There’s more than enough to keep your family entertained for the whole day at Sacrewell. Take a trip to our 18th century working watermill; explore our play areas indoors and out; or make firm friends with our rare breed farm animals.
Take a look at the sections below to find out what there is to see and do at Sacrewell.
We’ve got a whole range of animals here at Sacrewell, from traditional farm stock such as pigs and sheep to the more unusual alpacas.
Our paddocks showcase our successful rare breeding programme, which includes Lincoln Longwool, Jacob and Suffolk Punch horses. We’ve also got rare breed British Landrace pigs on site.
In springtime we are home to at least two dozen bouncing lambs. Some are born here and some are orphans – known as Cade lambs – which we hand-rear when they come to us from other farms.
You can meet a selection of our animals here.
Animal village and the hatchery
We have rabbits and guinea pigs who live in our animal village, and we currently have quails and polish bantam chickens in our hatchery. Our incubator keeps the eggs at the right temperature and keeps the air moist enough (around 50%) so that any fertile eggs should hatch in around 21 days.
Our hatchery is expanding and our smaller animals housed in the discovery centre have gone to retirement homes. However with the planned development of the hatchery for 2018, we can’t wait to hatch chicks and ducklings all year round. From polish bantam chickens to quails to New Hampshire reds, there will be more feathered friends at the farm when you visit in the new year.
18th century watermill
Our watermill showcases the use of local raw materials, built from Barnack limestone and Collyweston slate and relying on our spring fed mill pond to provide it with power.
This fabulous structure has been fully restored, thanks to a £1.4 million grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund and additional funding from the William Scott Abbott Trust.
As you explore the four floors of the mill building (either on foot or using the virtual tour) you can discover the moving machinery that turns the wheat grain into flour and learn a little about what life was like for the Victorian miller and his apprentice.
The mill house is set in a different era, telling the tale of the Land Army girls who worked at Sacrewell and life on the home front in the Second World War.
Learn more about the history of Sacrewell and the watermill here.
Old farming equipment
You’ll find a variety of old farming equipment on display around the Sacrewell site, including our Harry Ferguson TE 20 tractor, built by the Standard Motor Company in Coventry in 1952.
Keep your eyes peeled for a shepherd’s hut, a Claas combine harvester and a variety of horse drawn machines for working the fields.
You’ll also find smaller items of equipment from farming’s past throughout Sacrewell – wooden shovels, cake breakers used to break up animal feed, scythes for cutting corn and hay, milk churns, barrels and crates in many of the barns and outbuildings. Many of the tools were made locally in Stamford.
Glyn Mould is our resident woodcarver and you’ll find his workshop in our animal village.
He’s worked for some of the country’s most important heritage sites, including the Palace of Westminster, Burghley House and the Supreme Court, as well as making more than 120 village signs and a sculpture for Glasgow’s City of Culture celebrations.
If his door is open, he’s happy for you to pop your head inside and have a look at what’s going on. Find out more about the woodcarving courses Glyn offers.
The 550 acres owned by the William Scott Abbott Trust are teeming with wildlife, thanks in large part to the organic techniques used by Riverford Organic Farmers.
If you keep your eyes open and your ears peeled as you walk around the site, you’ll find evidence of rabbits, badgers and foxes. Look out for damselflies darting around the mill stream and butterflies fluttering in our garden.
High in the sky you might hear the cry of a buzzard or a red kite. From our bird hide or picnic area on the banks of the mill pond, you can also see a wealth of wildfowl, including Canada geese, swans, moorhens and ducks, which live on the banks and the island in the middle of the pond.
We’re big fans of wild play here on the farm, so look out for invitations to explore as you move around the site, such as our bramble tunnel and our willow dome.
Our formal outdoor play park has swings, slides and climbing equipment and you can lose yourself in the evergreen maze.
If the weather takes a turn for the worse, the Playbarn is a great place to let off some steam. You can collect eggs in the Chicken Coop, race your friends down the mud slide or ride on a tractor or two.
Children must be accompanied by an adult at all times on the farm.
Bump around Sacrewell’s fields on a tractor ride to get a new perspective on our agricultural heritage and learn the story of food from field to fork.
Our tenant farmers, Riverford Organic Farms, are always out in the fields planting, growing and harvesting their delicious fruit and vegetables. From spring greens, Brussels sprouts and onions to barley, apples and pears, there’s something growing all year round.
Your tractor driver will take you on a 20-minute tour of the farm (10 minutes in winter). Tractor rides can be booked at reception and run at set times throughout the day. They cost £1.50 per person in high season and £1 per person in low season. Under ones go free.
Take a walk on the wild side and discover the beautiful Cambridgeshire farmland that inspired poet John Clare to write, “I found the poems in the fields and only wrote them down.”
The one- and three-mile ramble routes explore the land leased to Riverford Organic Farms, following permissive footpaths with the agreement of the land manager and Natural England. There’s no admission charge for the ramble routes and well-behaved dogs are welcome on a lead.
Ask at reception for a ramble map.
Feed the animals
Please note that during lambing season we do not sell animal food.
It’s lovely to get up close to our animals and they make friends very easily when there’s food involved. We have animal food dispensers in the animal village and near the paddocks where you can purchase a handful of food for just 20p.
Please ensure you take note of which animals the food you purchase is suitable for, to ensure that they don’t get upset stomachs. The mixed flake which is sold in the pet yard is suitable for guinea pigs, rabbits and anything with feathers whilst the grass nuts we sell in the paddocks are good for all our breeds of sheep and goats.
Generations of children (and grown-ups) have enjoyed playing Pooh sticks and Sacrewell is the perfect place for a bit of old-fashioned fun.
Down the hill, past the mill, you’ll discover the rushing and winding mill stream –and a bridge that’s an ideal place for Pooh sticks.
The game was invented by A.A.Milne in his classic stories about Winnie-the-Pooh and Christopher Robin in House at Pooh Corner and is still a popular past-time. If you’ve never played the game before, you’ll find a copy of the official rules on display at the bridge.
Events and activities
Please visit the Events section to see which events are happening at the time of your visit.
We also run a variety of activities on weekends and during school holidays. Check the timetable at the welcome desk when you arrive to find out what’s on offer.