Hatton Country World
Hatton Country World is a fine example of a farm that has embraced the concept of farm diversification. It is part of a country estate owned by the Arkwright family who are direct descendants of Sir Richard Arkwright, a pioneer of the industrial revolution.
The Arkwright family acquired Hatton Estate in 1830, and was originally seven small farmsteads. Over the years the small buildings on the farms became redundant due to the modernisation of British farming. The current owners, Johnnie and Arabella Arkwright saw a different future for these buildings and in the early 1980’s created Hatton Country World.
Hatton Craft Centre was the first area of diversification in 1983, utilising these redundant farm buildings and transforming them into craft outlets. This attracted a blacksmith, saddler, wood turner and vintage car restorer amongst others.
The Craft Centre has now become Hatton Shopping Village, anchored by a Garden Centre, an Antiques centre and 2 restaurants.
In 1991, planning permission was obtained to erect a building to house a farm park. This comprised a rare breeds centre, pets corner, Adventure playground and a museum. Over the years, the farm park has been added to and is now one of the largest farm parks in the country, incorporating a seasonal programme of events, adventure play, farmyard favourites and a massive indoor play centre.
Collectively, the Shopping Village and the Adventure Farm are now known as Hatton Country World.
The Spinning Jenny
The Hatton Estate was bought in the 1830s by Peter Arkwright, grandson of Sir Richard Arkwright who adapted an invention called ‘The Spinning Jenny’ for industrial purposes, built the first factory in the world and was regarded as
‘The Father of the Industrial Revolution’.
The Spinning Jenny – or rather, its predecessor, The Water Frame – was driven by the power of water, generated by a water wheel.
Arkwright, a wigmaker in Blackburn, bought the Patent, as he saw the potential of accommodating numerous spinning machines in a single building. His ‘dark satanic mills’ soon replaced cottage industry.
Bill Gates who also purchased the Patent to his original Microsoft computer, was recently described in the Financial Times as‘The 20th Century Arkwright!’
Water is, of course, once again back in vogue as a non-renewable source of energy. And cottage crafts have been nurtured at Hatton. Sir Richard’s son, also Richard, expanded his father’s industrial empire way beyond its roots at Cromford in Derbyshire and had a string of cotton mills across England and Scotland.
By the time he died in 1843 numerous agricultural estates had been bought for his children and grandchildren in England, of which Hatton is the only survivor in Arkwright hands. Richard Junior was regarded as The Richest Commoner in Europe with an estimated wealth at today’s prices of £2.8 billion!
The current incumbent, Johnnie Arkwright, is the great, great, great, great grandson of ‘the inventor’ and is the fourth generation of Arkwright at Hatton.
The Cowman’s Cottage
For over 100 years the Farm had a pedigree herd of Red Polls which were milked twice a day. This is where the Head Cowman lived.
Until the Farm was re-christened Hatton Country World, it was known locally as “George’s Farm” after George Hands, who was Head Cowman from the 1920s; his son and various other members of his family worked on the Estate until the 1960s.
Hatton Fabulist won at the Bath and West Show and came second at the Royal Show in 1921.
This building, now housing Café Lavender Blue, was used to house the grain that was milled here before being fed to the cattle.
The Granary also extended the full length of the first floor above Lavender Blue, The Bullpen and The Saddle Room.
At the two gable ends of the first floor there are large doors through which the sacks of corn were taken via a pulley system off the timber beams that are still in position externally.
This is where the farm workers met for lunch – no morning breaks in those days!
At the Hatton Arms(part of the Hatton Estate) there is an excerpt from the Wages Book in 1912 listing the workers, wages and the jobs they were doing in a particular week. This shows that there were 20 workers paid a total of £14.96 for their week’s work, i.e. 75p each!
The jobs they were undertaking included yard cleaning, grass cutting, pulling the wheat cart, ploughing, thatching, hay making, tending the sheep and working the fields.
The shops in Carthouse Walk were originally open fronted sheds built to accommodate carts.
They continued to be used to house the small grey Massey Ferguson tractors of the 1950s/1960s but, once the law required tractors to have safety cabs, they became redundant.
The front elevations of these buildings were bricked up in the 1980s to create the shops that you can now see in our Shopping Village.
The charming arched buildings in this alley was the residence of the Red Poll bull for over 100 years. The bull also enjoyed an external area that extended to just short of the Stables’ door.
An appropriately domineering position for the Master of all he surveyed!
Although a rather beautiful and romantic perception, today a bullpen of this kind might be considered a little bit of an extravagance.
Hatton Hector was Champion Bull at the Red Poll Cattle Society’s Show in 1953.