Down on the farm

Many visitors to Wolston ask why the house is situated where it is. Since none of its original outbuildings remain, it isn’t immediately obvious that it was a farmhouse. It started out as a horse stud, developed by its first owner, Dr Stephen Simpson. Of course there were most likely cattle, pigs and chickens too, to provide meat and milk, as well as a thriving orchard and vegetable garden established to feed Dr Simpson and his farm workers.

Over time Dr Simpson increased his land holdings from the original 640 acres to around 4000 acres of freehold and leased land mentioned in the sale notice of 1860. The subsequent land owner, Mr Matthew Buscall Goggs, focussed mainly on cattle and also increased the holdings to around 8000 acres. The estate remained in a family trust until 1906, when it was sold off as small farms.

The Grindles, a family of Irish immigrants, purchased the original 640 acres including the house, and established a dairy farm which continued until the late 1950s. The Grindles initially were innovative farmers and won awards at local shows for their cattle and milk production. Time took its toll on the family members and by the time the National Trust acquired the house it was in a rather sad state. Their legacy lies in the name of the road on which Wolston House is situated.

Here is a photo of some of their prize-winning cows.