Newchurch Village > History > Farming the Marsh > Horse and Steam Power

Horse and Steam Power

4 horses ploughing ground at Brooker Farm

Ploughing at Brooker Farm in early 1900's. In those days the texture of the soil was referred to by the number of horses it took to pull the plough. As you can see, land at Brooker Farm was known as "4-horse" land - a heavy clay soil . Today, an 8-furrow plough would be pulled by a 300 horsepower tractor.

Steam power revolutionized farming.  Mechanical threshers and steam engine drawn ploughs reduced the need for manual labour and horse teams.

These two steam engines were made in 1916 and were a common sight as they drew a plough across 14 to 16 acres of land a day. They were idle from 1943 and stood alongside the Newchurch to Romney Road in a field belonging to the Link brothers for 14 years before being removed in July 1957. They were towed away to the famous Pegden Brothers premises at Lyminge where they were restored and called Frostlands and Rooklands after the names of the Link brothers farms.

These two steam engines were made in 1916

The three Link brothers standing with a steam engine
From left to right: Harry - the oldest, Horace - the youngest and Herbert - the middle brother. 

 
Steam engine
Steam engine

Steam engine, showing the cable that was used to pull the plough from one side of the field to the other.  A second steam engine would pull it back again.

Steam Engine and Plouch c.1925

Steam engine and plough circa.1925.
Steam engines were used alongside petrol and diesel machinery until the early 1940s, much later than is commonly supposed. 

 

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