Here, on Goose Green we’re very much at the heart of the agricultural element. When James and Margaret Beale first came to look at Standen it was made up of three farms – Standen Farm situated further down the valley (at the bottom of this valley is now Weirwood reservoir which was built in the 1950’s), Stone Farm further along the ridge to the West, and where we’re standing now, Hollybush Farm. The cottage we can see on the green is the original Hollybush farm house, and the barn, where our café now is, was part of its farm buildings. Only these two buildings remain of the original farm buildings and would have been seen by the Beales when they first came here. It’s thanks to their architect Philip Webb that they are still here today.

The Beales were keen to keep the farm at the heart of their garden and didn’t try to hide it away – it would have been the first area to be seen by visitors, and one of the farm’s main access routes, the farm track (or Sandy Lane as it was originally called) goes straight through the garden. This track was never redirected but always formed part of the garden. Cows would have been driven from the fields along the farm track to Goose Green before milking in the cow barn. Other animals also would have grazed the green including geese, from where it now gets its name. Our plans for the green are to keep it rural – not overly manicured but reflecting its original farm yard purpose.

Work has been done beside Goose Green to give it a more rural feel and also to slow down traffic to make it a safer area for pedestrians and for visitors who are enjoying a picnic on the grass. The driveway here has been narrowed to a single lane and some additional planting has been added to soften the look. Nick Delves is working on some new designs for the tea garden and so this whole area will become a more relaxing space for visitors to enjoy.