Gibbs Hill Farm is a traditional working farm that dates back to the 17th century. The Anglo-Scottish boarder was a difficult place to run a farm 400 years ago due to the unrest between the Romans and the Scotts.
The farm had to constantly defend their livestock and themselves from the lawless Border Reivers who pledged alliegence to neither the English or the Scottish. They would killed mercilessly without regard for the victim’s nationality. Gibbs Hill was so named because the sheep stealers were hanged there on the gibbet as a warning to all!
If a Border Reiver was caught on a farm’s land in the act of stealing livestock or murdering, it was said that he had been “caught at the rede hand” which means pretty much what it sounds like; “caught with blood on your hands”. This is where the phrase “caught red handed” originates from. The outlaw would be murdered on the spot.
Nowadays there is much less murder, stealing and pillaging occuring on the farm. Rather, a beautiful place to stay while you navigate Hadrian’s Wall steeped with a long and rich history. The farm carries 50 suckler cows and calves and over 500 Swaledale cross ewes and lambs. There is also a small fold of Highland cattle to admire.Find out more about Gibbs Hill Farm Hostel