Yew Tree Farm is a 212.32ha traditional hill farm with a suckler herd and hill flock including a flock of Herdwick sheep.
The land ranges from meadow and pasture in the valley bottom to rough rocky intake and fell.
The Farm was named after a huge Yew tree that was 700 years old when it was felled in 1896; the remains of the trunk can still be seen lying in the field behind the house.
The Original Farmhouse is a traditional cruck-framed Lakeland Farmhouse built in approximately 1690 this house was small and very simple, an open fire would be used for cooking and a large fire hood would direct smoke up the impressive circular chimney.
Yew Tree remained in the hands of the Walker Family for two Centuries. The Walker Family were responsible for building the grand extension of the house in 1745 which is now so often painted and photographed. The Farm was then sold to James Garth Marshal in 1845, the Walker Family remained Tenants for some time.
The Farm as part of the Marshal Family owned Monk Coniston Estate was then put up for sale in 1930, the whole Estate was under threat from developers who wanted to plant the land for commercial forestry.
The National Trust wished to purchase the Estate In order to protect it, however at the time they could not raise the funds. Fortunately, Beatrix Potter better known locally Mrs Heelis and a supporter of the National Trust, did have the funds to purchase the Estate. An agreement was struck between the two parties and Beatrix Potter successfully purchased the Estate in 1930 with a view to selling half of the Estate to the National Trust as soon as funds could be raised.
Once in the ownership of the National Trust, the Farm was managed along side the half of the Estate kept by Beatrix Potter, she acted as ‘Land agent’ for nearly ten years on behalf of the National Trust it was during this time the Beatrix Potter helped the Tenants set up a tea room in the parlour of Yew Tree Farmhouse, the room was furnished with her own fine furniture and a collection of curios that would be of interest to passing tourists. All these fabulous chattels are still in the house.