North Yorkshire Escape to the Country


North Yorkshire

Alistair Appleton helps a young couple whose budget extends to £450,000 seek a home. Will a Georgian former flax mill with a medieval chapel do?


Similar Content

Browse content similar to North Yorkshire. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!

Transcript


LineFromTo

"Everywhere peace, everywhere serenity."

0:00:000:00:03

Those words are as true today as they were 800 years ago

0:00:030:00:06

when written about this spot.

0:00:060:00:08

It was so beautiful that 12 monks chose it to form the first and one of the wealthiest monasteries

0:00:080:00:14

in the north of England. Find out where I am in just a moment on Escape to the Country.

0:00:140:00:19

On today's show, I'll be helping a couple head hundreds of miles north

0:00:320:00:37

to find their first home in the country.

0:00:370:00:39

But getting them to agree may be a challenge!

0:00:390:00:42

-I'm just not getting that feeling.

-I actually quite like this.

0:00:420:00:45

Tell me you want a guest wing.

0:00:450:00:47

-We want a guest wing!

-Oh, great!

0:00:470:00:50

And will our mystery property divide or unite them?

0:00:500:00:54

We're in North Yorkshire and this is the magnificent Rievaulx Abbey

0:00:570:01:01

which was formed by 12 monks in 1132,

0:01:010:01:04

but really, it was the third abbot Aelred who turned its fortunes around.

0:01:040:01:09

He was a bit of a superstar monk with spiritual charisma and business acumen.

0:01:090:01:13

He turned it into one of the wealthiest monastic institutions in the north of England,

0:01:130:01:18

only to have it demolished, stone by stone, by Henry VIII's men in the Reformation.

0:01:180:01:24

Still, they did leave these rather romantic ruins to remind us of the past.

0:01:240:01:29

Dubbed "God's own county",

0:01:300:01:32

Yorkshire was formally split into four counties in 1974,

0:01:320:01:36

with North Yorkshire, bordering Cumbria and Lancashire taking the lion's share.

0:01:360:01:41

Along with a wealth of monastic ruins, the county as a rich geological bedrock

0:01:420:01:46

typified by its limestone scars and yawning crags

0:01:460:01:51

as found at the spectacular Malham Cove formed at the end of the last ice age

0:01:510:01:55

and spanning 300 metres.

0:01:550:01:57

Although mining and quarrying have made their mark on the landscape,

0:01:590:02:03

40 per cent of the county falls within two national parks -

0:02:030:02:06

the rugged North York Moors, and the Dales.

0:02:060:02:09

This county has a long-standing farming heritage

0:02:100:02:14

which has brought prosperity to local market towns such as Skipton.

0:02:140:02:18

Its industries have had a strong influence on the local architecture

0:02:180:02:21

from limestone workers' cottages to impressive farmhouses.

0:02:210:02:25

If you put the average price of property in North Yorkshire and the surrounding counties in a basket

0:02:290:02:35

and find the average, North Yorkshire is 22% more expensive than its neighbours.

0:02:350:02:39

That's not all. Harrogate in North Yorkshire is 80% more expensive!

0:02:390:02:43

The average price of a detached house there is £400,000.

0:02:430:02:48

So if you're on a tight budget, look elsewhere in the county.

0:02:480:02:51

But luckily there are properties on the market to suit every budget.

0:02:510:02:56

For £260,000, this three-bed stone cottage in Greenhow Hill

0:02:560:03:01

has a cosy living room and sits on a prime spot with spectacular views

0:03:010:03:06

of Nidderdale.

0:03:060:03:07

This double-fronted Grade II listed house in Howsham could be yours for £495,000.

0:03:080:03:15

The period range and exposed beams give the kitchen a warm, rustic feel

0:03:150:03:19

and the understated Georgian grandeur runs throughout the sitting room and master,

0:03:190:03:24

one of three bedrooms.

0:03:240:03:26

£695,000 will buy you this beautiful five-bed Grade II listed property in East Marton,

0:03:260:03:33

with its impressive inglenook fireplace and range lending a country feel

0:03:330:03:38

to its light and spacious interior.

0:03:380:03:40

There are plenty of delightful entertaining spaces to be found in the gardens.

0:03:400:03:45

Up hill and down dale, North Yorkshire certainly has a lot on offer

0:03:460:03:50

which is why our couple today want to move here.

0:03:500:03:53

Martin, a quality surveyor,

0:03:530:03:56

and Hannah, a resource manager,

0:03:560:03:58

have only been living in their three-bed terrace in Wokingham for a couple of years.

0:03:580:04:03

But in the past few months, they've both been seeking out work transfers to the north

0:04:030:04:08

in a bid to transform their lifestyle.

0:04:080:04:10

I'm really tired of the commute into London.

0:04:100:04:13

I'm ready to be able to have a more relaxed lifestyle

0:04:130:04:17

where I can enjoy my evenings and not get back really late.

0:04:170:04:21

We just don't have time to go out and enjoy what we have around us.

0:04:210:04:26

At present, we're in that suburban lifestyle

0:04:260:04:29

so we need to make the next step.

0:04:290:04:31

They may be looking for rural, but definitely not remote.

0:04:310:04:35

We will both be working in Leeds so we need to be commutable into Leeds.

0:04:350:04:41

Preferably within one hour commute.

0:04:410:04:43

Ideally we'd be on the edge of a village to give us the land we're looking for.

0:04:430:04:48

But still with the opportunity for us to walk into the local pub,

0:04:480:04:53

become part of the community which is centred around that.

0:04:530:04:57

So, what's the vision of their perfect house?

0:04:570:05:00

The ideal property for us would be the traditional country farmhouse.

0:05:000:05:05

We're looking for a detached property with three bedrooms.

0:05:050:05:09

What's really important is a nice large kitchen or kitchen/diner.

0:05:090:05:14

This is obviously a new property. There aren't any character features.

0:05:140:05:19

We've got the exposed beams here, but there's nothing else.

0:05:190:05:22

Ideally, we'd like somewhere with a nice open fireplace

0:05:220:05:26

and big oak beams throughout the property.

0:05:260:05:30

But it's the land that's going to swing it.

0:05:300:05:33

In the last few years, we've been growing vegetables.

0:05:330:05:36

As you can see, we've grown our sweetcorn, beans, peas.

0:05:360:05:40

Onions and potatoes.

0:05:400:05:42

The outside is important to us.

0:05:420:05:44

Obviously, the ideal would be around two to three acres.

0:05:440:05:47

But that might not be realistic.

0:05:470:05:50

But as long as we do have enough room to grow our own vegetables again,

0:05:500:05:54

and maybe introduce chickens, sheep, pigs. Just on a small scale.

0:05:540:05:59

Guys, I hope you're ready to compromise on that house/land request.

0:05:590:06:04

We'd definitely consider a potential project.

0:06:040:06:08

If the land was right and the property needed a lot of work doing to it,

0:06:080:06:14

and it was under budget.

0:06:140:06:16

I don't mind having a semi-detached property

0:06:160:06:18

but then I think, "How can I have all the land I want and not be overlooked

0:06:180:06:23

"by being connected to somebody?"

0:06:230:06:25

-So...

-I think you've realised I'm right.

-Yep.

0:06:250:06:30

Obviously that always happens!

0:06:300:06:32

But I have to say, if you're saying no to semi-detached,

0:06:320:06:35

I'm saying no to bungalows!

0:06:350:06:38

As they plan to put their house on the market in the next few weeks,

0:06:380:06:41

we arranged for a local estate agent to give them a valuation.

0:06:410:06:45

This is a good-sized three-bed detached family home

0:06:450:06:48

with an excellent school catchment and great commuter links to London.

0:06:480:06:52

I value this property at £320,000.

0:06:520:06:54

The valuation was around what I was expecting.

0:06:570:07:00

We're looking to spend, at the very top end, £450,000.

0:07:000:07:05

What Martin and Hannah want is do-able.

0:07:090:07:11

They want big rooms, three bedrooms, an acre of land.

0:07:110:07:15

But where they want it is much more problematic.

0:07:150:07:18

They want to live in that most premium stretch of the Dales.

0:07:180:07:22

Not too far north, not too close to Leeds, where everyone else wants to live!

0:07:220:07:25

The area around Harrogate has 28,000 people who commute into Leeds.

0:07:250:07:29

So it's very oversubscribed.

0:07:290:07:31

They have a budget of £450,000, so - you've guessed it - they'll have to compromise!

0:07:310:07:37

Hannah would like to focus her search on the Dales or the rural commuter belt of Leeds.

0:07:400:07:45

But this is an expensive area.

0:07:450:07:47

So we'll be casting our net wide to show them the best they can get for their budget.

0:07:470:07:51

I'll be showing them three impressive properties,

0:07:510:07:54

but won't reveal the price tag of each until they've guessed first.

