History of Leigh Court Farm
History & Background
Leigh Court Farm is based around the two acre walled garden originally built at the turn of the 19th century to serve Leigh Court Mansion. The property remained with the Miles family until 1915 when it was bought by the Reverend Burden for use as an institution. In 1948 the NHS acquired the estate and they ran it until the 1980’s. Latterly the walled garden, the orchard, the paddock and the historic pleasure gardens were the property of Freeways Trust, a local charity caring for young adults.
The Leigh Court Farm Project started in the summer of 1998 with our first full season of growing taking place during 1999. Much of our initial focus involved infrastructure works to the walls, gates, paths and orchard, necessary before the growing could begin.
Over time we hope to secure funding which will enable us to restore the original glass-houses, pineapple pit, pig styes, mushroom house, not to mention the Repton Pleasure Gardens which run from the walled garden to Leigh Court Mansion.
Public access is currently limited to open days, although we plan to make access more freely available in the future.
Learn Horticulture, our educational charity, offers a wide range of training opportunities in domestic to commercial organic horticulture, and includes volunteering opportunities, and from time to time weekend and evening courses.
The Farm has worked with City of Bristol College and Cannington College to provide placements for NVQ courses and also has had links with the Department for Education & Employment (DfEE) “New Deal” programme and the European Social Fund (ESF) “Pathways to Work” scheme.
Not for Profit
Leigh Court Farm is a not for profit company which has been set up to act as a source and a demonstration of local food enterprise. Learn Horticulture is a registered educational charity.
The walled garden and orchard are not generally open to the public, however we generally hold at least two open days a year which we publicise through the press, flyers and by word of mouth.
Please contact our Administration Office on 0117 903 1082 to enquire about dates of forthcoming open days.
Leigh Court Farm is registered with the Soil Association and was originally awarded full organic status in December 2000.
Leigh Court Farm was instrumental in setting up the Bristol Organic Partnership (BOP), an informal grouping which sought to provide training opportunities and fresh, low cost, local organic produce to people on low incomes, unemployment benefit or who have dietary related health problems. Our initial activity centred on Hartcliffe and Withywood, though in time we hope to work with other communities across Bristol and in North Somerset.
Leigh Court Farm is represented on the management board of Bristol Local Food Links, a project which is run by VOSCUR.
Produce is available through the Box Scheme that operates on a weekly basis. Two sizes of box are available, the small box is suitable for 2-3 people and the large box is suitable for a family of 4-5 . In any one week customers can expect to receive 7-8 different vegetables which vary according to season.
Residents of Hartcliffe and Withywood are able to obtain fresh farm produce at very attractive rates through the Hartcliffe Health and Environmental Action Group’s food co-op.
The farm has a weekly stall at the Bristol Farmers Market from May to December. The restricted quantity of fruit grown at the farm will generally be available through the Farmer’s Market.