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The house and buildings of Rye Hill date back to the 17 century and are constructed of local stone from Ladycross Quarry 3 miles away in Slaley Forest; it is still in existence being one of the last hand worked quarries in the UK. The area is also important for lead mining and the smelting work's arches at Dukesfield have just had lottery money to preserve them, there is a lovely walk from here that passes them. Dukesfield 18th century lead smelting mill on the banks of Hexhamshire's Devils Water river
Around the farm you will find stone seats made at Ladycross quarry and ironwork gates and fences on the farm and bed frames which have been commissioned and made locally.
Rye Hill Farm, Slaley is set on a ridge 5 miles south of the ancient market town of Hexham. Set at 220 meters means we have great views over this livestock farming area with its many woods and steams. The farming is mostly livestock in the hills and more arable in the Tyne valley where conditions are not so harsh. At Rye Hill we have a flock of 80 mules ewes which are crossed with Texel tups, we lamb in March in the barns across from the accommodation so you may be able to see a lamb being born from the comfort of your bed room, there may even be a pet lamb to feed. We also have the grandchildren's ponies, at the moment there are 3 and of course a few chicken for your breakfast eggs. Barley, our golden Labrador is very soft and friendly, though she may bark a bit before she has realised that you are a guest who is going to give her lots of attention.
To the south of Rye Hill there is Slaley Forest which is threaded with rough roads and a sculpture trail, wonderful for walks with the dog or children. There is also Blanchland Moor, part of the North Pennines, with grouse and heather and open skies to die for! To the east is Slaley Hall Golf and Spar Hotel where they host many weddings and golfing events. Guests love the challenge of a round there. There has been a settlement at Slaley since the Norman Conquest. The area was much involved with the Border Reivers battles in the middle ages, Rye Hill was probably used as a lookout point as there is a Pele Tower [ a fortified building where livestock was housed on the ground floor with the dwelling above accessed with a ladder drawn up at night ] at Sheild Hall just below us in the Devil's Water valley.
Here at Rye Hill we try to be as environmentally aware as is practical, we have had solar water heating panels on the roof for several years and they definitely make a difference. We use environmentally friendly light bulbs, and have good insulation in the walls and roof. We grow an assortment of fruit for breakfasts and make all the jams and marmalade. There is always a loaf of homemade bread and eggs are from our hens and of course kitchen waste is recycled where feasible.
Rye Hill Farm is assessed by Quality in Tourism annually, where we consistently achieved a 4 star rating for both the B&B and self-
We have wonderful starry skies due to the lack of light pollution, so here at Rye Hill Farm, star gazing could be a nightly experience on clear nights especially from late September until March. Not just starry eyes but real stars all around you!