0:07:540:07:58

Lastly, our mystery house delivers huge historic riches,

0:07:580:08:02

but with compromise attached.

0:08:020:08:05

Welcome to North Yorkshire!

0:08:050:08:07

-Thank you.

-Doesn't it look nice?

-Yes, beautiful.

0:08:070:08:10

-The Dales are quite distant on the horizon, ideally where you'd like to be near.

-Yep.

0:08:100:08:15

Which is my first dilemma.

0:08:150:08:17

Because you've got a budget of how much?

0:08:170:08:20

-Absolutely maximum is 450,000.

-That's the pain limit.

0:08:200:08:24

It is. Ideally around 400,000 would be the perfect situation for us.

0:08:240:08:29

As I see it, there's a triangle of compromise.

0:08:290:08:32

You want land, a nice house, but also to be close to Leeds.

0:08:320:08:35

So where on that triangle would the compromise be?

0:08:350:08:38

For me it would be location and proximity to Leeds.

0:08:380:08:42

Surprisingly, I'd still say I'd compromise on the journey.

0:08:420:08:45

-If the location was perfect.

-We have found some lovely properties.

0:08:450:08:49

As I say, some compromise in your thinking is necessary.

0:08:490:08:53

-But I think you'll be pleasantly surprised. Shall we go?

-Yep.

0:08:530:08:56

For a top budget of £450,000,

0:08:580:09:00

Martin and Hannah are happy to put some work into creating their ideal property.

0:09:000:09:05

Ideally more for Martin to dabble in a spot of self-sufficiency.

0:09:160:09:20

Obviously this is a big move for you.

0:09:260:09:29

It's the first time of buying together.

0:09:290:09:31

But is it also a move where you're planning for little Hannahs and little Martins?

0:09:310:09:36

Yes, I think we see this as somewhere we'll be for maybe the next ten years.

0:09:360:09:42

-So it's potentially got to be big enough for children.

-Something to grow into.

0:09:420:09:49

It's not just a move. Things may change in the next ten, 20 years, so that as well.

0:09:490:09:54

Children! That's what you're talking about, isn't it?

0:09:540:09:58

I just can't get that word out!

0:09:580:10:00

We kick off our property search in the village of Cold Kirby,

0:10:020:10:06

just over an hour's drive from Leeds.

0:10:060:10:09

With all the amenities they could ask for 15 minutes away in Thirsk.

0:10:090:10:12

Thirsk is a historic market town that gained literary fame

0:10:120:10:16

as the fictional setting of James Herriot's Darrowby.

0:10:160:10:19

Back in Cold Kirby and set in the splendour of the North York Moors

0:10:200:10:24

I hope this stone-built detached cottage will fit the bill for house and land.

0:10:240:10:30

This is the front garden.

0:10:300:10:32

-Lovely.

-This is the house I want to show you.

-It's lovely.

0:10:320:10:36

-Very pretty.

-Very good first impressions.

0:10:360:10:38

Parts of it are from the 18th century

0:10:380:10:42

but this was rebuilt in about 1850.

0:10:420:10:44

-So a good period property.

-Yep.

0:10:440:10:46

Really pleasantly surprised. I think it's really nice.

0:10:460:10:49

That's a good positive first reaction,

0:10:490:10:52

but let's see if there's the right kind of rustic character inside.

0:10:520:10:56

This is the snug.

0:10:580:11:00

-Yep.

-This would have been the oldest part of the house.

0:11:000:11:03

It's quite full of stuff, but if you can think all that away

0:11:030:11:07

-it's not a bad-sized room.

-The ceilings aren't too low.

-No. Good proportion.

0:11:070:11:12

Lovely fireplace with the original stone lintel.

0:11:120:11:15

Beautiful. Really nice.

0:11:150:11:17

-Perfect for us.

-This is the smallest of the receptions. Come through to the next.

0:11:170:11:21

-This is a through room. They use it as a dining room.

-Yeah.

0:11:260:11:29

And this is the main sitting room.

0:11:290:11:32

-OK.

-This is an extension they put on 20 years ago.

0:11:320:11:36

So this is obviously bigger and brighter. Triple aspect.

0:11:360:11:40

-Yes. Nice views out of the windows.

-Amazing views.

-Yeah.

0:11:400:11:44

-Very nice.

-Martin?

0:11:440:11:46

Yeah, I'm taking it all in at the moment.

0:11:460:11:48

-You're surprising me, Alistair.

-Good.

-In a pleasant way.

0:11:480:11:52

And leading off the through room,

0:11:520:11:55

we're ramping up the rustic feel.

