Restoring the Southwood Estate

Rebuilt hedgebank at Southwood Estate

Southwood was left to us in 2003 as a generous legacy by Mrs Maurer, whose ancestors purchased the estate in the mid-1800s. As one of the most complete sets of traditional farm buildings in the region, we’ve been working hard to restore the estate back to its former glory.

Restoring the buildings

The historic Grade II listed farmhouse and courtyard range required large-scale renovation. From re-roofing and whitewashing walls to clearing debris and rebuilding cobbled walkways, there’s certainly been plenty to keep the team busy.

A key discovery along the way included finding a fascinating piece of Victorian graffiti inscribed on the farmhouse’s attic wall. It’s believed to document the duties of four servants who ‘feathered 26 geese Dec 1878’.

Following lots of hard work by our staff, volunteers and working holiday groups, we’re delighted to have given the farmhouse a new lease of life and it’s now being run as Southwood Farm bed and breakfast by our tenants. 

Victorian graffiti in the farmhouse
An image of Victorian graffiti on the farmhouse wall

What has the restoration included?

  • 22,860 pieces of slate
  • 8,300 trees planted
  • 12 working holidays
  • 3,500 volunteer hours
  • 650 cups of tea

Preserving Southwood’s past and safeguarding its future

Preserving Southwood’s past is important to us, but so is safeguarding its future. Your support – whether a visit, a membership or car park donation – means we can continue our vital conservation work and ensure this special place is enjoyed for generations to come.