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A Week on the Estate: Award, Snowdrops & Virgin Oak

In an intensely busy week, the estate saw the first delicate signs of spring, with snowdrops and winter aconite flowering in the woods, while the work of maintaining the land continued apace and several commercial enterprises made significant progress.


The re-decoration of the Hall got underway under the watchful eye of Jacqui Rhodes. With artwork safely stored away and scaffolding in place, the gents from J Melton Ltd of Louth began the painstaking job of making good minor cracks and re-painting the walls to match the existing colour scheme.

At Furze Close, logs from trees lost to Ash dieback were processed and will be used to fuel the Hall’s biomass boiler. GR Bourne & Sons of Spilsby cleared ditches alongside Lime Tree Avenue to mitigate flood-risk when the heavens open.


As the distillery approaches commercial production, Tristan Jørgensen is being ably assisted by Hannah Earl, an industry expert with nearly 20 years of product development and marketing for Diageo under her belt. The gins that will become Burrell’s and Marie-Jeanne have both undergone several test distillations, with painstaking adjustments of the botanical balance each time. The third test of Marie-Jeanne will feature a bold and succulent element of red berries.


Aficionados of gin can also look forward to a very exclusive new brand. Tristan’s 1638 gin – named for the year in which Sir Drayner Massingberd established the South Ormsby Estate – will be finished in an American oak barrel for up to six months post-distillation.

A wave-profile has been cut into the oak barrel’s staves, maximising the surface area and reducing the finishing time. The gin will be tested periodically until Tristan deems it perfect. When bottled, the 1638 gin will boast the smooth and refined finish of the initial distillation, together with moreish notes of vanilla, wood and caramel and a pale golden colour. The finite capacity of the barrel means that 1638 will be sold in a strictly limited edition of 250 bottles.


At The Massingberd-Mundy Old Rectory Guest House, Tanya was thrilled to be recognised for exceptional hospitality in the Traveller Review Awards 2020. The Old Rectory received an average review score of 9.2 / 10 from guests – an amazing achievement in the business’s first full year.

“We’ve all worked hard,” said Tanya, “me, Roy, the architects, the builders and Caron for picking out the lovely furniture. It’s great to get see that our efforts are appreciated by guests, and that they’re really enjoying these beautiful surroundings.”


Building work that will turn the old school-house into Little Ormsbees Nursery got underway, and Nursery Manager Leanne Gains already has a waiting list for September 2020. The builders will start on the roof, making sure the building is waterproof and well insulated before moving on to other major improvements.


Leanne is busy coordinating builders, architects and a budget; she’s very much looking forward to returning to her natural environment – a happy, buzzing nursery – in September.