The Italianate terraced gardens were laid out in 1863. The plans showed the Spanish chestnut tree outlined with an arrow to the blank dairy wall nearby; ‘For conservatory when the tree falls’. We are still waiting! If you go exploring you might find the Rose Garden and Rockery amongst the Rhodies too.
There is a walled where we grow some vegetables for our kitchen – you can enjoy the results. It is beautifully sheltered with old varieties of apple trees, plums, pears and figs.
We preserve most of the 600 acres of old woods and the bogs in their natural state; they are an extension of the gardens for us. There are acres of bluebells, rhododendrons, ferns, heathers or lichens and many different fungi, depending on the season.
The farm is stocked with 1,600 sheep, which we work with border collies and an ATV. We do not grow any crops – the climate is not suitable. The sheep are bred for their meat or breeding and the wool, which we clip once a year, just about covers the cost of shearing. Lambing starts around the middle of March when one hopes there will be sufficient grass growth. We always endeavour to farm in an environmentally friendly manner.
There are miles of walks through our EU Special Area of Conservation surrounding the lake with rare wet woodlands, with many trees covered in stags horn and other lichens, honey suckle, thickets of wild raspberries or banks of red or white alpine strawberries in season. Further a field explore our ancient naturally sown Scots pine forests with bilberries, mountain ash, wood anemones & acres of blue bells and rhododendron. Wander through the colourful bogs looking for plants that eat flies or rub your hands through the seeds of bog myrtle for a wonderful natural scent.
Temple House Lake is about 200 acres in size, 1 mile long and pear shaped, it has a limestone substrate with many springs of fresh water. There are four boats on the lake which you may use to go fishing or to visit the crannogs and promontory fort.
We provide maps to show the paths, tracks, roads & many other sites of interest in the country estate