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Crosby Ravensworth

Penrith, Cumbria

England, UK

CA10 3JG

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Hello &
Welcome

Meet the Tuers

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Our Family and Business
 


 

From the time we first married, I have 'done Bed and Breakfast'. Like my mother before me, I enjoy having guests in our large and beautiful farmhouse. Our family, Laura, William and India have grown up with the ever changing mix of cultures, accents and adventure that visitors bring with them.

So the years go by, we now have grandchildren, our end of the house seems a bit quieter (some of the time!) and I've added Shepherd’s Hut, Wild Camping and a tiny Self Catering Cottage to the enterprise.

Mike runs the farming side and also has a business, www.erratics.co.uk which designs and creates green oak furnishings to commision. Our farmhouse, right at the centre of the farm, is a converted Westmorland field barn, traditional in its setting and structure. But inside the design uses local green oak, glass, steel and cumbrian slate to make an modern and stylish family home.

Being up at 800 ft  we have tremendous views in every direction, across our own land way above the Eden Valley, east to the Pennines and  Howgill fells or the distant Scottish hills of the north. Crake Trees Manor is our home, our business and our life.

We are happy here, I hope you will be too.
Ruth.

Crake Trees Tower House
 


 

Once a grand 14th century Manor, just one precarious wing of Crake Trees Tower House survives today. Documentary evidence dates occupation of the building from 1591, but it is believed to have been built for the family of Lancaster, principally from Sockbridge Hall near Penrith in the C12th.

The family's coat of arms  proudly displayed on the external wall. The medieval timber-framed great hall and associated service range were demolished in the late C16th or early 17thC, being replaced by a single-storey stone-built wing comprising entrance hall and kitchen. A two-storey tower was also erected to contain the house's most elegant rooms.

During the second half of the C17th, the house appears to have been occupied by tenants and the construction of the barn ( using some stone 'robbed ' from the house)  in the late C18th confirms that by then it was essentially just a farmhouse. The house became a habitation of somewhat ill repute, having at the 1864 census 14 occupants , with only 2 related!.  It seems the house was deserted between 1871 and 1881 and gradually fell into disrepair. Photographs indicate that in 1935 the basic structure was still more or less intact. In March 2000, archaeological and architectural investigations teams from English Heritage recorded and analysed the remains of the, and its setting in the landscape. Evidence of a medieval timber-framed private chapel, was found, with a finely carved stone 'piscina' - a large water basin that would have been sited near the altar. Earthworks in the surrounding landscape revealed the site of a fishpond, a fundamental part of any wealthy stately home, along with possible garden terraces that may tie in with the transformation of the house in the late C16th or early C17th. Identification of long-disused trackways reveal that although Crake Trees now appears isolated in the landscape, it was once closely linked by foot and bridleways with  nearby villages and hamlets of the parish of Crosby Ravensworth. Crake Trees is now a Grade II listed building and protected as a Scheduled Ancient Monument. For more information visit here.

The Farm
 


 

Crake Trees Manor is a traditional Westmorland holding that is made up from the amalgamation of three small farms in the 1960's.

At the moment the farm is a mixture of Spring sown barley used for feeding livestock with straw used as ruffage and bedding . There are young stock grazing the grass fields, holstien bullocks and young beef bulls. The sheep that are kept outside all year are scotch mule with suffolk and texel cross lambs. There are often a few 'pet lambs' in the horse garth, together with Millie, India’s 2nd pony who most of the time lives a retired lifestyle. 

The rotation of cropping and grazing by cattle and sheep gives the land  natural potency.  Producing good crops of grass. This system can change as we adapt to complex changes in the world of farming!

Mike runs the farming side, as well as a business designing and making wood furniture and structures from local green oak. See www.erratics.co.uk

In the livestock sheds, and out in the pastures in summer we grow danish red and british blue x holstien bulls and bullocks for beef production. Ewes with lambs at foot are often in the front meadow and are grazed until the lambs are 'fat' then sold at market from July onwards.

We have been in various environmental schemes over the past 10 years, and have recently been accepted into Natural England's higher level stewardship scheme. Two major capital schemes are in progress. Hundreds of metres of drystone wall are being renewed and The Crake Trees Tower House is in the middle of a stabilization and consolidation project that will be progressing right through 2013. 

For the last 2 years we have been used by Reading and Lancaster university as a test site for the european MOPS project. This test program monitors phosphate and potash pollution of surface water over arable and grassland systems. Sounds high level stuff , but the government need data to be able to make environmental decisions. The plots and ponds have provided much information and interest with visits from the Ministries of Agriculture of many european and asian countries.

Once a grand 14th century Manor, just one precarious wing of Crake Trees Tower House survives today. Documentary evidence dates occupation of the building from 1591, but it is believed to have been built for the family of Lancaster, principally from Sockbridge Hall near Penrith in the C12th.

The family's coat of arms  proudly displayed on the external wall. The medieval timber-framed great hall and associated service range were demolished in the late C16th or early 17thC, being replaced by a single-storey stone-built wing comprising entrance hall and kitchen. A two-storey tower was also erected to contain the house's most elegant rooms.

Erratics - Furniture and Landscaping
 


 

We began to use green oak very successfully in the design of our farmhouse & many projects that followed. That naturally led to me using off - cuts and interesting pieces from the massive oak beams for small pieces of furniture, low benches, coffee and side tables. These fitted in well with our contempary building design and existing family antiques.

We plant hedgerow and woodland trees each year. Whilst we had planted a few trees each year since we were married. 3 yrs ago we planted 3500 and continue to plant 100-200 each spring.

We work with Eden Rivers Trust and DEFRA. Mike Tuer is a member of Made in Cumbria.

Visit the Erratics Website