Home Farm near the village of Laxton is the Northamptonshire focus for Combine – Farming Heritage | East Midlands. Farmed by David and Elizabeth Simpson this traditional farm covers 209 acres and has been in the family since 1925. The farm is mostly arable with a small number of chickens and pigs and has remained more or less the same size over the years.
The farm house is about 400 years old and built from local limestone and was built by Lord Carberry as a model farm in the Georgian period to provide food for Laxton Hall. It was modernised in 1850 and there are still many interesting historic buildings to be seen. Originally there would have been a cow shed, stabling for the work horses, loose boxes for foals and calves and a cart hovel which was used to store the wagons and equipment.
There is also an engine house which powered the mills for preparing the animal feed, and a thrashing barn with large entrance doors to allow entry for the wagonettes. This barn has smaller doors at the rear for the wagons to exit once they had been unloaded. The barn floor was used for flailing corn and there were grain lofts above. There was also a slaughter house, a row of pig sties and a dovecote, still to be seen. Of particular interest is a hay safe, one of only two of this style to be seen in Northamptonshire.
The fields and hedges have not been changed since 1923 and the permanent grassland that surrounds Laxton Hall was once part of Laxton Park. Some ancient Oak trees are still in existence that were planted during the Regency period.
Young people from The Kingswood School in Corby will be visiting Home Farm, Northamptonshire Record Office and The Rutland County Museum to explore their collection of farm tools and the displays of rural trades such as dairying, wheelwrighting and smithing.