0:11:550:11:56

Now, this is your kitchen.

0:11:560:11:59

-Ooh. Very, very nice.

-Good.

0:11:590:12:02

-Very, very country.

-Very country.

0:12:020:12:05

-Lots of lovely worktops.

-And what a sink!

0:12:050:12:09

-Yeah.

-Crikey.

-It's not massive, but totally in keeping with the proportions of the house.

0:12:090:12:14

-Absolutely. I love this truss. You've got me a bit.

-Really?

0:12:140:12:20

It's how I imagined my kitchen to look.

0:12:200:12:24

-Ah, that's great!

-Yeah. It's really lovely.

0:12:240:12:27

-Has your pulse rate gone up?

-A little bit! I'm trying to control myself a bit!

0:12:270:12:32

It doesn't end there. There's a handy utility area and cloakroom.

0:12:320:12:36

Downstairs seems to have really hit the right note when it comes to character and space.

0:12:360:12:42

There's one more surprise in store for later. Upstairs,

0:12:420:12:45

are two bedrooms, one a lovely light double with built-in storage,

0:12:450:12:49

and the family bathroom is next door.

0:12:490:12:53

But what about the bedroom that could be theirs?

0:12:530:12:55

-This is being used as the master bedroom.

-OK.

0:12:550:12:59

It's smaller than I was hoping for, but nice views with that big window.

0:12:590:13:03

In terms of the desperate need for a third bedroom, how important is it?

0:13:030:13:08

We have a three-bed house now and it's very handy when we get people round.

0:13:080:13:13

Just having that one extra bedroom could be a bit of a problem.

0:13:130:13:17

-Tell me you want a guest wing.

-We want a guest wing!

0:13:170:13:20

Oh, great!

0:13:200:13:22

Of course we're giving them the three bedrooms they asked for.

0:13:230:13:27

It's on the other side of the kitchen, as part of a creatively-converted annexe.

0:13:270:13:32

Ta-da!

0:13:330:13:35

-Wow! Oh, gosh!

-Self-contained.

-Yeah.

-Fantastic.

0:13:350:13:39

This is a self-contained holiday-let they've had built on. This was the shed. That was the shed.

0:13:390:13:45

So they got planning for this in the last six years.

0:13:450:13:47

-So there is leeway.

-Yeah.

0:13:470:13:49

They charge £25 a night per person.

0:13:490:13:52

-Right.

-So on quiet nights, if you wanted to, you could rent it out.

0:13:520:13:56

Nice.

0:13:560:13:57

-Really nice!

-Yes. Good feel to this, isn't it?

-Yeah.

0:13:570:14:01

Then from here, out into the garden.

0:14:010:14:05

The house appears to have the rooms and character feel they were after.

0:14:050:14:10

But can the outside deliver on land?

0:14:100:14:12

-A great workshop here. Little French doors out into your veggie patch.

-Brilliant.

-Excellent.

0:14:140:14:20

Then this is your garden.

0:14:200:14:21

-A little walled garden at the back.

-Yep.

0:14:210:14:24

-Not massive.

-No, but bigger than what we've got at the moment.

0:14:240:14:28

The workshop helps as well.

0:14:280:14:30

Stunning views. Absolutely nothing to spoil them as it's National Park so no building here.

0:14:300:14:36

This field, is that owned by the local farmer as well?

0:14:360:14:39

Yes. If this is not enough space for you, this field was rented to the previous owners.

0:14:390:14:44

They rented it six or seven years ago for £100 a year!

0:14:440:14:48

-Oh!

-Really?!

0:14:480:14:49

-So that's, you know, a good deal.

-Brilliant, yeah.

-So,

0:14:490:14:53

how much do you think this is on the market for?

0:14:530:14:56

I would imagine it's around the 400,000.

0:14:560:15:00

Is that imagining or wishful thinking?

0:15:000:15:02

Probably wishful thinking!

0:15:020:15:05

-Martin?

-I'm going to say 380,000.

-So you're both wrong.

0:15:050:15:10

Both very optimistic.

0:15:100:15:12

-It's on the market for 425.

-Wow!

0:15:120:15:14

-OK.

-But it seems to offer everything you want.

0:15:140:15:17

It's not more than an hour and ten minutes from Leeds.

0:15:170:15:22

If you think outside the box, it's added a lot of things that you want.

0:15:220:15:26

Yes. I'm very pleasantly surprised by this house.

0:15:260:15:29

-Walk around inside and I'll see you out front.

