Arts and Crafts gem that was home to Tricky Woo
Thorpe House, Sowerby Road, Sowerby, near Thirsk. Price: £475,000. Contact: Robin Jessop, tel: 01677 425950 www.robinjessop.co.uk THIS characterful Arts and Crafts house provided a wealth of inspiration for local vet Alf Wight, aka author James Herriot. It is the fictional residence of Mrs Pumphrey, a delightfully eccentric character in his bestselling books and the ensuing TV series All Creatures Great and Small.
Well-to-do widow Mrs Pumphrey owned a Pekingese, Tricky Woo, who was treated like Royalty and fed far too many treats. She bears a resemblance to a previous owner of Thorpe House, Miss Warner, who possessed a vibrant personality and who was also devoted to her pet dog.
The property is still recognisable from the days when Alf Wight used to call on his rounds as a country vet in the 1950s and 60s. It was built in 1906 in typical Arts and Crafts style and the hallway is a stunning example of the craftsmanship that defines that design movement.
It is now owned by Trustees of the Centre for Health and Pastoral Care, a retreat and Christian therapeutic centre. They are planning to consolidate their operation in neighbouring Holyrood House, which they also own.
Chair of the trustees, Helen Goodman, says: “We bought the house in 1996 and fans of James Herriot come by to look at it quite regularly. It’s on the All Creatures Great and Small trail.
“We use it or meetings and for art therapy but we are selling so we can use the funds to improve Holyrood House. It’s a positive step for our charity and will mean our running costs are more efficient.
“Thorpe House would make a lovely family home or it could be split into flats as it is quite big.”
The property has an entrance hall with tiled floor, turned staircase, a feature fireplace and original panelling. The drawing room boasts panelling, a period fireplace and a parquet floor.
The ground floor also has a library, office, kitchen and two cloakrooms. On the first floor, there is a bedroom, ensuite, kitchenette, drawing room, office, kitchen, a second bedroom and an office. The second floor has three bedrooms, an office and a boiler room. Outside, there is a double garage with potential for conversion, outhouses and gardens with views across open countryside to the Hambleton Hills.
Robin Jessop says: “This truly unique and outstanding property is superbly situated.”
Thorpe House is a magnificent Arts and Crafts property packed with period features.
ALL FEATURES GREAT AND SMALL: