...in which we descend upon the cloistered valley of Troutbeck to celebrate the 75th birthday of the National Trust farm at Townend, home for 12 generations to the 'yeoman' Browne family. In the company of Collections & House Manager Emma Wright we uncover a trove of farmhouse treasures, including an expansive 'meat loft', the last George Browne's remarkable wood carvings and Elizabeth Birkett's 1699 'commonplace book' of recipes and unlikely ailment cures. Accessing the house's nationally-important library, we paint a picture of a leisured family in pursuit of wealth and influence, and Mark gets enthused by a copy of 'Gate's Shepherds Guide'. Rambling past the farm's expansive bank barn – one of the finest in Westmorland – we learn about the characteristic pattern of 'outgang' lanes that allowed stock to be driven onto the communal Wansfell 'hundreds' before turning our attention to Beatrix Potter and the last days of the Browne dynasty.
You can find out more about Townend at www.nationaltrust.org.uk/visit/lake-district/townend