Whilst the Estate operates its own in hand farm numerous farms and residential properties are let. The Estate therefore has an important social function as a provider of local housing and tenant farms. The Estate is also fortunate to have a number of significant heritage buildings within the portfolio. As part of a long-term restoration programme, many of these historic buildings are being renovated and repurposed, retaining heritage features by using traditional skills.
The Estate’s Home Farm covers substantial areas of land between Piercebridge and Staindrop with both arable and livestock enterprises. The Estate’s Home Farm practises regenerative farming techniques to produce high-quality food whilst improving soil health at the same time. The land management department covers a wide range of conservation and environmental projects, including peatland restoration and sporting enterprises. The woodlands also form an integral part of the Raby Estate, with the forestry team focusing on sustainable harvesting and regenerative management.
The Estate has three major landmarks; Raby Castle – one of the finest medieval castles in England, High Force Waterfall in the stunning countryside of the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and The Wrekin which is one of Shropshire’s most iconic hills. All three areas welcome visitors from far and wide, making the Leisure and Tourism aspects of the Estate a thriving part of its business.
Raby Castle is set in landscaped parkland where both red and fallow deer roam near Staindrop in County Durham. The Castle was built in the 14th century and has been home to the Vane family for generations, and was previously home to Cecily Nevill, mother of two Kings of England. It was also the scene of the plotting of the Rising of the North and was a Parliamentary stronghold during the Civil War.
The visitor attraction is currently being redeveloped as part of an exciting two-year major investment project. Known as ‘The Rising’, the ambitious programme includes the renovation and restoration of historic buildings – some of which have never been open to the public, alongside the redesign of the historic Walled Gardens. Lord and Lady Barnard seek to develop the Castle and grounds so that it will become one of the foremost visitor attractions in the North.
High Force Waterfall is situated within the beautiful Upper Teesdale countryside in the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and an UNESCO Global Geopark. Surrounded by a stunning, upland landscape, the area offers wide-open moorlands, flower-rich hay meadows, majestic woodland, inky-black night skies, curious wildlife, fascinating industrial heritage and tumbling rivers. The awe-inspiring 21-metre cascade is just a few minutes’ walk from The High Force Hotel, where visitors are afforded a warm welcome, excellent hospitality, and luxurious overnight accommodation.
The Wrekin is set in the heart of Shropshire Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and attracts numerous visitors each year. Self-catering holiday accommodation is available at nearby Eyton on Severn in the unique octagonal tower Summer House surrounded by the beautiful countryside in a tranquil in a secluded setting.
With acres of agricultural land, vast woodland, heritage landscapes and unique buildings all steeped in a rich history, the Estate’s strategy is to develop a vibrant and sustainable business that respects this legacy and builds on the achievements of those who have gone before us.