Newbottle features in the Domesday book and there was certainly an earlier house on the present site of Newbottle Manor which was built in about 1490. Added to over the following 300 years, large parts were destroyed by fire in 1795. What remained was converted into the present house in the middle of the 19th century.
Up to about 1500 the village of Newbottle had a population of some 200 inhabitants. At that time the owner of the Manor enclosed the surrounding fields and moved the population a mile down the road to Charlton.
Now Newbottle has a population of 14 and Charlton about 500. The small group of buildings at Newbottle now include
the Manor, Church, the former Vicarage and a charming dovecote. It is still possible to see the outline of where the orginal houses were. Charlton is now a thriving village with an excellent primary school, village shop, post office and pub.
Brief History of the Newbottle Estate
F.E Smith, the First Lord Birkenhead and his wife Margaret first came to Charlton in 1907 where they leased a farm house.
Over the following years the house was bought and extended. They also developed the garden and two grass tennis courts were built which are still in use today. Winston Churchill was a frequent visitor.
It wasn't until after the Second World War that the 2nd Lord Birkenhead and his wife started acquiring some of the surrounding land. Over the following years the holding has been added to as opportunities arose.
At the present time the Estate owns 650 ha of land and 25 houses, some of which are occupied by Estate staff but most are let.
Newbottle Estate Today
All the houses at Newbottle are in the ownership of the Estate, including the Manor, the home of Mr John and Lady Juliet Townsend, grand daughter of F.E Smith, which is now the centre of the Estate. Other houses are mainly at Charlton including the Cottage and Holly House. One of the more unusual properties is the old forge, run for nearly a hundred years by the Grant family. It is still a working forge and at the present time occupied by Jonathan Whitrow.
Newbottle Estate Farm
Newbottle Estate Farms is made up of some 650 ha of grass and arable land.
The farm is made up of two commercial enterprises, the arable and the beef.
Most of the land is arable and we grow winter wheat, oilseed rape, beans and maize. In 2008 joined with two other local farms to create NDR Arable. This partnership carries out the major arable operations across all three farms. This allows us to enjoy economy of scale as we will have the most modern machines to cover the ground quickly and efficiently.
The grain is then stored on the farm and sold throughout the winter and spring by the marketing group Centaur.
Much of our wheat goes to Warburtons for bread.
A herd of 150 Aberdeen Angus suckler cows which produce Newbottle Estate Beef which is sold through Brackley Butchers. Beef has been produced on the Newbottle Estate for nearly 50 years and at one stage there was a herd of nearly 60 mainly Hereford cows on the Estate. In the 1990's the number of cows was reduced to 35 farmed on an extensive basis and the focus was more on the arable side of the business. However since 2005 the focus has switched back towards livestock, with current cow numbers at 150 predominantly Aberdeen Angus breeding cows. All our bulls are pedigree Aberdeen Angus.
All the calves born to the cows stay with their mothers until a minimum of 6 months old when they are weaned. They are
then grazed and fed on the farm until they are mature at about 2 years old.The cattle graze the fields around Newbottle and Charlton in the summer and can often be seen from the road as you drive into Charlton. During the winter the cows are housed in modern buildings and fed on home produced silage, wheat, beans and straw. We believe in high welfare
and all our animals are annually assessed under the ABM (Assured British Meat) standard.
In addition to the commercial enterprises, is also a small pedigree herd of Longhorn cattle and a small flock of Cotswold sheep. The Longhorn were originally used as draught oxen but their meat is extremely good. Unfortunately it takes an extra 6 - 12 months to mature and they are more fatty and so, despite the fact that they are absolutely delicious, they are
not very commercial. All are occasionally found for sale at Brackley Butchers. Cotswold sheep were once prized for their wool but with the value of the sheep now being in the lamb, the breed has become one of the rarest in England.
The sheep are sheared every May/June time and the wool is sold.
The Newbottle Estate, together with Robert Johnson, a highly experienced butcher, purchased Brackley Butchers in June 2006. Robert has over 25 years experience as a butcher and has run the business in Brackley under the Dewhurst name for the last 10 years prior to acquiring the business with the Newbottle Estate.
The business was purchased to provide an outlet for Newbottle Beef, high quality pure bred Aberdeen Angus cattle farmed on the Estate. The meat is hung for up to 4 weeks to produce a uniquely tender and flavoursome meat.