Sacrewell’s history dates back over a thousand years – all the way to the Romans, in fact. We know this from excavations that have been carried out on the site. Sacrewell’s Mill is the first indication that people settled here permanently – it is mentioned in writing in the Domesday Book.
But we’re not expecting our members or visitors to remember that far back. What we are hoping is that instead, they’ll dig out some old photos to share their memories with us – whether it’s from the last five years, or fifty. We know a lot of our visitors first came here as children themselves and now bring their own children or even their grandchildren.
General Manager Lee Scowen said: “We’re asking our visitors to dig through their old photos and stories of the farm during lockdown and share them with us on social media.
“We’re not expecting memories from 1,000 years ago but it would be lovely to see and hear people’s memories of visiting the farm, especially at a time when people can’t visit us themselves.”
While our doors are currently closed to visitors, it doesn’t mean we can’t all take a trip down memory lane together.
Lee added: “We’re an educational charity so are using our social media channels, such as Facebook, to share some educational activities and teach people about the animals on our site through fun quizzes.
“We thought one way of keeping people engaged in what we’re doing would be to ask them to share their stories and memories with us, which is why we’re launching this campaign. We hope we’ll uncover some stories in living memory that we’ve not heard before.”
During the Second World War, Sacrewell became a base for the Women’s Land Army who took to the land to keep Britain farming and feed the nation. In recent years, Sacrewell completed the Sacrewell Mill project with a £1.2m grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund and funds from the Trust which tells the story of what life was like at the farm from the perspective of a couple of the Land Girls who lived there.
Lee added: “We’ve already started to gather people’s memories of Sacrewell in recent projects, but we’d like to uncover more. We know that people who visited us as children now bring their children and even grandchildren. We’ve changed a lot since the early days and now have a visitor centre, but it’s the memories of the people who come back and visit us time and time again that keep William Scott Abbott’s vision of taking farm education to the masses going – and his mission is particularly poignant at times like these when we’re once again turning to British farmers to feed the nation.”
To share your memories with us, post them to our Facebook page or tag us on Instagram (@Sacrewell) and we’ll share as many as we can.