The Farmer's Club - 'Moans and groans
This old 17th century building is located on Hereford's Widemarsh street,the club still keeps it Medieval appearance .
In the he inside of the club there is old wooden flooring and old timber oak beams ,there are some parts of the building that have survived many years and are given a 16th century date. At the back of the Farmer's Club there is decoration on the outside walls which is considered to be an original piece of the building.The decoration has been re-painted many times to keep it's splendid design. The smell of oldness and history awaits you in this historical local building.
The Farmer's Club has traditionally been called The Gatehouse, this was it's name as it was part of Hereford's Widemarsh Gate.
The building has an old wooden black door on it's side which is clearly visible to anybody walking past the building. Carved into the stone above it is the date 1626 and the initials of Thomas Church which is barely visible to the human eye unless you look closely.
The old door was cut on the 29th October 1628 when the Council granted permission to the resident of the house Thomas Church who was later Mayor of Hereford. Thomas wanted to cut a small doorway on the left hand side of the gate through the City wall so he could use the water in the town ditch. The old city gate was knocked known and demolished in the 1700's and the city wall was also knocked in 1898.
The Farmer's Club is rumoured to be haunted . Previous members of bar staff have heard a man's groans and moans late at night when the club is closed, the noises come from the cellar. The cellar has very uneven stone steps and inside as a very low ceiling. It is unknown who the ghost of the building is, as many people have been in and out of this building for centuries, however a man apparently hung himself in the cellar over 35 years ago so it could well be his ghostly cries that are heard late at night.
The Farmer's Club has a varied historical background and as had many uses over the years. The Gatehouse was where a professional boarding school was once housed, this was in 1814 when a Miss Croucher was the principal of the academy for young ladies, the school urgently needed a drawing master, a man called David Cox took the job when Miss Croucher went to interview him in London.
David was a fine teacher and he even wanted to do private lessons for children out of school hours, David would travel around the City on horse to teach his lessons. The Gatehouse was used by schools throughout the 19th century. In 1867 it was a boarding grammar school for young gentlemen and then it became the 'Chandos School', the principal was Rev William Joseph in 1895, Other Folklore suggests that The Farmer's Club was once a place where people would be hanged. There is no evidence to back this claim up though so this is a suggestion that will remain unknown.
When The Farmer's Club was put together it was directly for local farmers but today the club is for everybody and anybody, the club has a private function room where parties take place and there is evening entertainment on various nights of the week, the building still continues to have a wanted use and it is a historical delight to have in Hereford City.
Here is the small old door at The Farmer's Club