Ickenham is fortunate still to retain some of its rural heritage, with several farms and farmhouses in the vicinity. One of them, Copthall farmhouse on Breakspear Road South, was probably built in the 18th century although the farm has been in existence for well over five hundred years. Copthall or Copt Hall means a “Hall with a roof rising to a copt or a peak”.
The farm was once part of the extensive old manor of Brackenbury owned by Thomas Brackenburgh in the 14th century. A Richard Auditor held the property in 1546 and later gave his name to it. Sir Richard Newdigate, Sergeant at Law, acquired Auditors alias Copthall in 1675 and the family sold it by auction in 1877. At the time the farmhouse was described as “built of brick and tiled with entrance, parlour, kitchin (sic), back kitchin, dairy, wood house and three bedrooms”. The building itself remains substantially the same to this day.
In 1882, George Treadaway was the farmer and by 1908 Arthur Ive had taken over. In 1933, Frank Dalton, a member of the Dalton family which has been farming in Middlesex for centuries, was tenant farmer at Copthall. His nephew, John Dalton, later bought the farm in the 1960s and he and his wife Venetia ran it as a dairy farm until 1996. One of their four sons, Toby Dalton, is the present owner. Today, Toby concentrates on beef cattle and the farm shop on the premises.
Dalton’s Farm Shop, which opens all day on Fridays and on Saturday mornings, is supervised by Ray Garner. It sells its own beef and other meat, as well as eggs from Toby’s cousin Richard’s Long Lane Farm. The shop also makes and sells sausages, burgers and pies.
DROP-IN FOR THE BEREAVED. Third Monday of each month. St Giles’ Church Hall, 2pm to 3.30pm. A friendly, informal opportunity for a chat, over a cup of tea, with other bereaved people and pastoral visitors. The next meeting is on Monday 16th February (then Monday 16th March). Just come along, or ring the Rectory (622970) if you would like to talk to someone first.