The Hop Kilns was built in the 1830s and formed part of Flights Farm until it was divided up into separate properties in the 1980s. The original farmhouse was the white house, still named Flights Farm, next door, and the farm included what is now Haygrove fruit farm and Flights Orchard, the organic farm on Falcon Lane.
The hops were brought here for drying from a nearby hop yard just beyond the turning to Falcon Lane. Water from the pond was used for hop washing - a horse drawn water container was used for washing pests off the hops while they were still growing in the hop yard.
We believe at least part of the stable and hayloft pre-dates The Hop Kilns. The ground floor was divided into stabling for horses and probably shelter for cattle, with an area for pigs at the rear. Hay was stored in the upstairs loft, which ran the length of the building and was accessed by an outdoor staircase. Hay in the loft was forked into a manger on the ground floor through a gap in the ceiling at the back of the building. The only remaining section of the feeding rack has been restored and forms part of the bedroom wall.
We also managed to preserve the original two-part studded stable door. The dining table is made from the bottom half of the door and a side table from the top half. The coffee table was made from the original hayloft door and door frame. The oak door frames were used to make all the table legs.
Many of the blue engineering bricks from the original stable floor have been used to support the feature wall in the bedroom and to build the patio wall outside.
Elm from the original dividing walls between the individual stables on the ground floor now makes up some of the floorboards in the lounge. They supplement cedar boards, which have formed the floor for many years. The cedar boards are wider and more darkly coloured than the elm boards.
The old piggery is now the laundry room at the rear of the property.
The local hop yard no longer existed by the time The Hop Kilns was converted into a house in the 1980s.