Our family’s involvement in farming and the production of top quality meat goes back to the nineteenth century and probably earlier. Great grandfather John Nichols farmed in the centre of Langtree and owned the abattoir and butchers shop nearby. We have pictures of him inspecting the Devon Ruby Red bullocks at Great Torrington Market at the end of the nineteenth century.
Arthur Nicholls, one of eight children, carried on the farming tradition. Starting on the home farm in Langtree, he then farmed in Canada and Australia, before settling back to farm at Rackenford on Exmoor. In 1924 he and his young family moved to Stone Farm, near Bideford, travelling down from Exmoor by horse and cart with all his stock and equipment. That is where the family have farmed ever since.
Stone Farm was a small mixed farm with dairy and beef cattle, sheep, Wessex saddleback pigs, turkeys, ducks and chickens. Produce used to be sold in the traditional way at Bideford Pannier Market and at the farm gate.
Our “TOP MEADOW” brand gets its name from one of the meadows at Stone Farm. South-facing, a traditional meadow of grasses and herbs not ploughed since the Great War, sloping gently towards a stream shaded by oaks and ash trees that feeds into the Torridge, it is indeed the epitomy of a rural England largely lost to us.