A Farming World
Farming has been at the forefront of Yate life for centuries. From sheep farming in the Middle Ages to the mechanised dairy farming of today, Yate boasts a proud agricultural history. Farming remained common up until the 1960s, but today there are few working farms in the parish of Yate.
An Old Tradition
Medieval and Early Modern Farmers
In the Middle Ages, local farmers were producing crops including corn and pulses (peas and beans) and also keeping a large number of animals, especially sheep.
There were markets in Yate from 1218 to the 1970s and in Chipping Sodbury from 1232 to 1954.
From the 1700s dairy farming dominated with over 40 farms in Yate parish. Nearly all local people worked in the industry. As well as farmers, there were blacksmiths, carpenters and thatchers.
During the two World Wars farming flourished in Yate. The national government encouraged farmers to produce as much as possible to meet food production targets.
A Forgotten Industry?
After 1945 new housing estates and local factories took over land and workers once part of the farming industry.
By the 1960s, dairy farms had almost disappeared from Yate and the market closed in the early 1970s.
The Farming Community - a fox hunting community
Fox hunting was very popular with local landowners. Squire Hooper of Stanshawes Court was especially enthusiastic.
The White Lion Inn provided stabling (in the current Heritage Centre building) and was a meeting place for the hunt.
Although a popular, social occasion for many, the hunt was not to all tastes! Some local farmers worried the hunt would damage their land and would not let it through.