Huntstile was built in 1435 as a Manor House. There have been several additions over the centuries, including a Tudor granary and stables, a stone & brick barn and a Victorian wing. In 2012 we built the Garden Room, a lovely light conservatory overlooking the pretty gardens here and the adjacent 10 acre wild flower meadow.
John’s father came here as a tenant farmer in 1951, John was born here, along with his 4 sisters and he has remained as the farmer here ever since. He managed to buy the manor house from the estate in 1986 and started upon a huge era of restoration work – and here we are today.
Huntstile is nestled into the foothills of the Quantocks, in the centre of 270 acres of organic farmland. We are in an elevated position with breathtaking views across the countryside. It’s a working family farm still and John spends a lot of time tending his animals and growing organic crops. We have sustainability at the heart of everything we do.
The house retains many of its original features including huge Tudor oak doorways, exposed beams, walk-in fireplaces and beautiful quarter-cut Jacobean oak panelling in both the lounge and bridal suite.
Huntstile is Grade II listed and this restricts the alterations one can do, however we have always had lots of support from the Conservation team at Sedgemoor Council – and of course we endeavour to complete our works in sympathy with the originalaesthetic, which would never compromise the historical or Heritage asset.
We have an acre and a half of organic kitchen gardens and a 100ft long polytunnel where we grow salads, vegetables, soft fruit and herbs as well as an array of edible flowers. Our menus are based around fresh, seasonal and locally sourced produce,much of it coming from the farm itself with zero food miles.
We adhere to a nature based system, meaning that we encourage natural behaviour in animals i.e. free ranging pigs that can snuffle and dig in paddocks, they natural diets of homegrown oats and peas and barley, lots of strawin their arcs, they live in the fields unless its too wet and cold when we have a large, strawed out barn they can run into.
We have a rare breed herd of Dairy Short Horn cows, with the original bloodstock genes. They graze the herbal leys and clover water meadowson our two holdings. We inherited some of these animals from the Rare Breed Survival Trust and are building up the herd for them. The calves are left with their mothers until 9 months to a year, as they would naturally.
Our chickens are in small houses of 50 birds each, and they have full access to scratching yards and grass all year round.
We like to think that all our animals have the best quality of life they possibly can during their time with us.
Our crops include organic spelt and milling wheat, which we sell and we also grow spring barley and oats grown with peas as a ‘whole crop’ – we use these crops as feed for our livestock.
We like to be green!
Respect the rules of seasonalityGrow as much and use as much Huntstile home-grown organic produce as possible
Supplement with produce from local farms and growers as much as possibleUse organic wherever possible – we endeavour never to use any genetically modified (GM) produce
To use our experience and knowledge so we can choose food which is traceable, ethical and from a sustainable sourcegreen travel
We offer a 5% discount to any guest who arrives on foot or bicycle or by electric vehicle (we have electric charging points for these)
Huntstile is a signed up member of the Cycle to Work Scheme and some of our staff have taken up the challenge and are proud to cycle in!Our company car is 100% electric with zero emissions
Electric car charging points are supplied free of usage charge to guests
Electric points are part powered by SOLARhouse
Our electric is sourced 100% from renewable energyUse as much recycled and natural products for all our restoration & renovation work as we can
Provide eco friendly soaps and lotions for guests to use during their stay
Supply our own filtered spring water from the Huntstile spring to rooms in re-usable glass bottlesbiomass
Our central heating system and hot water is provided by our bio-mass boiler (Bertie -we love him!)
The biomass we use comes from wood-chips from a sustainable source of hedging and short rotation coppice, most of which is grown right here on the farm
We have log burning stoves in main areas for additional toasty-ness on cold days, fed with home-grown logs!
Our attics are lined with sheep’s wool insulation 300mm thick, which keeps our guests warm and snuggly, even in the middle of winter when the snow is deep and crisp and even…We have installed underfloor heating, using a water-based system heated by our bio-mass boiler lighting Energy-efficient lights and intelligent lighting control systems in the common areas and super bright LED bulbs Solar lighting in the garden and camping field onsite energy generation Our central heating system and hot water is provided by our bio-mass boiler Bertie (we love it!)Bio-mass comes from our farm woodland, hedges (grown high and harvested in a 7 year rotation) and a short rotation coppice of willow & alder Solar Panels on our barn produce solar energy that we use for charging our electric car.
Collection of rainwater for flushing toilets, making liquid comfrey fertiliser (for our delicious tomatoes) and for irrigation of vegetable gardens and Water-efficient tap fittings to the highest practical level are used in the farmhouse to reduce water consumption and wastage our dishwashers are all water conserving, utilising recycling features. Huntstile has a 7 stage water filtration system for filtering our own Spring Water served in re-usable glass bottles, waste management & recycling extensive recycling of a range of materials (glass, tins, plastics, paper & cardboard)
We have rather gorgeous Composting toilets in camping area, There are several Compost Heaps dotted around our organic kitchen gardens converting peelings and waste vegetable matter into lovely compost scraps for our flock of chickens, and Waste vegetable matter to our pet pig Rosie.
Our waste water is treated using oxygen and passed through multi-stage filtration into a reed bed system producing clean water.
For more information about the Farm please check here….. Huntstile