In 1860, Charles Bellis bought and planted a strawberry called Black Prince, a dark and very sweet berry. Runners from this original plant became the start of strawberry growing in Holt.
Eighteen years on, in 1878, the Bellis family bought Wrexham Road Farm (the site of today’s Farm, Garden Centre and Farm Shop).
In 1883, accommodation was built for strawberry pickers on what was known as ‘Charlies Yard’ – this is now known as the ‘Top Yard’. Two years later, it was agreed to plant the strawberries in rows – a yard apart. This system was found to be much more economical.
When the war ended, the family continued farming, growing fruit and vegetables and planting orchards. Beef and dairy herds were established and more farms purchased – but we continued to be famous for our strawberries!
In 1973, we built a small farm shop (resembling a double garage!) in order to sell produce grown from our fields. However, it soon became apparent that it was far too small and the first extension got underway in April 1976.
The biggest extension happened in 1986 which included a Garden Centre and small Restaurant. Four extensions later, we now arrive at the superb Farm Shop and Garden Centre we have today.