The closing date for the submission of offers is 12 NOON, WEDNESDAY 14TH JULY 2021 and they should be marked with “OFFER – HIGHAM ESTATE” and delivered to Edwin Thompson, 28 St. John’s Street, Keswick, Cumbria CA12 5AF.
Summary & Situation
Higham Estate is situated in the North West of England in the Northern Corner of The Lake District National Park. It lies to the north of the market town of Keswick with Cockermouth and Penrith being 4 miles and 26 miles away respectively. Higham Estate nestles on the north west corner of the picturesque Bassenthwaite Lake with breathtaking views from various viewpoints, as well as open views onto Skiddaw.
The Estate encapsulates every element of a perfect traditional English landed estate including a let farm, several let dwellings, let commercial property, outbuildings, productive farmland, well managed woodland and superb sporting potential providing the perfect opportunity to own a stunning part of The Lake District.
The Estate extends to approximately 1,171.41 acres comprising farms let on short term agreements and farm business tenancies, several let houses, buildings and workshops, let shooting and fishing and commercial property let to The Lakes Distillery. Higham Estate is renowned in the area for its high quality pheasant shooting which is let until January 2022.
Higham Estate is situated adjacent to the A66 between Keswick and Cockermouth by the villages of Embleton and Dubwath.
Junction 40 of the M6 at Penrith is approximately 26 miles away with easy access to Scotland and the south of England.
Penrith Train Station is situated approximately 26 miles away.
The train station has direct links onto the west coast rail line with regular services to London, Birmingham and Edinburgh.
The nearest airport is Carlisle Lake District Airport which is approximately 31 miles away.
Newcastle, Manchester and Liverpool Airports all have extensive international and national scheduled flights.
Higham Estate has excellent access to a range of convenient local amenities. The Setmurthy Parish Church is within the Estate. There are a number of good quality primary schools located within the immediate area together with a library, doctors’ surgeries, banks and post offices in Keswick and Cockermouth. There is also a good range of local shops and public houses.
More extensive amenities can be found nearby in Cockermouth and further afield in Carlisle. The area is renowned for its quiet and rural nature and the region attracts a large number of walkers and horse riders keen to enjoy the network of well-maintained footpaths and bridleways.
The River Derwent in which the Estate enjoys fishing rights, forms the Estate’s northern boundary.
History & Architecture
Situated in the Parish of Setmurthy, on the edge of Bassenthwaite, Higham Estate comprises a number of tenanted farms and sporting opportunities. The Estate was purchased in 1904 by Mr Joseph Fisher having accumulated considerable wealth from his shipping business in Newcastle. The Fisher family, however, already had deep roots in Setmurthy, having had connections there since before the Civil War.
Higham Estate has been owned by the Fisher family ever since and has evolved through changing times. The Estate has always formed the centre of the Parish and has supported many generations of farming families.
The buildings on the Estate showcase traditional architecture with magnificent features. The farms have been developed over time whilst still maintaining elements of their rich heritage.
Higham Estate lies in a beautiful area of North West England located within The Lake District National Park. The natural undulations of the land create a wonderful, picturesque setting for the property. One of the most striking aspects of the Estate is the view across Bassenthwaite Lake looking towards Skiddaw and Keswick. The Estate, comprising 1,171.41 acres of farmland and woodland, offers a very high amenity value with a range of habitats including mixed woodland plantings, several ponds and the River Derwent, creating a diverse environment to attract and support wildlife.
The woodland is spread across the Estate and comprises a mixture of broadleaf and conifer forestry. Various recent small scale felling projects and associated replanting improved the woodland significantly.
The lie of the land naturally lends itself to the creation of some superb drives and shooting opportunities. A number of woodlands already offer excellent drives. The shoot, which is currently let on a short term agreement to January 2022, has extensive infrastructure which could easily be expanded. The current shooting operation releases around 2,500 birds per annum and is run as a small-scale operation. In recent seasons there have been approximately 10 shoots a year with a good average of birds.
The Higham Estate includes the Eel Settings fishing beat on the River Derwent, which has historically been one of the top autumn salmon rivers. This is a lovely section of river to fish, and in recent years catch numbers have been increasing. The fishing has been enjoyed by the Fisher family and let on a casual basis so there are no current fishing records.
Higham Estate comprises of good quality and productive farmland, which is classified principally Grade IV. The predominant soil types are slowly permeable, seasonally wet, acid loamy and clayey soils, with some freely draining acid loamy soils over rock. The soil type lends itself to grassland and forestry with some arable cropping. The agricultural land extends to approximately 979.75 acres (396.49 hectares). The land is all currently down to permanent pasture suited to a combination of grazing and mowing.
All of the land is currently let on a number of tenancies and agreements to third parties. The majority on short term grass lets with a small number of short term Farm Business Tenancies. Full details are set out in the schedule of occupation.
The existing farming operations on the Estate involve livestock rearing, including both cattle and sheep benefitting from long grazing seasons.
Method of Sale
Higham Estate is offered for sale by Private Treaty as a whole or in lots, as shown on the lotting plan and detailed below:
Lot 1: Elva Plain Farm.
Lot 2: Bully House Farm.
Lot 3: Land at Bully House.
Lot 4: Brathay Hill Farm.
Lot 5: Higham Estate Woodland.
Lot 6: Land at Elva Plain.
Lot 7: High Barkhouse.
Lot 8: Lowfield Farm.
Lot 9: Barkhouse – let to The Lake Distillery.
Lot 10: Bassenthwaite Lake Frontage.
Lot 11: Bassenthwaite Lake Frontage.
Lot 12: Land at East House Farm.
Lot 1 – Elva Plain Farm
Elva Plain Farmhouse
Elva Plain Farmhouse is a traditional dwelling situated on the edge of the farm steading. The spacious farmhouse benefits from a large dining room to the rear of the house as well as a large kitchen and a further two living spaces currently used as a living room and playroom. Upstairs the property has four large bedrooms and a family bathroom.
Externally the property backs onto a large courtyard forming part of the farm steading, with a garden to the front of the property.
Buildings and Infrastructure
The buildings at Elva Plain consist of:
• Five bay steel portal framed shed with a tin roof and front feed trough
• Traditional stone barn constructed to two storeys with a slate roof
• Block building with a tin roof
• Slurry tower
• Five bay steel portal framed shed with a fibre cement roof
• Seven bay steel portal framed shed with a fibre cement roof and lean to
• Three bay timber shed with a tin roof and lean to
• Four bay steel portal framed shed currently used for loose housing with a feed passage
• Silage pit
• Nine bay steel portal framed shed with a fibre cement roof and feed passage currently used for cattle loose housing
The land at Elva Plain lies in a ring-fence offering spectacular views over Bassenthwaite Lake and Skiddaw. The land is all down to grass and benefits from being rotationally reseeded to maintain a healthy and productive sward capable of supporting cattle and sheep producing a good quality silage crop. The land extends to approximately 204.16 acres (82.62 hectares) with a further 1.11 acres (0.45 hectares) of woodland.
The land features an ancient scheduled monument in the form of a large stone circle.
Lot 2 – Bully House Farm
Bully House is accessed via a shared track and benefits from views along the valley. The property features large spacious rooms and briefly comprises on the ground floor of a kitchen/diner, pantry, wet room and two living areas. Upstairs the property had three bedroom and a bathroom. Externally the property has a large, concrete parking area with a rear garden.
The buildings at Bully House are situated to the west of the property and surround a concrete yard.
They briefly comprise:
• Single storey brick building currently used as dog kennels with an asbestos roof
• Two storey stone barn with a lean to
• Three pig huts with asbestos roof
• Redundant building
The land at Bully House surrounds the property and is situated in a ring fenced block. The land is a combination of productive grassland and woodland extending to approximately 123.04 acres (49.79 hectares).
Access to the land is from the public highway and then from field to field.
Lot 3 – Land At Bully House
The land at Bully House is situated adjacent to the A66 and consists of productive grassland suited to mowing and grazing. The land extends to approximately 38.50 acres (15.58 hectares). The parcels have stock proof fencing and good roadside access.
Lot 4 – Brathay Hill Farm
Brathay Hill is a semi-detached traditional dwelling with a front and rear garden and parking area. The property benefits from a large traditional kitchen, a spacious living room with a log burner, three bedrooms and a bathroom.
The buildings at Brathay Hill are situated to the rear of the house and surround a large yard.
