South of Napanee, crystal waters, rolling farmer’s fields, and fairylands of forest beckon to the cyclist, hiker, and Sunday driver. The beauty of this lush countryside has even attracted the construction of a new royal residence. Although “The Firm” in this case might more accurately be described as “The Farm,” and the home is not quite as big as the Queen’s Balmoral retreat, Cluckingham Palace is still a magnificent structure worthy of any fine family.
This palace has been on Tammy Lloyd’s list of wishes for quite some time.
“I had wanted a chicken coop for a number of years, but didn’t have the time or opportunity to get it built. Last year, when the pandemic hit, I found myself with a little extra time to get started on a few side projects that I had been putting off, and Cluckingham Palace was number one on that list,” she says.
Family friend, Glenn Higgins, thought it would be a fun project and he offered to help. “He helped design the coop and, ultimately, he ended up building Cluckingham for me. We spent the entire summer and into the fall having a lot of fun building it,” says Lloyd.
Lloyd and her husband run The Hive & Hearthstone, a small apiary and wood-fired artisan breadery, selling their own raw/unpasteurized honey, bread, and natural artisan products.
“We are in the process of building our storefront for The Hive & Hearthstone, and Cluckingham Palace just seemed like a natural fit for our business,” says Lloyd. “Our own fresh eggs just seemed like a great addition.”
“I have always had a dramatic imagination, so it was only natural that when I was building a chicken coop, it had to be fabulous and it certainly couldn’t be boring,” she explains, “Life is too serious most days and, if you can’t have fun building a chicken coop, then what’s the point of it all?”
Lloyd says, “The best part is how many people have smiled when they see Cluckingham or when I tell them about it. Making people smile and maybe taking their minds off everything the world has been going through for the last year and a half has made the entire project very worthwhile.”
Lloyd says another reason for the fabulousness of it all is that she wants The Hive & Hearthstone to be a fun destination that families enjoy visiting time and again. “You can see where your honey comes from, where your bread is made and baked, and now you will be able to meet the ladies of Cluckingham that provide you with their beautiful fresh eggs. I want it to be an experience that shows people how incredible our area is and how many great places and producers Lennox & Addington has to offer. We live in a little piece of heaven, so why not show everyone the amazing things that we have to offer?”
The project has been a lot of fun for more than just Lloyd. “There were so many people who jumped on board to help me build Cluckingham when I started telling friends about my very vivid idea,” she says. “Friends donated everything from the metal for the roof, the grand chandelier, the kennel for the run, some insulation, even some lumber — and we all know how precious lumber has been this past year. The list of people who helped make this little coop become a reality is insane and I absolutely love how much fun everyone had with its creation.” It is really a true project among friends that has kept many people smiling throughout the pandemic.
“Once we are fully open,” Lloyd says, “We will be offering wood-fired artisan breads made with only natural ingredients along with our handcrafted all-natural soaps, beeswax candles and other natural artisan items in our lineup of products. We pride ourselves on being able to offer the best raw, unpasteurized honey and we thank our ‘Sugar Fairies’ every day for all their hard work.”
“Our ladies just came home and we want them settled and comfortable in their new home before we start offering tours of the coop. All of our animals are very important to us and we want as little stress on them as possible. We are hoping to be able to offer tours of Cluckingham in the fall, and it will be by appointment for the time being,” says Lloyd.
What’s next for the royals of Hive & Hearthstone? Lloyd’s husband wondered aloud last month about getting some pigs. Lloyd immediately began dreaming of “Ham-pton Court.”
For now, eggs from the ladies of Cluckingham will be available for purchase in the sugar shed within the coming week, along with their Hive & Hearthstone honey. The shed is currently open seven days a week until October 31, 2021. After that, it will be by chance or appointment for the winter months.