This virtual event will now take place VIA ZOOM on Saturday 30th January 2021, from 1.30pm to 5.00pm. Joining instructions will be issued closer to the date. interested non-members are welcome. 

NOTE: If you are not currently members of the Historic Farm Buildings Group, please register your interest to ‘attend’ in the contact section of this website BEFORE 21ST JANUARY so that joining instructions may be sent. 

The Historic Farm Buildings Group Meeting will this year be held online, and we shall focus on the subject of recording and research. Our knowledge of historic farmsteads and farm buildings has developed over many years. Despite pockets of wonderful work and research, and the support offered by Historic England to the development of an evidence base that has begun to put farmsteads into their rural landscapes - see - we are lacking a national overview of the state of current research.

For the last few years, organisations such as Historic England and the National Trust have developed research agendas that have set out the questions that we now wish to ask, and importantly also how we think we can answer them. -

Our workshop will use recent work in Worcestershire as a framework for asking these questions for the first time at a national scale:





The 2019 conference with farm visits iis to be held in  Le Departement du Lot in South Western France, on 21st and 22nd September. Additional optional days are planned on the Friday 20th and Monday 23rd. The area concerned is adjacent to the southern Dordogne and has many attractions beside those of its fascinating farm buildings. These will include granges, chestnut drying, tobacco drying and more. The proposed 3 day format may be enhanced by optional additional visits. It is presumed that attendees will fly to Toulouse or possibly Brive and will be staying in Hotel accommodation which we hope to suggest and recommend. We are currently considering the possibility of transport to conference venues. Travel by road from channel ports is possible but realistically a two day journey unless disturbing adjustment of the national speed limits is entertained...but definitely NOT recommended. 




Penrith Field barnCROP

The conference this year will look at the historic buildings in the context of the landscapes in which they developed and how they are changing now and into the future. The Peak District has benefited from the recent completion of the Peak District Farmsteads Project, supported by Historic England, which has provided guidance, following mapping of the historic character and survival of farmsteads and field barns across the National Park – see

This work shows that, whilst the Peak District has much in common with other upland landscapes of northern England, it has very distinctive patterns of farmsteads and buildings which developed to serve the needs of its own and surrounding communities. These developed in the framework of fields, limestone heaths and gritstone moorland which all retain evidence for their use from the prehistoric period.

The conference is organised along similar lines to other recent HFBG events. We shall have a morning of lectures followed by visits to an exciting range of buildings and sites, focused on the Chatsworth estate.

Please note that we shall not be hiring a bus but visiting sites on a ‘car sharing’ basis. The nearest train station to the start of the conference at Beeley, is Matlock. From Matlock to Beeley is about 10 minutes in a car. However, at the time of the conference, the trains to Matlock will be replaced by a bus service from Derby. From Matlock there is a local bus service to Beeley. 




Venue: Beeley Parish Church – Postcode DE4 2NT

Time:   10.00 for 10.30am start

Introducing the Peak and its Farmsteads

Setting the scene

10.30   Ken Smith                                                                                  Introducing the Peak District

11.00   Jeremy Lake                                                                               Peak farms and their landscapes

Managing change

11.10   Anna Babcock                                                                           The National Park and farmsteads

           Cultural Heritage Team Manager, Peak District National Park

11.30   Suzanne Fowkes                                                                       Countryside Stewardship - past and present

           Countryside Stewardship Officer, Peak District National Park

12.00   Adam Bench                                                                             New works and conversions

            Adam Bench Architects

12.30   Lunch

13.00   Beeley Village and Calton Lees. Guided walk to take in farm buildings in the context of an historic village dating from the 16th century - a cruck-framed barn; an 18th century hay barn of the type which developed around the hay meadows of the Derwent; the late 18th century Duke’s Barn; Chatsworth estate houses converted from farm buildings in the 19th century; and the early enclosures around the village with their field barns. We shall also visit Calton Lees with a fine example of an 18th century hay barn and other buildings.

16.30   Beeley Parish Church. Tea and cake, followed by the AGM.

EVENING OPTION AND GET-TOGETHER: We are looking to book some space for an evening meal in a nearby pub or café. There would be an additional cost for this. Please confirm on the booking form if this would interest you.


10.00   Meet at Chatsworth House car park

10.15   Depart for Park Farm. Tour of late 18th-19th century model farm in land enclosed from moorland on the edge of Chatsworth Park, built to an overall classical design with historic apotropaic marks and other features.

11.30   Coffee followed by visit to Bubnell. An estate farm which has traces of the medieval hamlet that it developed from, with a wide range of building types.

13.00   Pilsley. Visit to the Brewery Barn, with LUNCH, followed by a walk to its field barn landscape, model farm of 1910 and to converted farm buildings.

15.00   Edensor. Walk to its field barn landscape, where the Chatsworth Estate has been active in the restoration of field barns for continued use and for their amenity and habitat value. Conference concludes with tea in the model village.


The cost per person is:

Members:              £20 per day or £40 for the whole conference

Non-members:     £35 per day or £60 for the whole conference


The booking form is available from: