My time at Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse

I arrived at Gressenhall knowing very little about farming. I was vaguely interested in history and I knew I wanted to have a smallholding when I was older. However the industrious commercial farms had no attraction to me. When the opportunity arose to come to Gressenhall I jumped at the chance and from the first day that I saw the advert I dreamt of getting the job and the things that I would learn on the farm.

Ploughing with Trojan and Bowler with Ransomes Plough

Since I have been here I have really enjoyed working the horses and learning about Victorian agriculture and the agricultural revolution. Aside from this I have been attending college one day per week in order to achieve my level 2 NVQ in mixed agriculture. This has given me a sound footing in agricultural knowledge that I can apply here on the farm as well as in future work. Before I came to Gressenhall I had not worked with horses, however I was keen to give it a go. The first time I walked through the gate into the stable with the horses it hit me just how much power they had, but only for a second, because I knew that if I was to work the horses properly I would need to put their capabilities to the back of my mind.

Oscar getting Bowler ready

Skills for the future has also benefited me in other ways, as well as providing the amazing opportunity to work the horses it has paid for me to do my MO1 tractor driving and my Veterinary medicine certificate. College paid for me to take my CS30/31 chainsaw certificate and also provided me with useful information and resources to learn even more from. The income from my job has allowed me to take driving lessons, pass my test and buy and insure a small truck which is very handy. It has also enabled me to indulge my acquired interest in old agricultural books and items.

Oscar using Caspar

In my time here I am happy with the progress that I have made both working the horses and learning how to keep the livestock and the land. I have built up a good relationship with the horses and I have also made some great friends too. In my final few weeks of my apprenticeship, I will be visiting other museums that work horses in order to learn more and make good contacts for the future.

Potato Spinning with Horses from Side

I will hopefully pass my L2 BDS Grooms certificate in the upcoming weeks. This is a new certificate endorsed by QCF. It will be very useful in the future to show my competence at handling a horse to a recognised level. I hope to go on in life to forge a career in working horses within a commercial environment and prove that if you have the will to do it a way can be found to use horses in a viable manner.

Oscar Smith


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