The word Conygree, meaning "rabbit warren", first appeared in the parish of Aldsworth in 1571. Rabbits were farmed here for their fur and meat by the Normans.
Conygree Farm is shown on the 1799 enclosure map. At this time the open wolds were divided up into fields and formal farms by hedges and dry stone walls. In 1839 Conygree Farm was 146 acres, and like most of Aldsworth, was owned by Lord Sherborne. The existing Cotswold stone farmhouse and buildings date from the 19th Century.
The land is Great Oolite limestone rock with very thin stony soil on top. It is hard to farm as it dries out in the summer and yet lies wet in the clayey areas in the winter. The River Leach runs along our western boundary.
The farm was once grazed by Cotswold sheep and Beef Shorthorn cattle, but it has also been a dairy and an intensive arable farm in recent decades. Much of the farm has now been put back to grass.
The Sherborne Park Estate
Conygree is owned by the National Trust and forms part of the picturesque Sherborne Park Estate in Gloucestershire. The Estate, extends to 1650 hectares and includes Sherborne village, six farms, working water meadows and Lodge Park. Sherborne was the home of the Dutton family from 1551.
Lodge Park was created in 1634 by John "Crump" Dutton. Inspired by his passion for gambling and banqueting, it is a unique grandstand, deer course and parkland. The interior of the grandstand has been restored to its original form and the parkland, designed by Charles Bridgman in 1725, returned to its former glory. Lodge Park became the home of Charles Dutton, 7th Lord Sherborne, until 1983 when he bequeathed his family’s estate to the Trust.
The Cotswolds is one of the most beautiful areas of England, known and loved by people across the world. It is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) with its stone walls and buildings, open skies, rolling grasslands, beech woods and captivating villages, making it an outstanding English landscape.
The Cotswolds have been greatly influenced by its association with its sheep. Medieval wool towns thrived, wealthy wool merchants built grand houses and also beautiful "wool" churches, complete with memorial brasses depicting the merchants and hinting at the source of their substantial wealth, their great sheep.
We are proud to be farmers in the Cotswolds, helping to manage and preserve the countryside by farming in a traditional and environmentally friendly way.