The Bunces became the last owners of Clappers Green Farm, but the Bunces had older connections in Palmers Green at Bunces Farm on Firs Lane.
The farmhouse and outbuildings were built on the site of the The Firs, the grand home of the the Lake family. Alan Dumayne relates that the Lakes were originally from Lincolnshire. Royalist Sir Edward Lake was granted a baronetcy by Charles I for services rendered and although it fell into disuse it was subsequently renewed by Sir Bibye Lake who lived at The Firs. The reputedly very handsome building was approached by a long drive just opposite the present day St Monica’s Church (the drive was stopped up at the beginning of the 19th century and the land added to the Firs Estate).
The Lake’s wealth, says Dumayne, had come from the Hudson Bay company where successive generations were governors (There is now a piece of Canada which is forever North London – Edmonton Alberta was named after Edmonton Middlesex).
The last Lake at the Firs was Sir James Winter Lake FRSA. Fabulously weathly, he assembled a stunning art collection. Dumayne tells us this was sold on his death in 1808 in 1135 lots. The sale lasted 8 days, but didn’t include his extensive library, which took another 15 days, or his engravings, which took another 12!
The farm buildings appear to have been on the west side of Firs Lane, roughly at the junction with Ferndale Road, and Regnart, reminiscing back to the 1880s, states that the lands once extended to Green Lanes.
Bunces farm was at one time part of the Huxley Estate. George Bunce took over the farm in the 1840s and his family held it for three generations. Future generations of Bunces also became tenant farmers of Firs Farm, a short distance further north along Firs Lane.