Who and where we are
Farnley Estates owns and manages approximately 1,500 acres of farmland, parkland and woodland, in and around the West Yorkshire village of Farnley Tyas.
We’re located a couple of miles from Huddersfield Town Centre and a similar distance from Holmfirth, famed as the location for the BBC’s long-running sit-com, Last of the Summer Wine.
The Estate is home to some of Yorkshire’s most stunning countryside, and although we’re only an hour’s drive from Leeds, Manchester and Sheffield, our footpaths and bridleways can take you back to another time. Many of the field configurations date back to the reign of George III, and our ancient woodlands were around when Henry VIII was on the throne.
Over the years, film crews have used our unforgettable scenery as a backdrop for TV productions. Recently the opening scenes to BBC’s 2014 production of Jamaica Inn were filmed on Farnley Estates land, which just goes to show that Farnley Estate is as breath-taking as 19th Century Cornwall.
Farnley Estates in days gone by
It’s believed that the original Farnley Tyas settlement dates back to the 11th Century. The village grew as a traditional agricultural estate, expanding significantly in the 18th Century under the ownership of the Earl of Dartmouth.
To the best of our knowledge, the Estate has had only three owners during the past 7 centuries. The current owners are the Sykes family, who bought the Estate in 1968 from the Earl of Dartmouth. Brothers, John and Paul Sykes who own and actively manage the Estate today, both live in the area.
Indeed, John and Paul Sykes, see their roles as custodians rather than owners. As John says: “In the grand scheme of things we’re only here for a short space of time. We have a responsibility to care for and manage the Estate in such a way that it can be enjoyed by generations to come, and to make sure our ancient woodlands are around in another 500 years.”
As you can imagine, the Estate has a rich and varied past, which you can discover in our History of Farnley Estates section.
Farnley Estates today
Today, the Estate has more than 30 properties in and around Farnley Tyas, including 5 farms and the home farm. It remains predominantly a working farm, and within this website you can discover more about the farm work we do at here at Farnley Estates.
You can also find out more about the popular Farnley off-road horse rides, and the many clubs and organisations who call the Estate home. There are also public and permissive walks that can be downloaded, giving you the opportunity to see more of this beautiful part of the world for yourself.
Conservation and responsible farming
In April 2013, we were officially awarded Higher Level Stewardship (HLS) status by Natural England. At the time we became the only traditional Estate within Yorkshire and Humberside, where home and tenant farms have all achieved HLS or Entry Level Stewardship status.
It’s rare for such a large Estate to achieve the invitation-only status due to the high level of conservation required. You can read more about this achievement, and how our excellence in Estate management is protecting and conserving our natural resources, in farming… IN FARNLEY.
Farnley Estates in the future
While agriculture will always remain the central focus of Farnley Estates, we need to make sure that we can be environmentally and economically viable both now and for generations to come. We know it’s important that the Estate adapts to the changing world, but due to the nature of farming, our outlook is more long-term than most.
Over the past couple of years we've contacted more than 400 organisations representing more than 780,000 individuals, to find out how they could benefit from greater access to our land. As a result, we're looking to create Farnley Country Park, which you can read more about in the future…IN FARNLEY section.