Higher Bumsley Farm

A small hill farm on Exmoor

About Higher Bumsley Farm

We've been living and working at Higher Bumsley Farm for almost 30 years and below you can read about the past and the present of our farm.

Higher Bumsley Farm is an old traditional Exmoor farm dating back to the early 1800’s. Situated in the Heddon valley there is an old green road, now a public footpath, running through the farm to an old mill where corn was taken by horse and cart to be ground into flour.

What life used to be like at Higher Bumsley

The farmhouse, once two cottages, was built in 1824 and the barn in 1864. The barn with its original cobbled floor was used as a milking parlour. You can still see the white lime washed walls and tethering rings. Lime wash was used as it killed all bugs and germs even woodworm in the wooden parts. The kitchen in the farmhouse was at one time a dairy.

Higher Bumsley Farm would have been run in a traditional way with sheep and cows in the fields with poultry near the farmhouse and vegetables in the garden, apples and pears in the two orchards and strawberries growing on the warm southerly sloping land below the house. These were taken by horse and cart into Lynton and Lynmouth and sold to large hotels.

A perfect farming location on Exmoor

The microclimate is excellent. It is shelterd from cold northerly winds and hills in the scenic valley protect the farm from the prevailing south westerlies. It’s a warm site where everything is early and plentiful.

An underlying geology of mudstone, sandstone and slate gives rise to a fine loamy, silty well drained soil.

How we run the farm today

We still run the farm very traditionally with sheep and Exmoor ponies in the fields. The orchards provide apples which we make into apple juice and cider. A small domestic vineyard produces sufficient grapes to supply the house with wine. We have a range of poultry, including chickens, ducks and geese for eggs. The farm provides all of our wood for the fire. Watercress and blackberries grow abundantly. You can see rabbits and other wildlife in the fields around the farm. Buzzards circle overhead and red deer follow their well trodden tracks through woods to the river and open fields.