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Our History


A Working Farm

Heart of the Country Village was once a traditional Staffordshire farmstead comprising of red brick and tile buildings, and Dutch barns. The Stubbs family has farmed the land on which the Village now stands for over 100 years and, at different times, used the farm buildings for suckler cows, feeding cattle, lambing and potato storage.

Whilst Simon Stubbs and his father farmed, Simon’s wife, Lesley opened a small farm shop selling potatoes, eggs, dried flowers and her dad’s honey.

Three French Hens


At the farm shop the product range grew and in 1984, Three French Hens was born. Lesley, being Canadian, was gradually introducing North American Folk Art to the shop, which gave Three French Hens a distinct and unique appeal.


She was also selling beautiful old pine furniture, this supplied by an enterprising young man called Paul who saw the potential of an old tractor shed, and soon there were two shops, Three French Hens and Paul Martyn Furniture.  


Blending Old and New

Lesley and Simon continued to convert the old brick and tile farm buildings, carefully preserving their traditional features. Over time, the farmyard became Heart of the Country Village.

In 1991 the Village was awarded the Arthur Brown Trophy, given in recognition of projects that have made a significant contribution to the preservation of Staffordshire’s built heritage. In 1995, the Village won a ‘Country Landowners Association Farm Buildings’ award, recognising projects that play an important role in developing rural economy.

The Present Day

Today the Village is home to an eclectic mix of businesses, some of which have been here nearly forty years. Just as Three French Hens did many years ago, the independent retail shops, eateries and services continue to offer bespoke products and experiences, quality craftsmanship and personal service.

Today the Village is managed by Lesley and Simon’s two sons and their wives who live nearby with their families.

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Going Forward

A recent project has been the development of the Village woodland, full of fairy doors and shared with two friendly pigs. This natural space is ideal for children, adults and well-behaved dogs to run around, to explore and to get close to nature.

Every year the Village hosts special events like Step into Spring in March to celebrate the fairies returning to the woodland and the Scarecrow Festival in October, when each business creates a scarecrow to display outside their shop.

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