It is believed that the land here at Carpenters Farm has been farmed since the 1600’s. The name ‘Carpenters’ may be linked to tenants Nicholas and Sarah Carpenter- named on a 1738 document which can be seen hung in the gable end of the on-site Barn Café . Other deeds show owners of the farm to include the Barclay family – founders of the well-known bank.
The Barn café is situated in a traditional black boarded Essex barn dating back to 1836. Back then the barn would have housed cattle, hay and grain.
In 1912, Fred and Florence Morton purchased the farm and built themselves a house ( which is now The Oaks Nursing Home ) Later on they moved to the current farmhouse which had itself been rebuilt in 1896 following a devastating fire of the original thatched building.
In the early 1930s the first strawberries were grown, a fruit which contributed greatly to the notoriety of Carpenters Farm today. Indeed the farm shop logo represents the strawberry sales made from the old farm gate.
Of Fred Morton’s two sons, it was Carl and his wife Marie who took over in 1943. The post war years saw a change to wheat and potato production, both of which were kept in the barn. Pig courts surrounded to the front and side, the feed shoots still present in the interior brick wall.
Carl’s son Peter and his wife Mary lived together in the farmhouse following their marriage in 1960 with a working partnership involving younger brothers Robert and Richard until1987.
Peter continued to grew more arable crops , Spruce Christmas trees, operated PYO strawberries and would store home grown potatoes and machinery in the barn. The pioneering Farm Shop was built in 1992, inspired and run by Mary.
Peter’s son David is now the fourth generation of the Morton family farming at Carpenters. He has developed intensive fruit growing with extended harvest and an exceptional crop of asparagus.
Fiona, David’s wife, took over the farm shop in 2005 expanding and encorporating local and regional suppliers along the way. The idea of a café took shape in 2012 when a grand conversion of the near derelict barn transformed it into a café and holiday let.
The Hayloft holiday let opened in June 2013 and , like the Barn Café, retains many original features, exposed beams and beautiful oak joinery.
Visit Carpenters Farm all year round , open 7 days a week . We only close for a few days over Christmas .
We look forward to welcoming you.