We have recently submitted a planning application to Broxtowe Borough Council on behalf of an historic farm in Nottingham who is proposing to open its doors as a community hub to help keep the area’s history alive.
Greasley Castle Farm has submitted plans to open a museum dedicated to the history of the site and local area, a tearoom, function room and several workshops for local businesses. The site itself is steeped in history, comprising of a Grade II listed farmhouse, castle remains and font, all set within a Scheduled Ancient Monument.
The plans would see the ground floor of the farmhouse converted into an interactive tearoom which would not only serve local produce but invite young people to learn more about the ‘farm to fork’ concept and develop their skills in baking. The existing barns would be converted into a museum which will display historic information and artefacts about the site and the local area, a function room and four workshops available to small businesses. Visitors would also have access to the grounds of the arable farm which includes almost 1,000 acres of land including fields, woods, and lakes.
The plans are the vision of farm owner Malcolm Hodgkinson, who has lived in the area for all his life but did not learn about its history until he was in his 40s. He said: “When I was a boy, me and my sister didn’t know that Greasley Castle even existed and there are young people growing up today in this very same position. There is a lot of forgotten history in the area, I want to help revive this and keep it alive for generations to come. If plans are approved, people will be able to find out about how the site originally housed a medieval manor house before the castle was built in the 1340s.
“Visitors will be able to learn about significant inhabitants of the site and look at some of the incredible local artefacts which have been recovered. These will be on display alongside some of the old equipment from the farm showing the agricultural importance of the site. The proposed plans also include a tearoom, but I wanted to create something interactive and different to give young people the chance to learn about the ingredients and take pride in making their own cakes and bread for their families. It will be fantastic to welcome small local businesses to the workshops which would be suitable for those making and selling things on site such as blacksmiths, jewellery makers, framers – anything that would thrive in a rural setting.
“The farm is already a big part of the local community and has been home to a local Scouts group for more than 30 years, Castle Greasley Archery Club and a local donkey and pony rescue organisation. These plans will make the farm into even more of a community hub which will help educate people about incredibly important topics and offer a completely new experience in the area.”
Scott O’Dell, a senior associate based at our Ashby office, said: “Malcolm has a fantastic vision to create a valuable community asset which will benefit generations of local people. It is an important site historically, so we have worked hard to ensure the proposals involve minimal changes to the existing buildings to ensure they are preserved with little intervention. We are also keeping any new buildings to a minimum. It is a really positive application which has a strong focus on the area’s local heritage and agriculture.”
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