Mary Arden’s Farm, the childhood home of Shakespeare’s mother re-opens for the season on Saturday 18 March. Visitors can experience the sights, sounds and smells of an organic working Tudor farm on a fantastic family day out. Meet the Tudors who run the farm just as Shakespeare’s mother would have done. Watch falconry and craft demonstrations and explore this award-winning historical farmyard that’s full of fluffy new arrivals.
Along with a whole range of rare breed animals that live at Mary Arden’s Farm, the farm is also home to three very special Arapawa goats - Maestral, Davina and Patrick. The Arapawa breed is one of the rarest breeds of goat in the world and the team at Mary Arden’s farm are thrilled to announce that the pitter patter of tiny rare hooves will be joining the farm in April, as Davina and Patrick are expecting their first kid.
Arapawa goats are thought to be descended from the two original Old English Milch goats that were left on Arapawa Island, off of New Zealand by Captain Cook way back in 1773. Since the 1970’s, their number has been in decline and in 2014, the BBC reported that "only around 150" goats of the historic Arapawa breed were left in existence.
Abi Moore, Mary Arden’s Farm Site Manager said, “We have been busy preparing the farm for reopening and are proud to be working towards an accreditation from the Rare Breed Survival Trust to care for our rare breed animals and we are delighted to be welcoming such a rare and special new addition to Mary Arden’s Farm. As well as Arapawa goats, the farm is expecting spring arrivals including the rare breeds of Norfolk Horns, Cotswold and Portland lambs and new calves throughout the year. We have already welcomed a gaggle of goslings and can’t wait for visitors to experience the farm at such a wonderful time of the year that’s full of life and fun.
“We also have a range of new activities planned for the season that the whole family can enjoy, including our brand new Tudor crafts area and the mysterious lotions and potions hut featuring the Tudor Wise Woman. There really is something for everyone down at the farm and we hope that people will come along for some good old Tudor fun!”
The opening will also see the launch of a brand new menu at the Farm’s café. The new menu will feature fresh, seasonal and Tudor specials, all inspired by the dishes that are prepared daily in the farmhouse using organic products produced at the farm. Fruit from the orchard and herbs grown in the garden will also be used where possible to enhance the dishes.
Mary Arden’s Farm was highly commended for Best Family Day Out in the Hudson’s Heritage Awards 2017, and is one of five historic properties cared for by the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust. The farm is open from 10am – 4pm on Saturday, 18th and Sunday 19th March and will be open from 10am – 5pm from Monday 20 March.