-OK.

-Thank you.

0:15:290:15:32

Within budget at £425,000,

0:15:340:15:37

you couldn't get more country than this spacious period cottage.

0:15:370:15:41

It's located within the North York Moors and within commuting distance from Leeds.

0:15:580:16:03

Pleasantly surprised by the views. I love the garden, the look of the house.

0:16:040:16:10

The feel of it, though, is a little bit too disjointed for me

0:16:100:16:13

and the feel between the kitchen into the garden, that's quite important to me

0:16:130:16:19

and I don't feel we get that.

0:16:190:16:21

It's a lovely kitchen, you can see out into the garden, but the dining area is quite separate.

0:16:210:16:27

-There's no interaction.

-Um, yeah, OK.

0:16:270:16:30

-I don't have that same issue.

-You're just overwhelmed by the kitchen.

-No,

0:16:300:16:35

I really think this is kind of sweet.

0:16:350:16:37

I really like the house. It's the first house I've seen where I've really felt there's enough room.

0:16:370:16:44

The kitchen has all the features we like. The lovely woodburners.

0:16:440:16:47

The one thing I just think in the back of my head is, it's not the Dales.

0:16:470:16:52

But I appreciate that our budget won't really accommodate that.

0:16:520:16:57

So it's just something I need to get my head around,

0:16:570:17:00

personally, and just realise there's maybe life outside of the Dales!

0:17:000:17:04

Perfect!

0:17:040:17:06

Hi, guys. All ready?

0:17:060:17:08

-Yes.

-Yep.

-Hold your thoughts. We'll press on.

0:17:080:17:11

The Dales landscape is a defining feature of the North Yorkshire region,

0:17:200:17:25

typified by its dry stone walls and lush green valleys.

0:17:250:17:29

Although agriculture has played a vital role on these slopes over the centuries,

0:17:290:17:34

the 1800s brought an industrial boom

0:17:340:17:36

with the onset of lead mining, stone quarrying and flax spinning.

0:17:360:17:41

Tucked away in the Nidderdale Valley, Pateley Bridge is a prime example

0:17:410:17:45

of a rural market town that grew to accommodate the influx of workers during the Victorian era.

0:17:450:17:51

Earlier in the week, Martin and Hannah met Eileen Burgess

0:17:510:17:55

who has been a resident here for over 50 years.

0:17:550:17:58

With industrial expansion came the need for more water to supply the mills of Bradford.

0:17:590:18:04

Nidderdale was chosen as the site for the Scar House reservoir,

0:18:040:18:08

built between 1922 and 1932.

0:18:080:18:11

It seems that those involved with this feat of engineering

0:18:110:18:15

were well looked after.

0:18:150:18:17

To house the workers, they built a whole village up here.

0:18:170:18:22

Round here were bungalows

0:18:220:18:26

for the people like the tradesmen -

0:18:260:18:30

the joiners, the foremen,

0:18:300:18:33

and the officials.

0:18:330:18:35

And they had shops

0:18:350:18:37

further on here.

0:18:370:18:39

They had a canteen, a church, a hospital, a school,

0:18:390:18:43

everything you can think of. And a cinema.

0:18:430:18:47

And the people who lived here...

0:18:470:18:49

..thought it was the best time of their lives.

0:18:500:18:54

In spite of these surges of industrial activity,

0:18:540:18:57

sheep farming has remained a constant.

0:18:570:19:00

Native breeds, such as the Wensleydale Long Wool,

0:19:000:19:03

are alive and well thanks to farmers like Mark Elliot

0:19:030:19:06

who's the third generation in his family to rear them,

0:19:060:19:09

winning 20 Supreme Championships at the Great Yorkshire Show.

0:19:090:19:13

As Hannah and Martin hope to keep livestock,

0:19:130:19:16

they went to meet him and his 24 prize-winning pedigrees.

0:19:160:19:20

The particular thing about the breed that's really special

0:19:200:19:24

is the quality of the wool.

0:19:240:19:26

It's the finest lustre long wool in the world

0:19:260:19:28

and designers and people who want to make things out of the wool

0:19:280:19:33

go absolutely crazy for the quality of the cloth and the yarn that it makes.

0:19:330:19:37

So you make more money from the wool than the meat?

0:19:370:19:40

Well, it's good meat to eat.

0:19:400:19:42

But it is the wool that's the real selling point of the breed.

0:19:420:19:46

What impact have the sheep had on the Dales?

