Scotch Lodge Farm is a working family farm in Earls Barton, Northamptonshire, with a farm shop, craft shop and herb centre.
Our opening hours are Monday to Saturday, 10am–4pm. We are closed on Sundays and Bank Holiday Mondays.
A Brief History by Isobel Beaty-Clarke
"Our family farming history dates back more than 350 years to the borders in Cumbria.
Due to hardship on the land, six families, including my great grandfather, migrated down to the Midlands in the 1880s with all their livestock. They thought of our area as pastureland of lush grass and soil for good crops. My family settled in Warwickshire.
In the late 1890s my grandfather took on the tenancy of Hill Farm at Mears Ashby and all six of his children were born there. My father, James Beaty, was the fourth child and, as a toddler, carried water to the hens and pigs. When tall enough to wield a stick he learned to sort and care for cattle and to be responsible, with his younger brother, to walk them to the markets at Rugby and Northampton, along with the outlying farms around Market Harborough. He left school at the age of 14 to join his father on the farm full time.
On 1st November 1939, dad volunteered to the Tank Corp Regiment/1st Royal Tank Regiment and was shipped out with the Expeditionary Forces to France. He spent the whole of the war fighting in the 8th Army Royal Tank Regiment, firstly at the Battle of Dunkirk (France), then Beda Fomm and Tobruk (Libya), the two Battles of El Alamein (Egypt), Tripoli (Libya) and the Anzio Beach Landings (Italy). He fought his way up through Italy alongside the allied American forces through Rome and Pisa. At the end of the war, he came back to England and was demobbed from Castle Ashby.
He was awarded several medals: The 1939-45 Star for the Battle of Britain, The Africa Star (8th Army), The Italy Star, The Defence Medal (The Kings Commendation for Brave Conduct), The War Medal 1939-45 (Oak Leaves) and The Cross for the Siege of Tobruk 1941.
My grandfather had acquired Scotch Lodge Farm for my father and he returned to take over the farm that his younger brother had farmed and cared for during his 6 and a half years on the front line.
For the rest of his life he worked and farmed seven days a week, with livestock being his love. Manor Farm (his home with mum for 63 years) and Scotch Lodge were all put down to permanent pasture, where he fattened strong stores from February, fattened lambs from September and overwintered many cattle for turning out onto fresh spring grass in March.
I was taught, like him, from an early age to care, sort and be responsible for cattle and sheep. I went to the market with him, helped to stack bales at harvest time and, at the age of 25, learnt to drive the cattle lorry!
In the 1980s I married Robert and we moved to Scotch Lodge to farm alongside my father. We opened a small farm shop in a cabin, and at that time we had 2000 free-range laying hens and 200 breeding sheep and 350 beef cattle.
I was the first Independent Free Range Egg Producer to be given the RSPCA’s Freedom Foods Animal Welfare Endorsement. I had decided that if I really wanted to do something about how we produce the food we eat, we should continue in the traditional farming methods. There is a general feeling that if it is good for the animal, it must be good for me. I believe passionately that we should be concerned about the food we eat, it should be absolutely natural and the animals involved should be treated humanely. The farm has the Red Tractor certification, the Farm Assurance Beef and Lamb Standard and all of our meat is sold under this scheme. We are also in the Environmental Stewardship through DEFRA. This is the responsible use and protection of the natural environment through conservation and sustainable farming.
In 1989 I commenced my studies at Moulton College whilst working, and achieved a City & Guilds of London Institute Licentiateship (LCGI) in Agriculture, amongst many other certificates including Tractor Driving, Ditching, Fencing and Plumbing. During my limited free time I gained the Certificate in Astronomy from the University of Central Lancashire and the Certificate of Professional Development with Distinction from Liverpool John Moore’s University. We have local scout groups to visit during the winter months to use our on-site Dark Star telescope.
In 2000 we built the shop we are in today. My mother handed me both my grandma’s recipe books, written in 1904 and 1905, and the farmshop kitchen was launched using a host of family recipes. These recipes are still used today to give full-flavoured cooked products, and are available in the farm shop along with Patsy’s fabulous Victoria Sandwich cakes filled with grandma’s raspberry jam. In 2002 Farmers Markets in our region began to emerge and we developed our meat pies, quiches and other pastries to set up our stall at all of them, building up to an average of 3-5 per week.
The craft shop was added in 2005. We filled it with an exquisite range of materials for scrapbooking, card-making, memory-book making, lace making, sewing and embroidery.
A small herb area was introduced in 2008. Every year from March to July we sell the new season of herbs – usually 60 different varieties from A to Z!
We now have a wonderful selection of tasty farmhouse fayre to offer in the farm shop, creative goodies in the craft shop and a wide range of fresh herbs in the herb centre.
In 2010 my father passed away, leaving Robert, myself and mum to run the farm. Traditional farming has always been the way of our family and will continue to be in the future."