The existing buildings of High House Farm Brewery were built in 1844 on the site of a smaller farmstead.
In 1887 the farm was owned by Mr John Clayton (of Clayton Street fame in Newcastle Upon Tyne). It was then incorporated into the Blackett Estate (Matfen Hall) as the home farm for 3 others nearby. The Urwin family got the opportunity to purchase the farm in 1969 and have owned it ever since.
The farm has had an illustrious past! In 1887 it was farmed by Mr George M Angus, who won a Champion Prize for the Best Managed Farm. The judges were impressed with the condition of the farm, even though it was situated in an ‘unfavourable’ position.
The red brick chimney was built in the late 19th Century as the flue for the steam engine, which was used to power farm machinery.
Today the farm is just under 200 acres in size and is run as a traditional non-intensive mixed farm with arable crops (malting barley, wheat and oilseed rape) and livestock (beef cattle and sheep). The grassland is managed as parks with animals grazing there between March and November.
Crops are harvested during September and October using local contractors. General work ie fertilizer spreading etc is carried out by Steven Urwin himself.
Wildlife living on the farm includes badgers, foxes, squirrels, roe deer, hare, weasels, bats, stoat and mink. Birds spotted in the woods and hemmels include barn and tawny owls, buzzards, curlew, kestrel, sparrowhawk, fieldfares, cuckoo, pheasant, tiny families of quail, heron and partridge.
Flowers seen include red campion, bluebells and harebells, water avens, meadow cranesbill, pilewort, welsh poppies, mallow, red deadnettle and flax. Not forgetting our very own nettles which we use in the beer (April/May)!