Shadymoor Farm is a peaceful, idyllic retreat with irresistible higgledy-piggledy charm. Located between the towns of Shrewsbury and Ludlow, its irregular contours follow those of the original deer park laid out in 1284 by Robert of Stapleton.

Being the ideal countryside getaway, it is not just our human visitors who love spending time at Shadymoor Farm! As well as pheasant, you’re guaranteed to see any one of our 70 fallow or red deer, making the farm an ideal safari spot. On the Farm Tour you’ll also encounter beef cattle, horses and Kerry Hill sheep. Upper Shadymoor is also a natural water park, with a brook and 16 pools on our 200 acres.

If your perfect holiday involves eating well, you’ll love our game-filled Farm Larder, which stocks our own venison, pigeon, pheasant, duck, rabbit, and our Head Chef Kevan’s ready-prepared meals. There’s also the renowned local gastronomic scene that includes Ludlow’s two Michelin-starred restaurants and gastropubs galore. We are always on hand to help you with recommendations and booking, just ask, we are more than happy to help!

 

Shadymoor Family

Shadymoor Farm is all about family, and so when you visit us you will get to know our family and become a special part of our lives. We are Kevan and Joy Fox, and we’ve lived at Upper Shadymoor for eleven years. We both hail from farming families from neighbouring villages and so we have plenty of tales of the area to share. You will probably meet most of us during your stay, but of our four children Ivor, Fleur, Lloyd and Gregory, you’re most likely to catch sight of Gregory, who teaches various country skills.

Shadymoor Roots

(ref: Victoria County History of Shropshire Vol VIII pages 161 –167; Shropshire fieldnames by H. D. George Foxall)

Shadymoor Farm is steeped in heritage and remains one of Britain’s most traditional farmlands with traceable roots going all the way back to the 13th century. It’s this history that makes Shadymoor Farm such a unique destination, with many stories to tell.

In 1284 Robert of Stapleton was granted a licence to impark “Alsemore”, likely to be the park occupying most of Shadymoor’s “Stapleton Great Park”, (field numbers 182 – 185)

The heart of the park was an enclosure called ‘Alsemore’, which means ‘ancient.’ Shadymoor Farm itself was known as ‘Stanleymoor’ in the early 14th century and ‘Shadwell Moor’ in 1547, so it too has seen its fair share of re-naming!

More facts about Shadymoor farm and this beautiful part of the world:

  • During the Middle Ages the greater part of Stapleton Parish, over 350 feet around, was woodland or waste.
  • Shadymoor Farm, partly woodland and partly ill drained moorland occupied a wide belt of land running from the Wilderley boundary in the south west, to Dorrington in the east, forming a kind of barrier between the townships of Stapleton and Netley.
  • Steplewood was a bailiwick, meaning ‘living for a baliff’, of the Long Forest until 1250.
  • The history of Shadymoor Farm and the changes that have taken place can also be seen in changes to its size over time. The woodland acreage recorded in Stapleton Parish has been:
    • 514 acres in 1443
    • 65 acres in 1651 (the three main woods were Corfields Big Shadymoor and Little Shadymoor)
    • 50 acres in 1830 70 acres in 1877
  • The Wilderley Road used to be the main route from Longmynd to Shrewsbury as a drovers road (driving livestock). The wetter areas sank and so the present day high verges and hedges were shaped.
  • The cottages near Upper Moat Farm can be associated to the late 18th century, homes to both coal and brick workers. You will find the remnants of the workings in what we now call the ‘Dinosaur Fields’, imaginatively named  by the Shilton children who lived here in the late 20th century.
  • Records have established that a settlement existed at Upper Shadymoor. The original farmhouse was demolished in 1910 to make way for a “new farmhouse,” the plans of which demonstrate a true working farm. The original farmhouse was built of stone and was recycled to build the walls of the garden to the “new farmhouse,” according to Rupert Bebb, whose family farmed here at that time.
  • In the 1960’s a new road was installed by the Netley Estate, of which Upper Shadymoor Farm was part. This was to allow the lorries collecting milk churns a smoother passage, rather than collecting via Lower and Middle Shadymoor Farms. Beware some maps still suggest this is the route in, but it is bridleway access only.

Shadymoor Grounds

Shadymoor Farm is set in just over 200 acres of pasture and woodland, with 16 pools and lakes and several streams. The landscape, reminiscent of bygone rural England, includes unspoilt hedgerows and coppices, full of wildflowers, plus red and fallow deer in woodland glades.

Today Shadymoor is farmed within the Countryside Stewardship Scheme. This means that, as owners of Shadymoor Farm and protectors of its heritage, we are keen to not only preserve but actively encourage wildlife  to develop in harmony with the sheep and beef cattle that graze between April and October. The residents and visitors to our farm include swans, mallard duck, coot, grebe, canadian and pinkfoot geese and many woodland birds. Add to this foxes, badgers and hares and you begin to imagine that even Mrs Tiddlewinkle might appear from under the hedgerow!

During the winter months, the deer and a small pedigree flock of Kerry Hill sheep remain with the family’s horses, dogs and chickens. The Kerry Hill ewes lamb in March, by which time, neighbouring ewes and lambs are also on the land.

A small number of horse liveries also enjoy the extensive and outstanding countryside riding available; together with the outdoor all weather ménage. We suggest that if you wish to make the most of walks, unless the weather has been exceptionally dry, that you bring stout walking shoes/boots though wellingtons can be provided on request.

The farm-stead is set within approximately two acres of gardens, established in 2003, it’s a beautiful place to relax – with hammock, jetty and seating.

Over the past decade we’ve enhanced our environment as part of the Countryside Stewardship Scheme HLS  scheme and we love to share our passion for this stunning area. If you’re interested to know more, why not join us for a wildlife walk to explore old hay meadows, the bluebell woods in spring, sunflowers in summer, and the whiffy wild garlic, as well as a whole host of birds including – if you’re lucky – kingfishers, owls (barn and tawny), woodcocks, curlews, coots, pink-footed and greylag geese.

The orchard and the garden pool are overlooked by our wainhouse barn which, built with our own oak, ash and alder, houses the showers and the Farm Larder. The barn also makes a beautifully rustic venue for larger social gatherings and feasts. This – and the lake and hot tub for relaxing fun – makes the farm ideal for group bookings and parties.