The Cheape family has been the custodian of Strathtyrum since 1782, when James Cheape used the fruits of his labours from overseas trade to buy the house and estate – although records of Strathtyrum can be traced back to 1125. The Cheape family’s past in Fife can be dated from 1480.
Today, the estate includes a range of commercial activities:
Farming: our land is divided into 3 main blocks, with farming operations all in-hand at Pusk Farm, Balmullo; Strathtyrum and Balgove Farms just outside St Andrews and Kippo & Hilleraye Farms at Kingsbarns. There is a further block of land at Middleton Farm, Kinross that is farmed under the business of Strathtyrum and Fossoway Farms. The farming is undertaken with the ethos – live your life like you’re going to die tomorrow; farm your land like you’re going to live forever – a theme which is also employed with property maintenance and refurbishment. Our farming is predominantly arable, which is run in conjunction with a small beef herd. Much of our grain is sold, through dealers, to satisfy demand within Fife whilst all of our beef is slaughtered to provide for our farm shop, Balgove Larder.
Balgove Larder: opened in 2010, the small shop and cafe has expanded to include grocery, deli and butchery, home and giftware outlet and florist. We have also invested in the expansion of the cafe and opened a seasonal Steak Barn that hosts regular events for foodies. We are now a recognised destination on Fife’s food map.
House rentals: many of the properties and general fabric of the farms suffered from a lack of capital investment during the 20th century. It is a trend we are reversing, investing in houses and cottages that, when restored, are rented out to long-term tenants.