The previous owner of Orchard Farm was Tom, a character well liked in the village but a complete stranger to soap, hammer, paintbrush or any home improvements. He was renowned also for his pack of boss-eyed dogs which local children apparently found rather frightening. After years of dogs and neglect the house and barns were in an unbelievably awful state although Tom had been living here happily enough, apparently.
Tom died in December 1982. We bought Orchard Farm at auction in April 1983. Most people thought we were mad, including just at first our own children then of a fairly impressionable age. They soon rallied round but it took us months just simply getting the house and outbuildings reasonably habitable, before we were able to start on the rather more exciting and certainly very rewarding transformation process.
It was twenty years before people stopped referring to Orchard Farm as ‘Tom’s place’, hence Tom’s Barn. We now have an Australian grandson, Tom, who at just five assumes – from Sydney – his role to be that of absentee landlord.
He seems quite happy at present with the way we are running things for him.
It has been really hot here as it has in most parts of the country. We are getting ready for Open Gardens next Sunday, 25 June 2017. The rose above the stone barn has prolific blooms that we are hoping will still be there at the end of the week. Lots of hot air balloons […]
Chatsworth House played host to RHS flower show for the 1st time this year. The setting is delightful and the show gardens all very natural which is lovely to see in this Peak District setting. Peak District Premier Cottages contributed to the sponsorship of the Experience Peak District garden which won a Silver Gilt medal. […]
The Eroica Festival will be taking place at Friden Grange between the 16 and 18 June 2017. This is one of the most popular events in the cycling and festival calendars and Tom’s and Douglas’s Barns are ideally placed being only 5 miles from the venue. You do not even need to get in the […]