Colonel Mungo Park Benton (the current Mr B’s father!) bought Folly Farm for £7,000 which was abandoned and in bad repair due to it being a tenanted farm. As a Colonel in the Horse Artillery, he needed land to turn the gun horses away for the holidays.
When he left the army, he converted the courtyard and buildings surrounding (the cottages we know today) into stables to enable him to have 60 high class hunters in the Winter from London, and 60 polo horses in the Summer.
The Colonel suffered with repeated bouts of pneumonia, Doctors suggested he went abroad to a hot country and so left to Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) and they let the Farm to Sir Peter Grant Lawson.
When World War II hit, Sir Peter walked out to return to the Army and Tuckett and Sons moved in. The head clerk farmed the land as directed and required for “War Agriculture”.
Julian joined the army for 10 years in the Queens Dragoon Guards working his way to Lieutenant.
Julian attended the Royal Agricultural College in Cirencester. While he was there, the farm tenant passed away and he spent a year with the Dares at Malmesbury learning all there was to know about cows and milking!
Julian took over the running of the farm on the Estate, and continued to dairy farm for 37 years!
Planning permission for the renovation of the Barn and Courtyard Cottages was sent into Stroud Council. The Cottages plans were accepted and work began, but the Barn plans was refused by the conservation officer – for 8 years!!
Planning permission was (finally!) accepted for the Barn on 16th May, and it began the transformation into the gorgeous wedding venue it is today.
To date, we’ve seen 1000’s of couples and guests come through our doors, and we’re honoured to be holding around 130 weddings per year.