They briefly comprise:
• Store barn
• Timber barn with tin lean to
• Outdoor silage pit
• Handling pens
• Steel portal framed shed with fibre cement roof fitted with fifty five cubicles and lean to feed passage
• Former dairy
• Four bay steel portal framed building with fifty cubicles, loose housing and feed passage
• Slurry lagoon
The land at Brathay Hill is situated in a ring fenced block bordered by the road to the north west of the village of Dubwath. The land comprises productive grassland alongside amenity woodland all benefitting from stunning views over Bassenthwaite Lake. The land extends to 109 acres (44.11 hectares) with the woodland extending to approximately 9.44 acres (3.82 hectares).
Lot 5 – Higham Estate Woodland
This Lot extends to approximately 71.68 acres (29.01 hectares) of commercial woodland that was acquired by the Estate from the Forestry Commission in 2010. The wood has been well maintained for commercial use with areas felled by the Forestry Commission in 2005, which have regenerated well with Birch and Sitka Spruce. Further felling was undertaken in 2012 and replanted with native broadleaves.
The woodland includes approximately 33.61 acres (13.6 hectares) of mainly Sitka Spruce which is close to maturity and is accessed by a high-quality forestry road. There is also a release pen within the wood for the shoot.
Lot 6 – Land at Elva Plain
The land at Elva Plain consists of three parcels to the north of the village of Embleton. The land is currently used as grazing and mowing land. The Lot extends to approximately 225.31 acres (91.18 hectares) with 12.97 acres (5.25 hectares) of woodland.
Also included within Lot 6 is the area let to Cockermouth Golf Club.
Lot 7 – High Barkhouse
High Barkhouse is a traditional whitewashed dwelling situated in a large courtyard. The property benefits from a large parking area and spacious garden. The traditional dwelling briefly comprises internally: utility room, kitchen/diner, two living rooms, large store and pantry on the ground floor; and on the first floor four spacious bedrooms and a large family bathroom.
In addition to the dwelling there is a redundant cottage within the farmyard, which subject to planning could be converted back to residential accommodation and would benefit from desirable views of the adjoining countryside.
The buildings at High Barkhouse Farm consist of traditional and modern farm buildings suited to a variety of uses and possible development opportunities subject to obtaining the relevant planning consents.
The buildings comprise:
• Two storey lofted barn with four stables
• Single storey barn currently used as stables
• Two storey traditional stone barn with fibre cement roof
• Block byre with fibre cement roof
• Four bay steel portal framed shed with fibre cement roof
• Large dutch barn comprising three bays with tin roof and lean to
• Four bay steel portal framed general purpose building with fibre cement roof
• Block lean to with fibre cement roof
The land at High Barkhouse is situated in a ring-fenced block surrounding the farm steading and extending to the public highway. The land is currently used for grazing and mowing purposes with small areas of woodland. The land and woodland at High Barkhouse extend to 150.41 acres (60.87 hectares).
Lot 8 – Lowfield Farm
Lowfield House is a traditional dwelling with spectacular views down to the River Derwent.
The property briefly comprises on the ground floor: a large kitchen, large dining room followed by two large living rooms, one currently used as a study, and a large pantry/storeroom. On the first floor the property benefits from four large bedrooms and a family bathroom.
Externally, the property has a large garden to the front of the house and a small shed which is currently used as storeroom and wood store.
The buildings at Lowfield Farm are traditional buildings with key historical features.
The buildings comprise:
• Range of pig sties
• Traditional old byre with slate roof
• Two storey stone barn with an additional lean to
• Three bay dutch barn
• Three bay steel portal framed building with tin roof and open frontage
The buildings offer significant development opportunities, and a viewing is highly recommended to understand their true potential.
The land at Lowfield Farm is situated in a ringfenced block bordered by the River Derwent to the north and the public road to the south. The land extends to approximately 182.38 acres (73.81 hectares) of productive grassland and 16.75 acres (6.78 hectares) of commercial woodland.
Rights of way are granted over the Lot to access the river where third party fishing rights exist.
Lot 8 benefits from fishing on the River Derwent at Eel Settings Beat. The fishing is currently let for the 2021 season. The River Derwent provides an idyllic fishing scene with catch numbers increasing each year.
