Mounsey Bank Blog

The Harringtons history at Mounsey bank

Author: Phil
The Harringtons history at Mounsey bank

James & Anne Harrington moved into a Lowther tenancy on Mounsey bank around 65 years ago with sons Jimmy David & Colin. After a tragic accident with a bull Anne was left widowed with 3 sons in tow and pregnant with daughter Anna. 

The farm was worked hard with staff & Anne's brother John & family from Lesson Hall farm at Wigton . The tenancy was then sold to Brackenbrough estate & was farmed by Jimmy David & Colin, with David breaking off the farm to Pursue other interests within his own family. Jimmy & Colin then took the reins carrying on with the pure Friesian herd of milking cows.

Moving forward the 1st major investment was upgrading the parlour & cubical shed & silage clamp in 1978-1979. With Jimmy pulling away from the farm to pursue his interest in photography, Colin took the reins with his wife Rose & Mark his eldest son. 

The next investment came in a calf / youngstock shed, in 1991 with Colin then going on and being awarded the regional winner for calf rearer of the year in 1993 and getting runner up for the national awards. With 2nd son Philip then leaving school in 1994 making this a true family run farm with Rose keeping her hand in doing weekend shifts while bringing up daughter Julie and keeping the boys in line. 

In 1996 the opportunity came up to purchase a 60 acre block of land, stock buildings & barns that was tenanted along with Mounsey bank. With Mark the eldest son leaving the farm to purse his interests in the retail side of agriculture this left Colin & Phil to run the farm, with Mark keeping his hand in on busy periods & weekends. 

After suffering the devastating blow of foot & mouth in 2001 and losing over 50 years of breeding in the family's herd of pure Friesians, this gave a brand new problem of what now ! The easy route would of been to restock with a commercial herd of Holsteins & concentrate on making milk. When discussed over the kitchen table the clear message was Friesian or not at all. 

Managing to source a herd of pedigree Friesian Holsteins from Jim Goldie in Ashire, Mounsey bank was restocked in Jan 2002, from then the herd went from strength to strength, now holding a full pedigree Friesian herd they haven't looked back . 

With the sale of Mounsey bank from land lord Robert Harris of Brackenbrough in 2004 being the next major investment the Harrington's firmly cemented their commitment to what they believed in. 

With Mark concentrating firmly on his passion for retail agriculture, Colin & Phil took on some part time staff, this allowed the farm to grow and updates to be done as and when the milk price allowed. With an extension to the cubical shed & a second silage/wholecrop & straights store being completed in 2005 to give breathing space to the herd & ease workload.

In 2013 a 2nd slurry store was erected away from the farm to comply with NVZ rules and to ease feeding the farm in any direction with winter stored slurry. A cattle handling race was also built to make handling youngstock , milkers, stock bulls a lot safer & easier, making branding & dosing now a lot lot better. 

The original Newton Rigg cubicals were removed in 2015, beds filled and cow comfort cubicals & Mayo matts fitted bringing a much needed update. Now running a 290 head of stock + 2 bulls ( 150 through the parlour ) Mounsey bank is a very well established pedigree Friesian herd with good yielding cows averaging 8900L per cow, with exceptional quality of butterfat of 4.66 , & protein of 3,36 . 

Now supplying North Lakes dairy @ Penrith from mid 2015 their hoping the future looks strong but in such a volatile market Colin, Rose, Mark, Julie , Philip, Emma and son ( 3rd generation) Charlie hope they will be here for years to come.

Date: Wednesday, March 2, 2016
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