Farm Ireland

Tuesday 20 February 2018

Picturesque farm with a long history

Caitriona Murphy

Caitriona Murphy

English farms tend to be rather more picturesque than many Irish farms, often consisting of period houses set in traditional farmyards with brick-built outhouses.

Ravenscleugh Farm, close to Otterburn in Northumbria, ticks all those boxes and more. The 265ac upland farm has both historical and environmental attractions in spades, as well as being a productive commercial farming unit.

The farm is believed to have been the camp site for the Scottish army before the famous Battle of Otterburn in 1388. The battle was one of a series of border skirmishes between the English and Scottish that took place at that time.

However, the Scottish victory at Otterburn was an emphatic one, with over 1,000 English soldiers captured and a further 1,800 killed, and it was another 14 years before an English force returned to the area.

Ravenscleugh Farm also includes the remains of a Bronze Age Fort, as well as a medieval village and castle.

The farm's environmental attributes have been developed in recent years, with the current owner developing a duck flighting pond on the farm's higher ground, as well as digging out an additional pond beside the farmyard to develop a fishing business.


Ravenscleugh Farmhouse is a recently renovated Northumbrian farmhouse, surrounded by a range of traditional buildings extending to 2,500ft2. These have the potential for conversion and are currently the subject of a planning application for conversion into two holiday properties.

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The traditional stone farm buildings are currently used for general storage and include four loose boxes and a workshop.

The stone and slate-built house includes a kitchen, dining room, lounge, cloakroom, shower room and utility room on the ground floor, while there are four bedrooms upstairs.

However, the farm also has a number of thoroughly modern agricultural buildings. These include a 60ft x 19ft hayshed and lean-to, a 53ft x 15ft open fronted hemmel (cattle shed with arches), two open-fronted general purpose sheds of 54ft x 17ft and 20ft x 13ft, sheep pens and a 2005-built 90ft x 50ft steel frame shed for livestock and storage.

The farm's 265ac of land is a mixture of meadow, hay fields and improved upland grazing, interspersed by small areas of woodland and pond which lend themselves to sporting activities such as shooting and fishing.

Ravenscleugh Farm comes with single farm payment entitlements, after modulation, of around £14,000 (€15,800) per year. The farm is also currently earning its vendor £3,994 (€4,500) per year in the Countryside Stewardship Scheme which is similar to the Irish REPS and AEOS schemes.

Ravenscleugh is situated five miles from the historic village of Otterburn, adjacent to the A696 road that joins the A68 main road from Newcastle to Edinburgh. The village of Elsdon, on the edge of Northumberland National Park is two miles north of Ravenscleugh. The region's cultural capital of Newcastle upon Tyne is 34 miles away.

For more details, contact George F White on 0044 1665 603581.

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