A rare example of a 17th-century thatched longhouse, this remarkable property offers cosy and traditional accommodation for families and friends exploring the North Pennines and the Lake District.
This is a rare surviving example of a classic late 17th-century Cumbrian 'statesmen's' longhouse. Built all in one piece of squared and coursed Eden Valley sandstone and rubble, the house is Grade II*-listed and dates back to 1693. One of only a handful of thatched properties in Cumbria, inside the cottage is full of history from the cruck beams and feature inglenook fireplace to the spiral sandstone staircase and thatched roof itself. On the ground floor, you'll find the dining kitchen, a large utility room and the wonderful living room. Upstairs on the first floor are the three bedrooms and a vintage-style bathroom. As well as parking for two cars, there's also a delightful rear garden with outdoor furniture.
The property enjoys a peaceful setting in the small hamlet of High Bankhill, not far from the charming village of Kirkoswald, which has a local shop and two popular pubs, both serving hearty meals and refreshing drinks in a friendly atmosphere. There are plenty of local footpaths and bridleways to explore nearby. A trip to the nearby village of Little Salkeld where a picturesque walk along the river will bring you to Lacy's Caves and Long Meg Stone Circle is a must, you're sure to be enchanted. Enjoy a circular from Kirkoswald along Raven Beck and through wonderful woodlands, or why not bring your bikes and explore the winding country roads on two wheels instead?
Close to the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and with the Lake District National Park also within easy reach, there's plenty of choice for longer days out too. Spend a day at beautiful Ullswater; enjoy a walk by the magnificent Aira Force Water, try your hand at paddle boarding or hitch a ride on the popular Ullswater Steamer for a delightful cruise around the lake. The North Pennines village of Alston, reputedly the highest market settlement in England, is charming with its cobbled streets, market cross and bandstand; ambling around the village is a delightful way to spend an afternoon.
Full of rustic charm and original character features, this atmospheric cottage is one of only a handful of known Cumbrian longhouses with a thatched roof. Throughout the house the original timbers are exposed and the original flagstones have been retained and the house is full of original features - there's something new to see around every corner! Due to the age and style of the house, the ceiling are low so you may need to mind your head.
One of only a small number of genuine Cumbrian longhouses, this property is a truly rare example. An out shut at the rear contains the original dairy and a charmingly rustic spiral stone staircase which leads to the original attic. The roof is supported by two upper cruck beams in the former byre, and one in the house. Many of the timbers were reused from an earlier building and are considerably older than the 17th century. The roof was originally of turf and heather construction and the remnants survived until the early eighties when a 20th-century wavy-tin roof was replaced by the reed thatch that you see today. Surprisingly, thatch was once a common roofing material in the upper Eden Valley, but now this is one of a handful of buildings in North Cumbria that still use such a traditional material.
The house was uninhabited and derelict when the architectural historian R. W. Brunskill surveyed the house in 1965 for the Cumbrian Vernacular Building Group. Its importance both locally and nationally was recognised and, fortunately, plans to demolish the building to make way for a bungalow in the 70s never happened. The house subsequently gained statutory protection in the 80s when it was restored, and is now listed Grade II*, assuring its long term preservation for future generations.
The garden path leads to the front door with its date stone over the door way. Open the door and you come to a classic, historical cross passage - it has a door at either end and dates back to when the house was used for farming purposes as well as to live in.
To the left is the dining kitchen. With a pine table and chairs for six people, it's a lovely space for sociable mealtimes. The kitchen is well equipped with an electric oven, gas hob and another fridge. The big stainless steel sink has views over the front garden and bird table so you might not mind washing up after all! The kitchen also has a leather two-seater sofa, the perfect spot to escape to with a good book. Beyond the kitchen is the large utility room with fridge, deep freeze, oil fired central heating boiler, washing machine, dishwasher and tumble dryer. This has a door here leading onto the delightful garden out at the front of the house.
Back at the cross passage you enter the living room with the inglenook feature fireplace; the heck is on your right keeping the draughts away from the fireplace, which has its own traditional fire window allowing you see any visitors and cook. There's a window seat with an original sliding Yorkshire window and the spice cupboard and various alcoves for bits and pieces are all still preserved.
The spiral stone staircase is off the living room; follow the worn sandstone steps up to the first floor.
The landing takes you right to the bathroom which has a wonderful feature Victorian cast iron bath, perfect for enjoying a relaxing soak. Cast iron radiators keep you toasty and the vintage high rise cistern and an old sink take you back in time.
The front two bedrooms, one a double and the other a twin, lead on from the landing with full height exposed cruck beams and a hayloft window giving a lovely view down the road. At the other end of the house is the master bedroom with its original 18th-century window and wide cut floorboards.
To the rear of the cottage is a delightful enclosed garden. With outdoor table and chairs, it's a lovely spot for dining alfresco.
This is a fascinating cottage; if you're looking to stay somewhere with a real sense of of history, then this is the one for you.