The Stables at Cross Butts
stables slider image
The History of Cross Butts
We must always look forward but never forget the past.
stables slider image
The History of Cross Butts
We must always look forward but never forget the past.

The History of Cross Butts

Welcome… May we take this opportunity to welcome you to Cross Butts.

Unfortunately, not all the past has been quite so nice.

In April 2001, Cross Butts fell victim to the terrible scourge of the countryside Foot and Mouth. 280 animals were slaughtered on this farm. April 2001 was relatively early in the epidemic. The countryside was in chaos and there was still a chance of a May election that year. The Army was in full swing and barbaric measures were used. Many of the out buildings were burned and destroyed and the fires in the fields burned on for weeks. The inside of every building was stripped to being unrecognisable.

Cross Butts was the home of a herd of Holstein Pedigree Cattle. These were milked three times a day, every day with each cow averaging 11,000kg and the heifer 10,000kg of milk each.

We had 51 excellent cows to the highest grade the Holstein Association can give when we lost them. We used embryo transplant for a number of years and sold individual animals to almost every County in the UK & Ireland and had twice exceeded £10,000gns for individual animals in Public Auction. These standards needed extreme dedication and attention to detail over the years.

Most individuals and families have suffered loss and pain which I fully respect, but I have really struggled to come to terms with the sheer carnage of multiple slaughter, the loss of my career and the sheds full of young calves I had to drag out. These images and memories just seem to stay with me and haunt me.

With the help of my lovely wife Sue, son Daniel and daughters Gemma and Cheryl I was able to re-stock at Christmas 2001. A great friend and his father who are neighbours of ours kindly sold me 1/3 of their herd, from their older cows to a young calf. I tried my very hardest to start afresh, but some how my spirit had been broken. I found it increasingly difficult to even work in the same surroundings and as a result of this my health suffered.

In August 2003 we were granted planning permission to rebuild in the old stable and the adjoining courtyard.

The Farmhouse is dated 1691 and the stables were thought to be older still. Many generations ago Cross Butts had been a Coaching Inn and the road had originally been on the other side of the house.

The re-build took 12 months and a team of selected local tradesmen. Their attention to detail and marvellous craft is displayed for all to see. We tried our very best not to cut any corners and have kept the original character throughout wherever possible and are extremely proud with the end result.

Our dream to make Cross Butts a happy place to be, once again, is now complete.

With sincere thanks,

John, Sue and Family.

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