Lot 9 – Low Barkhouse
Low Barkhouse presents the perfect opportunity to purchase a unique commercial investment property within The Lake District National Park. The property is home to The Lakes Distillery, which opened in 2014 following a huge restoration project. The buildings comprise a large house currently used as office space and occasional staff accommodation. The buildings have been converted by the tenants and include a distilling area, small workshop, large shop, bistro and a large car parking area.
The Lakes Distillery holds a long-term commercial lease. Further details are available from the agents, Edwin Thompson.
Included in the Lot is 8.45 acres (3.42 hectares) of productive grassland and 2.79 acres (1.13 hectares) of woodland.
Lot 10 – Bassenthwaite Lake frontage
A rare opportunity to purchase lake frontage onto Bassenthwaite Lake extending to
approximately 1.24 acres (0.50 hectares). Accessible from the roadside with parking places located nearby.
Lot 11 – Bassenthwaite Lake Frontage
A rare opportunity to purchase lake frontage onto Bassenthwaite Lake on the edge of Dubwath village extending to approximately 1.73 acres (0.70 hectares). Accessible from the roadside with parking places located nearby.
Lot 12 – Land at East House Farm
An off-lying parcel of permanent pasture bordering the A66. The land is accessible via a private access track from the A66. The parcel is ring fenced and currently used for mowing and grazing on a short-term grass let. The Lot extends to approximately 11.81 acres (4.78 hectares).
General Remarks & Stipulations
Postcode: CA13 9SH
Tenure and Possession:
The freehold of the Higham Estate is offered for sale with vacant possession on completion, subject to the following occupancies:
Schedule of Occupation
For a full schedule of occupation please request the property particulars.
The total Estate income is currently approximately £200,000 per annum including Basic Payment Scheme and Higher-Level Stewardship Scheme income. There is significant potential to increase this rental income by undertaking a number of rent reviews and property improvements. The Schedule of Occupation is accurate at the time of printing, but may be subject to changes. Further details are available from the agents, Edwin Thompson.
If the property is not sold as a whole, rights and reservations may need to be imposed or granted for the provision of access, maintenance and service to other Lots.
The shooting rights over the whole of the property are currently let until the end of January 2022.
The fishing rights are let until the end of the 2021 season.
Basic Payment Scheme
Basic Payment Scheme and other grant schemes are registered and claimed by the current owners on all land let on short term grazing agreements. The entitlements for the land are specifically excluded from the sale and are to be retained by the seller, but may be available by separate negotiation. For the avoidance of doubt the 2021 payment will be retained by the seller.
Higher Level Stewardship
The Estate also benefits from two Higher Level Stewardship Agreements which are due to expire in 2022 and 2023. It will be a requirement of the sale that the respective purchasers of each plot will take over responsibility for the Higher Level Stewardship Scheme. The costs associated with transferring this scheme will be met by the purchaser(s).
The mineral rights are owned over part of the property with the remainder being owned by a third party.
Higham Estate woodlands form an integral element of the landscape between Bassenthwaite Lake and the eastern edge of Setmurthy Common. The woods total approximately 178.06 acres (72.06 hectares) and are of varied ages and species, providing timber, shelter and the highly attractive and prized landscape that forms the setting of the Estate.
The woods comprise several distinct areas. The wooded slopes overlooking the A66 of Quarry, Lodge and Bully Woods leading into the recently extended new native woodland of Close Breast form a continuous feature of old larch, pine and fir stands intermingled with fine old copses of ash, beech and sycamore. The northern woods comprise rich pasture land and have been laid out to create an attractive parkland of mixed conifers and broadleaved planting, ably supporting a pheasant shoot. The parkland is also complimented by many fine old veteran oaks within hedgerows and individual specimen trees.
Big Wood was acquired by the Estate from the Forestry Commission in 2010. Areas were felled around 2005 and have regenerated well with birch and Sitka spruce. Further felling was completed in 2012 and replanted with native broadleaves. There are approximately 33.60 acres (13.6 hectares) of mainly Sitka spruce which is close to maturity and is accessed by a high quality forestry road.
The woods are covered by various felling licences, an EWGS woodland creation agreement and a carbon grant.
It is a requirement of the sale that responsibility for these agreements is taken over by the purchaser(s).
Mains electric is connected to all dwellings.
Mains water is connected to all dwellings with the exception of Elva Plain which is served by a natural water supply.
