A Brief History

The lands at Lakeview, of the townland of Cloghballybeg, were granted to the Mortimer family by Charles II in 1666. The house was built, the gardens and orchard laid out and the lands farmed continuously by this family until 1996 when the present owners, related through marriage, became custodians.

The original house, was probably a single story thatched cottage which was then lofted; the reception rooms were added in the early 1800’s. The vernacular yard buildings are of various ages too and there is a 18th century Deerpark on the property. A number of tree enclosures were built and planted during the famine of the 1840’s. Much of the other and distinctive tree planting, mainly of beech, is from the early 1800’s and was carried out by David Mortimer. It is not known when the garden and orchard were enclosed but they are both representedon the earliest Ordnance Survey maps. The layout of the present garden builds on the design and gardening skills of Ailleen Mortimer (nee Levinge) who constructed the terraces and paved area adjacent to the house in the 1930’s at which time the rest of the garden was supplying fruit and vegetables for the house. Some trees, shrubs and roses remain from her gardening activities and some perennials rescued and replanted.

By 1996, when Daphne and Jonathan Shackleton began the restoration, most of the garden was neglected and derelict. In 1996 the garden was cleared of scrub and it was almost totally ploughed and rotavated in 1997. The walls were then repaired, paths laid out and edged (following the existing layout where known) and the terraces and pavery restored by Joe Lynch. Planting commenced in autumn 1997 and spring 1998. The orchard was cleared initially, any sound apple trees retained and new fruit trees planted in 1998 and 1999. Additional plants have been continuously added as the gardens developed.

The farm, which is managed to certified organic standards, has a suckler herd of Aberdeen Angus. All progeny are finished off grass and red clover and finished animals are sold through Leitrim Organic Farmers Coop, often to Marks and Spencer and Tesco.

We have planted some farm forestry including plantations of ash, oak and scots pine.  Wildlife is a valued part of the Lakeview community and the farm supports a diverse and healthy ecosystem.

Jane returned to work on the farm in Summer2015 and established a flock of sheep which are mainly Texel and Charollais crosses.  She also welcomed the first Airbnb guests to Lakeview in June 2015.

Lakeview is a family farm enterprise and we are greatly helped in our work by WWOOFERS (Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms) who come from all over the world, for various lengths of time, to help on the farm, learn English and enjoy the area.