the term of 5 years. For the yearly rent of £105. (Lease and counterpart lease.)
The farm was leased to the Champions who passed the lease onto Jesse Hawkings who moved there from Northam.