All properties have private drainage facilities. Please note that many of the septic tanks on the property do not comply with the general binding rules and the property is sold as seen.
Copies of the full EPC reports are available upon request from Edwin Thompson.
Value Added Tax
Any guide prices quoted or discussed are exclusive of VAT. In the event of a sale of the Estate or only part of it, or any right attached to it, becoming a chargeable supply for the purpose of VAT such tax would be paid in addition to the purchase price.
Allerdale Borough Council
The Estate is offered for sale subject to any development plans, tree preservation orders, ancient orders and public rights of way. Prospective purchasers will be responsible for their own enquiries.
Mr Simon Kirkup
Womble Bond Dickinson
Newcastle upon Tyne
Tel: 0191 279 9374
Money Laundering Regulations
The successful purchaser(s) should be aware that they will be required to provide us with documents in relation to Money Laundering Regulations. Further details are available upon request.
Easements, Wayleaves, and Rights of Way
The property will be sold subject to and with the benefit of all rights of way either public or private all easements and other rights of way whether referenced to or not. There are a number of public footpaths and bridleways which cross the Estate. There are specific rights of way and easements in the favour of adjoining landowners which cross the Estate.
There is a right of way over Lot 8 for a third party to access the river bank to fish the River Derwent.
Fixtures and Fittings
All fixtures and fittings at the property are specifically excluded from the sale.
All tenant’s fixtures and fittings curtains, carpets, ornaments and wall lights, garden ornaments, garden furniture, stone troughs and plant pots are specifically excluded from the sale.
Strictly by appointment through the selling agent.
Prior to making an appointment to view, we request that you discuss your interest in the property with a member of staff who has seen the property.
Edwin Thompson Keswick:
Matthew Bell MRICS FAAV – Partner
Offers should be submitted in writing to Mr Matthew Bell MRICS FAAV of Edwin Thompson LLP.
28 St. John’s Street
A data room has extensive further information and can be made available on request, subject to the signing of a confidentiality agreement.
Further details are available from the selling agents.
Health and Safety
Given the potential hazards of a working estate we request that you take as much care as possible when making your inspection for your own personal safety, particularly in respect of social distancing and around the farm buildings and machinery when entering the fields of livestock.
Edwin Thompson for themselves and for the vendors of this property, whose Agents they are, give notice that:
1.The particulars are set out as a general outline only for the guidance of intending Purchasers and do not constitute, nor constitute part of, any offer or contract.
2. All descriptions, plans, references to condition and necessary permissions for use and occupation, and other details, are given in good faith and are believed to be correct, but any intending Purchaser should not reply upon them as statements or representations of fact but must firstly satisfy themselves by inspection or otherwise as to the correctness of each of them.
3. Nothing in these particulars is to be regarded as a statement that the property is in good structural, agricultural or horticultural condition, nor should any statement be taken as a warranty of fitness for any purpose or use, including existing use; nor is any warranty to be implied that any services, appliances, equipment, installations or facilities on the property are in good working order. Prospective Purchasers should satisfy themselves as to the condition of all such matters.
4. Descriptions of the property are subjective and are published as opinions and not statements of fact. They are not intended to be binding on the Vendors or their Agents.
5. No person in the employment of either the Vendors or their Agents has any authority to make or give any representation or warranty whatsoever in relation to this property or these particulars, nor to enter into any contract relating to this property on behalf of the Agents, nor into any contract on behalf of the Vendors.
6. No responsibility can be accepted for loss or expense incurred in viewing or in the event of any property being sold or withdrawn.
7. The property is sold with all faults and defects whether of condition or otherwise and neither the Vendors nor their Agents will be held responsible for such faults and defects.
8. The Purchaser(s) shall be deemed to acknowledge that they have not entered into an agreement to purchase in reliance on any statement contained in these particulars, that they have satisfied themselves as to the content of each such statement by inspection, enquiry or otherwise and that no warranty or representation has been made by the Vendors or their Agents in respect of the property.
9. Any error, omission or mis-statement in these particulars or any correspondence relating thereto shall not entitle the Purchaser to rescind or to be discharged from any Agreement to Purchase nor shall it entitle either party to compensation or damages, or give either party any cause of civil action.
Particulars prepared May 2021 and photographs taken April and May 2021.