Bob and Jane White are first generation farmers, who discovered their isolated valley farm when cycling down through the Chiltern beech woods several decades ago.
Now, 35 years and 4 children later, their sheep flock has grown to 2,000, and they also run a sizeable beef herd. Tom and Anna, the two eldest children, have been working with Bob on the farm all their lives having both completed degrees in agriculture. However now they both have families of their own, and you are more likely to be greeted by Anna and ‘Baby Sam’ on arrival, than see her rounding up the sheep on the hill!
Laura, No. 3, is one of the youngest gallery owners in the country, having moved to Bedfordshire and set up the Golden Hare Gallery in the old market town of Ampthill. The gallery show cases over 40 of the most talented artists and craftsman in the UK, and she also runs a sister company hiring out vintage bunting made up from all Jane’s old Liberty print dresses!
You are unlikely to meet No. 4, Ben, as when he is not running his music business in Bristol, he is usually off travelling the world. You are quite likely however, to come across Bob’s 2 lovely old vintage coaches, a 1962 and a 1966 Bristol MW, both of which are hired out for weddings and functions.
The beautiful gypsy caravan that you will be sleeping in was bought at Stow Horse Fair in the early 80’s, and stored for many years in the old tithe barn on the farm. Eventually after the children had all left home, Bob and Jane decided it was time to restore the bow top wagon to its former glory, and after much searching they found caravan painter and restorer Pete Rowlett, a highly skilled man who learned his trade from the last of the Romany painters, Fred Walker. You can see pictures of Fred in the archive of photographs of the old Romany’s which is kept in the glass cabinet in the caravan.
The restoration has been completed to the highest standard, with nothing compromising the quality of the craftsmanship both in the caravan, the setting and the carefully chosen interiors.
Finally if you are interested in ceramics you may want to pop in and see Jane working in her restored ‘Old Dairy Pottery’ which she now uses as a working studio where she creates beautiful pit-fired ceramics. After completing a Ceramics degree in 2008 she set up the studio and now shows her work all over the country. The technique of pit-firing is very unusual and highly risky, you can see a film of the process on her website Jane White Ceramics