End Of An Era As The Barleys Put Crobeag Farm On The Market
Charles Macleod Butchers, known locally as Charlie Barley's, who manufacture the critically acclaimed award winning Stornoway Black Pudding, have put their hill farm Crobeag up for sale.
Crobeag is located in South Lochs on the Isle of Lewis and is a beautiful hill farm boasting its own island, St Colum’s Isle, accessible by tidal causeway. The farm which has been in the Macleod Family for 53 years covers in excess of 365 acres and has a spacious three bedroom modern farm house and working farm buildings.
Brothers Iain and Charles Macleod inherited the business from their late father Charles Macleod in 1967. Trading now for over 60 years the main elements of the business include food manufacturing, the butcher shop and hill farm.
On coming into the family businesses in their late teens, the brothers’ interests were really very different. With Iain focused on the butcher shop and a variety of community roles it allowed Charlie to devote his time and resources to Crobeag farm which quickly became his obsession. Iain was recently awarded an MBE for his work with Stornoway Port Authority and is a Justice of the Peace and Hon Sherriff in Stornoway.
The hill farm has been a life’s passion for Charlie, however since his diagnoses with Parkinson’s disease in 1999, it has become increasingly difficult for him to invest the time and energy required to maintain the farm at its current high standard.
Charlie said: “It has been a real pleasure to devote my life to the development of Crobeag Farm, turning it into a hill farm with a superb reputation for producing award winning cheviot sheep and supplying the firms’ butchers shop with the highest quality spring lamb which is in great demand with our customers.
“I recall at the age of 10 my father taking me over to Crobeag to take a look around before he bought the farm in 1957. My father was a well respected stock man and I certainly inherited his love of the land and skill with animal husbandry.
“Over the years we worked hard reclaiming much of the land on Crobeag farm bringing it up to a high standard providing excellent grazing for stock. At one point I had over 120 cattle on the farm and until recently it provided grazing for 400 sheep.”
Charlie exhibits Crobeag lamb at local shows and often wins championship. Not only is he regularly invited to judge at local shows, more recently he was invited to judge at the Aberdeen Christmas Classic judging both the live & carcass classes.
Although Crobeag is currently being run as a hill farm, it also has a rich heritage. The island was once home to a monastery and orchard, with the remains of a crumbling grave yard still evident on the farm.
John Bound,one of our partners, said: “Crobeag is on the market as a going concern but the Barley’s recognise it could well be bought as a lifestyle choice rather than a working farm. Both Macleod brothers recognise they have been truly privileged to have owned this farm and know that who ever snaps up Crobeag will only ever be the caretaker for future generations as they have enjoyed being.”
Offers over £525,000 are being invited for Crobeag Farm. Find out more information about this property.