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Lower Higham Farm

Werneth Low Country Park

A History

The first evidence for Lower Higham Farm occurs in documents written around 1330. The area was mentioned much earlier, in the Domesday Book of 1086. Then, Werneth Low along with several other places in North East Cheshire was declared waste and valued at 10 shillings.

The Higham family of Werneth, were one of the ancient free holding families of Tameside. They held a tract of land along the northern slopes of Werneth Low which was farmed by the family for many generations. In 1445 a John Higham is listed as one of the knights, gentlemen, and free holders of Cheshire.

The Higham family retained their gentry status during the sixteenth centuries as indicated by a number of references. At some stage during the eighteenth century, the ancestral home of the Highams passed out of the family and was sold to the Egertons of Tatton. It was then resold in 1857 along with all its land to Samuel Harrison.

In 1921 Lower Higham Farm and all its land was sold to the public for £5,000 following a public appeal in memory of fallen servicemen of the First World War.

Between the two world wars the farm continued to produce milk for the people of Hyde. In 1971 the last tenant farmer left and so ended centuries of farming at Lower Higham.

The present building dates from the seventeenth century and although renovation work was completed in the 1970s many original features still remain. Lower Higham is now the visitor centre for Werneth Low Country Park being officially opened in 1980 by His Royal Highness The Duke of Gloucester. The centre provides visitor services and facilities and is also the base for the countryside warden service who have the responsibility for the day to day running of the country park.

Lower Higham Farm is now owned and cared for by the Hyde War Memorial Trust. It is managed by country park management committee.