Sheltered spot by the Abbey is a haven for beautiful gardens
Mowbray House, Byland Abbey, Coxwold. Guide price: £500,000– £550,000 with best and final offers to be submitted by September 24. Contact: Robin Jessop. Tel: 01677 425950, www.robinjessop.co.uk NOT only is Mowbray House in the most tranquil and idyllic of locations, it appears to have its own superior micro climate.
When it’s cold and rainy down the road, it’s likely to be warm and dry in this little piece of North Yorkshire.
Anne Thackray, who moved to the house with her parents Ken and Joan Collinson in 1973, says: “I used to come home from work in Northallerton and complain that it had been raining all day and my parents would say, ‘We haven’t had a drop’.
“It is sheltered by woods and by the Hambleton Hills, which might have something to do with it.”
The climate creates perfect conditions for a successful garden.
Bounded by Elfin Beck, the gardens created by the Collinsons stretch to an acre and include a walled area suitable for vegetables, a greenhouse, mature shrubs and trees together with flower borders, asparagus beds, pear, plum and damson trees plus some rare old apple trees, including a 100 year-old Green Balsam. The grounds also include the stone foundations of guest houses belonging to nearby Byland Abbey.
The house, which was built in 1725, was named after Abbey founder Roger de Mowbray, a 12th century warrior who became a monk and Abbot.
The extensive Vale of Mowbray, in which the Abbey is situated, had been given to the de Mowbray family by William the Conqueror in the previous century.
The land eventually passed to the Wombwell family of Newburgh Priory and in 1908, the Newburgh Estate extended Mowbray House before putting it on the market for the first time in 1973.
“That’s when my mother and father bought it. We lived in West Yorkshire but my father wanted somewhere where he could commute between Leeds and Newcastle.
“We’d always came to this area for days out and used to drive past this house and admire it. It was fate that one day we opened the Yorkshire Post and there it was for sale just as we wanted to move, ” says Anne, whose mother is now downsizing, hence the sale of the property.
“There is a big emotional attachment to the house, so in a way it is a reluctant sale. I lived here before I married but I have always visited often and my sons have very happy memories of playing here and having games of hide and seek in the Abbey ruins.
“My parents were very happy here.”
The property was also used by clergy taking the annual open air service at the Abbey.
“They would get robed and process across the garden and after the service they would come back to my parents’ house for tea. We even had the Archbishop of York here one year,” says Anne.
The house, which now needs some modernisation, has a reception lobby, kitchen, living room, inner hall, sitting room, a rear hall and shower room and boot room.
There are four bedrooms and a house bathroom on the first floor.
Outside there is a garage, barn and stable plus and a timber workshop extending to 40 square metres. This offers scope for demolition and replacement with a detached annex/studio, subject to planning consents.
“My mother is really sad to leave and we’re all so sad to see it go,” says Anne Thackray.
“We hope it will go to a family or someone who loves gardening and will carry on the wonderful work my parents did in the garden. Most of all we want someone who loves it as much as we have.”
IDYLLIC: Mowbray House, by Byland Abbey in North Yorkshire has an acre of gardens bounded by a beck. It was built in 1725.