HARE Hill Farm is an 80 acre hill farm stocked mainly with Swaledale sheep, and was used as a training farm for Land Girls in World War. Farmer takes a peek at how a couple have made a creative inspirational space out of an historic Lakeland barn in their farmyard.

WHEN, a few years ago, Julian Lambton was approaching a certain signature age, he realized that this needed to be marked by a party. But the big question was – The Venue?

After dismissing a number of options, the Lambtons realized the answer was staring them in their face – the barn in their yard. However it came with some problems.

Mountains of junk that had accumulated over the years; there was a lack of any natural light or heat; over a century of accumulated dirt clung to every surface, and each time that there was a strong wind plaster from under the slates showered down onto the floor.

It was felt that dinner guests would not take kindly to their Mediterranean chicken being sprinkled with lime mortar or finding crunchy deposits at the bottom of their wine glass.

Months later, and many trips to the dump, the barn was empty and (reasonably) clean and Vanda had made an enormous patchwork tent which was suspended inside the barn, and they had a party venue with a difference.

But this spawned an idea. If the space worked for them, how would it be for others to use?

Five years later Hare Hill Barn, Cartmel Fell, Grange-over-Sand, was open and ready for business.

Perched on the edge of Cartmel Fell, at about 500 feet, this historic farm barn has been carefully converted by Julian, 65 and Vanda, 62, to provide an unusual and inspirational venue.

Here you can learn a variety of crafts from linocut printing, making Liberty print silk ties, willow animals, felting or even printing fabric using natural flowers and leaves.

The signature feature is a huge window in the east gable right down to floor level from where the view to the south and east appears limitless. Julian says “Without this window we wouldn’t have done it; I wanted people to stand in awe of what they could see from here“.

The view reaches as far as Ingleborough and the Forest of Bowland 25 miles distant.

But far from the flying start they had hoped for, the venue has remained unused since the project was finally completed in early November 2020. And Vanda said “Like so much else in this country everything has been on pause since then, but whilst this has been disappointing we are really looking forward to welcoming people to Hare Hill Barn“. Courses have been arranged with low numbers initially to be compliant with Covid restrictions. But there is a large patio and lawn area which provides further flexibility. Julian explained that the barn is also available for private hire for private parties and events such as exhibitions and concerts. “We hope that when the restrictions are finally lifted people might have something to celebrate! “