About Greenbank Farm in Cartmel
The farmhouse is believed to have been built in the late 16th or early 17th century with the date of 1663, set in stone above the main house front door, relating to the later addition of a stone porch to commemorate the marriage of Robert & Susanna Michaelson.
The present owners’ forebears, George Dixon and his wife, bought the property shortly after the outbreak of World War One in 1914 two months prior to their eldest son Tom joining the army ahead of his distinguished war service fighting in France (Click here to read excerpts from Major Tom Dixon's war diaries).
CLICK HERE For a PDF of the full annotated transcription and related documents.
Two generations of the family reared beef and dairy cattle on the farm, together with a small thoroughbred racehorse breeding operation, before installing a tenant farmer to carry on the cattle business shortly after the end of the Second World War.
The property gradually fell into disrepair during the following 60 odd years. However, the family regained occupation of Greenbank Farm in 2007 when it became home to Sandy & Sylvia Alexander and their daughter and son-in-law, Tracey & Rynardt Venter, who moved their “Black Horses” business www.blackhorses.co.uk onto the farm.
The farm is now home to approximately 15 Friesian horses ranging from youngstock, broodmares, riding and dressage horses and those used for the carriage driving business. Guests should be aware that as a busy equestrian centre work starts on the farm around 7am although every effort will be made to keep any noise to a minimum.
A large part of the farmhouse has now been renovated but work still needs to be done to the outbuildings and the rest of the house - the renovation work will be ongoing!
History, local attractions and places to eat and drink can be found on the village website www.cartmelvillage.com – we will be pleased to give advice.
Sandy & Sylvia Alexander
Sandy was born locally and spent much of his early childhood in and around Greenbank Farm before moving to London after the Second World War to rejoin his parents who had moved earlier to help with the war effort. For the rest of his childhood and early teens Cartmel became his holiday home spending much of the Easter and summer school holidays “helping” grandad with haymaking at Greenbank Farm and with the thoroughbred horses at nearby Longlands Farm.
Sandy retired from a career spanning 50 years, primarily as an investment manager in the City of London, in 2010 having moved back to the Cartmel area 5 years earlier and back “home” to Greenbank Farm in April 2007. Sandy had married Sylvia, his then boss’s secretary, in 1965 when they moved first to Kent and then to progressively bigger accommodation in both Kent and Sussex as their family grew to 4 children.
Although Sylvia’s parents came from Yorkshire, she was born, lived and worked in the South of England. Sylvia gave up her full time job as a Secretary in 1968, before the twins were born, to become a full time mum to 3 children, rising to 4 when Tracey was born 18 months later. Whilst the children were growing up she became involved with breeding and judging dogs (yorkies & bichon frisé) as well as doing part-time voluntary work for a local charity then starting her own local charity.
Sylvia thought she was going to retire when she and Sandy moved to Greenbank Farm but Tracey & Rynardt’s son, Bailey, put paid to that idea when he was born in 2011 and she became his mum for much of the day whilst Tracey worked from dawn to after dusk running the equestrian business on the farm. However, Sylvia still finds time to do her volunteer charity work spending two half days a week at the Grange-over-Sands Age UK South Lakeland shop.