The name Clavelshay is said to be derived from it being owned centuries ago by a family called Clavel and 'hay' means 'belonging to'.
Lower Clavelshay Farm dates back to the 15th C and was formerly part of the Glastonbury Abbey estate. After the dissolution of monasteries it was handed over to Viscount Portman and remained in the Portman family until 1944 when it was given to the Crown Estate in lieu of death duties.
William & Sue Milverton are tenant farmers of the 350 acre farm on the edge of the beautiful Quantock hills. The farm is a traditional mixed dairy farm and is run entirely with family labour – William with sons James and Rob working 7 days a week.
WORKING DAIRY FARM
The main enterprise is the dairy herd producing milk, but the farm also rears all the replacements for the dairy herd and also some beef cattle. Wheat and maize are grown as food for the cows as well as grass for silage as the winter feed.
BIRTH OF CLAVELSHAY BARN
The foot and mouth crisis made the family look at other business options on the farm other than farming. A redundant stone barn next to the farmhouse seemed perfect for conversion into a business venture.
Sue had run a successful B&B business in the farmhouse while James, Rob and Laura were growing up and has always been passionate about good food.
OPENED IN APRIL 2005
The idea of converting the barn into a country restaurant started in 2003 and after securing a grant from DEFRA under the Farm Diversification Scheme the restaurant opened in April 2005. Although the farm is in rural area, it is only 7 miles from Taunton and 5 miles from Bridgwater. The unique selling point of the restaurant is that all food is produced and sourced locally, with all dishes being made on site including bread.