Arts and Crafts gem that was home to Tricky Woo

Yorkshire Post - Property - - PROPERTY - Sharon Dale

Thorpe House, Sowerby Road, Sowerby, near Thirsk. Price: £475,000. Con­tact: Robin Jes­sop, tel: 01677 425950 www.robin­jes­ 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.


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