0:19:460:19:49

If the sheep weren't there grazing, it would become overgrown with scrub and bushes.

0:19:490:19:56

All the beautiful views that people come to Wensleydale and Nidderdale,

0:19:560:20:01

none of those would exist.

0:20:010:20:03

It's sheep that make the Dales look as beautiful as they are.

0:20:030:20:06

Although man has mined the Dales for its rich natural resources,

0:20:070:20:11

preserving the age-old farming practices

0:20:110:20:14

is an important and sustainable way of managing this timeless landscape.

0:20:140:20:18

For our second property, we've managed to move Hannah into Dales territory

0:20:230:20:28

to Leyburn, an hour and a quarter from Leeds,

0:20:280:20:30

a commute they said they'd be happy to consider.

0:20:300:20:34

Along with amenities, this lively market town is full of robust Yorkshire stone buildings

0:20:340:20:39

as we find in the surrounding countryside with this barn conversion.

0:20:390:20:43

-This is the property I want to show you.

-Lovely.

0:20:450:20:47

It's a barn conversion. It was a 100-year-old barn

0:20:470:20:51

and six years ago they converted it.

0:20:510:20:53

The owner's been there three years and done a lot of work inside.

0:20:530:20:56

-Should be nice and spacious as a barn conversion.

-We'll see.

0:20:560:20:59

If the interior of the first house offered up quirky cottage charm for Hannah,

0:20:590:21:05

I think this one's definitely more Martin's cup of tea.

0:21:050:21:08

-Straight into the kitchen.

-OK.

0:21:110:21:14

You said the layout of the last house was complicated. This one's very simple!

0:21:160:21:20

It's a bit more modern... Just a bit newer, I suppose, than I'm used to.

0:21:200:21:27

I like the beams through it, but it lacks the charm of the last property that I really liked.

0:21:270:21:32

But probably you prefer it because it's bigger and more open?

0:21:320:21:36

Yeah, as a kitchen/diner it feels a bit better than the last house.

0:21:360:21:40

As you say, it's got that new feel to it.

0:21:400:21:43

But it is a very functional space.

0:21:430:21:45

And there are plans to extend it by another seven foot, so it would add more space at that end.

0:21:450:21:52

-Yeah.

-OK.

0:21:520:21:53

Let's look next door.

0:21:530:21:56

Here's your sitting room.

0:21:580:21:59

And dining room, in fact.

0:21:590:22:02

Oh, right. OK.

0:22:020:22:04

I like that. It's a nice entertaining area.

0:22:040:22:07

What happened was, this used to be a separate room.

0:22:070:22:11

This was the third bedroom.

0:22:110:22:13

The present owners split it in two. There's a little study next door

0:22:130:22:16

with computer stuff and then she made this her dining area.

0:22:160:22:21

Yes, that's got a nice cosy snug feel to it.

0:22:210:22:25

-Really nice.

-Lovely oak details she put in, these beams.

0:22:250:22:28

-And here you have French doors out into the garden.

-Yeah.

0:22:280:22:32

-Very good.

-And a colossal log burner.

-Yeah.

0:22:320:22:35

-That's great.

-I actually quite like this.

0:22:350:22:38

It's small,

0:22:380:22:40

but I like the way you've got the room that goes out into the garden

0:22:400:22:44

and I like the way the dining table is set back.

0:22:440:22:48

My only concern, as I say, is the size of it.

0:22:480:22:51

And it'll be fine for us at the moment

0:22:510:22:53

but looking forward, how that would then fit our requirements...

0:22:530:22:57

He's desperate for children!

0:22:570:22:59

Well, there are some space solutions tucked away in the two bedrooms upstairs.

0:23:010:23:06

-Yep, reasonable size.

-Good, high ceilings, for a barn.

0:23:080:23:12

An interesting feature here is that they've used the spaces - there's a lot of space in there.

0:23:120:23:20

-Oh, crikey, yes.

-You can get a little desk in there if you wanted.

0:23:200:23:24

-Lots and lots of storage.

-I like it, but again, size is probably an issue.

0:23:240:23:29

Well, the master bedroom, which is this one,

0:23:290:23:32

it has these big tall hanging wardrobes.

0:23:320:23:36

-Yeah.

-So it's very ergonomic as a house.

0:23:360:23:40

Indeed, yeah. I've got to get my head around how I would make it look.

0:23:400:23:45

It's quite neutral and quite plain so I'd try and add some character somehow.

0:23:450:23:51

The last house was chocker-block with character. You loved that.

0:23:510:23:55

-You didn't like it so much. This one is quite neutral.

-I quite like this house

0:23:550:23:59

but again, on the small side.

0:23:590:24:02

-Well, the bathroom is very big.

-Lovely.

0:24:020:24:05

The bathroom is almost twice the size of the bedroom!

0:24:090:24:12

Interesting. It's a really nice size.

0:24:130:24:16

-I like the floor.

-As you say, it's about the same size as the bedroom.

0:24:160:24:21

It's interesting to see how we're warming to different things.

0:24:210:24:25

But I don't... I never trust what I think, really,

0:24:250:24:29

so I don't know if I'm ruling it out unreasonably.

0:24:290:24:32

I'm just not getting that feeling.

0:24:320:24:34

That may be, Hannah, but the interior of this barn is impeccable

0:24:340:24:39

and in keeping with the character of the property.

0:24:390:24:41

Perhaps what's on offer outside will bring her round.

0:24:410:24:45

-Nice patio here.

-Yeah.

0:24:490:24:52

You can see this is the garden, this fenced area round here.

0:24:550:24:59

-Yeah.

-OK.

-And then you own this paddock from the driveway all the way down to the wall there.

0:24:590:25:06

-The fence and the wall.

-Brilliant.

0:25:060:25:08

There's just over an acre, I'd say.

0:25:080:25:10

That's a really good piece of land, that is.

0:25:100:25:13

-Perfect size, really.

-How much do you think the house costs?

0:25:130:25:17

-I think it's about 390.

-I'll have to say 395, then.

0:25:170:25:23

Actually, this property is on the market for £350,000.

0:25:230:25:29

-Quite a surprise.

-Quite considerably lower than we thought.

0:25:290:25:33

That's 50 grand to spend on... What would you spend it on?

0:25:330:25:38

-Possibly the extension.

-You can see what the extension would be.

0:25:380:25:43

It would be squaring off the corner of this property.

0:25:430:25:46

They did get an estimate of about £8,000.

0:25:460:25:49

-Right.

-OK.

0:25:490:25:50

Walk around, explore the land.

0:25:500:25:52

Have a look inside again

0:25:520:25:54

and see if that extension might work for you.

0:25:540:25:57

Then we'll see where we go from there.

0:25:570:25:59

-OK.

-OK.

0:25:590:26:01

Under budget at £350,000,

0:26:040:26:06

this tasteful barn conversion

0:26:060:26:08

has the land and leaves them a £50,000 pot to extend the property as they see fit.

0:26:080:26:14

All set on the edge of Wensleydale,

0:26:260:26:29

with an hour and a quarter's commute to Leeds.

0:26:290:26:32

I'm not feeling this one as much as the other.

0:26:320:26:35

I am up for a barn conversion, but this one feels a bit too small

0:26:350:26:42

and not all the bedrooms we're looking for. So I'm not feeling it, but I love the land.

0:26:420:26:47

It's exactly what we want. It's a reality check to know that, you know,

0:26:470:26:51

we can't necessarily have all this land and the perfect house.

0:26:510:26:55

First impressions of this house are good.

0:26:550:26:58

The views down Wensleydale are fantastic.

0:26:580:27:02

The house itself is a little bit on the small side.

0:27:020:27:06

But with the extra money we've got,

0:27:060:27:08

if there was 50,000 added on to the house, it would be really good.

0:27:080:27:14

-Good negotiations?

-Yeah. We'll see how it works out.

0:27:160:27:19

-Yes?

-Plenty to talk about.

-Still talking?

0:27:190:27:22

As the sun sets over the Yorkshire countryside,

0:27:320:27:35

it marks the end of the first day of our property search.

0:27:350:27:39

With their £450,000 budget,

0:27:460:27:48

Hannah and Martin want to ditch their long commutes into London

0:27:480:27:52

and carve out a rural existence in North Yorkshire.

0:27:520:27:55

The two properties we've seen so far have split opinion.

0:27:550:27:59

But coming up, is there any hope that joined-up thinking will prevail with our mystery house?

0:27:590:28:05

Hello! Welcome to my new home!

0:28:050:28:07

Ah, the lady of the manor!

0:28:070:28:09

And I get a personal insight into how this majestic house

0:28:090:28:12

has withstood the threat of centuries of devastation and neglect.

0:28:120:28:16

We're going to look at the mystery house. What do you think it might involve?

0:28:210:28:26

It could possibly be something like a derelict barn to re-do from scratch.

0:28:260:28:33

Or possibly a semi-detached property.

