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Countrystride #97: TOWNEND – Troutbeck farming dynasty 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.

Townend and its gardens.

Our guest for the day: Emma Wright from the National Trust.

One of the books from the library: 'A Way to get Wealth'.

And another: 'The Crafty Chambermaid's Garland'.

'Gate's Shepherds Guide' showing the page for the Brownes.

The Wansfell wall transition that excited Mark...

'F' and 'B' up-close indicating the Forrests and Brownes.

Emma on a favourite seat, Robin Lane.

Dave and Emma by Robin Lane cottage.


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