0:28:330:28:37

Yeah, maybe one of those two.

0:28:370:28:39

Our mystery property takes us to Silsden,

0:28:410:28:43

south of their ideal search area,

0:28:430:28:45

but closer to Leeds, which they can get to in half an hour.

0:28:450:28:49

Yorkshire character is alive and well in the village,

0:28:490:28:52

with independent shops and impressively sturdy architecture

0:28:520:28:55

as we find out with our mystery house, which is semi-detached,

0:28:550:28:59

one of Martin's definite no-nos.

0:28:590:29:01

-Here's the mystery house.

-Very nice.

0:29:010:29:04

-It's really lovely.

-Fantastic.

0:29:060:29:09

-Very impressed.

-I'll try not to look at that house there! But this one here is wonderful.

0:29:090:29:14

-Part of the mystery is that it's an attached property.

-Yeah.

0:29:140:29:18

It's an historical property. It's in two parts. This bit here is medieval.

0:29:180:29:22

It was a chapel of eves, where the monks going from Bolton to Skipton had a kip!

0:29:220:29:27

So it's a one-up, one-down.

0:29:270:29:29

This is a Georgian extension. Much later, much more substantial house.

0:29:290:29:33

It was part of a flax mill, they believed.

0:29:330:29:36

-OK.

-So quite a wealthy owner. They say they made the flax that made the sails

0:29:360:29:41

-for Nelson's flagship Victory.

-A lot of history.

0:29:410:29:45

In fact, it's of such historical importance,

0:29:450:29:49

that while the Georgian part is Grade II listed,

0:29:490:29:51

the original chapel has Grade II* status.

0:29:510:29:54

Let's hope what they see inside doesn't faze them.

0:29:550:29:59

Come on in.

0:30:010:30:02

Come into your little slice of history.

0:30:020:30:05

Wow!

0:30:050:30:07

Very, very nice.

0:30:070:30:09

-It's amazing. I love it.

-I tend to agree. Yes.

0:30:090:30:12

This is a fascinating bit of history.

0:30:120:30:14

When they moved in here, 40 years ago, it was a complete wreck.

0:30:140:30:18

No running water, no electricity.

0:30:180:30:20

All this was boarded up.

0:30:200:30:23

They uncovered this to reveal this stone spiral staircase,

0:30:230:30:28

and this, which is a medieval altar.

0:30:280:30:32

So when the monks came, this is where they'd have had their services.

0:30:320:30:36

This is what gives it the star listing. This, the stone staircase and the mullion windows.

0:30:360:30:41

Absolutely. It's definitely what is currently selling it to me.

0:30:410:30:45

I agree. It definitely feels right at the moment.

0:30:450:30:48

Right.

0:30:480:30:50

-Where's the next room?

-Next room? Impatient?

0:30:500:30:53

So we're going to jump ahead...

0:30:530:30:55

..into the Georgian period.

0:30:570:30:59

Ooh, OK.

0:30:590:31:02

Very spacious.

0:31:020:31:04

-Lovely.

-Good sized windows.

-These were the originals.

0:31:040:31:08

You can see how wealthy the owner must have been because sash windows were very expensive

0:31:080:31:13

with the beautiful casements.

0:31:130:31:15

Bring in loads of nice light and a spacious feel to this room. Really nice.

0:31:150:31:19

-Massive fireplace.

-Very impressive fireplace.

0:31:190:31:22

-It's a good inglenook.

-Mm.

-Feels good.

0:31:220:31:26

-Does it flow OK?

-We shall see!

0:31:260:31:29

-Depends where those doors go.

-Did we flow well from the kitchen into here?

-Yes!

0:31:290:31:33

OK. You're answering for him, now!

0:31:330:31:35

That's where it all went wrong yesterday!

0:31:350:31:38

Let's flow into the next room.

0:31:380:31:40

Flowing, flowing, flowing!

0:31:430:31:45

Oh!

0:31:460:31:48

-This is where you'd probably want to do some structural work.

-OK.

0:31:480:31:52

So this would have been the hall, coming through the front door?

0:31:520:31:56

This is the front door. This would have been the grand entrance.

0:31:560:31:59

The thing is, you've got this big downstairs bathroom now.

0:31:590:32:03

-What you could do is somehow open that space up.

-OK.

0:32:030:32:06

And maybe even move the kitchen down this end.

0:32:060:32:09

-So you'd have a huge kitchen...

-Massive.

-..L-shaped kitchen.

0:32:090:32:13

-Yep.

-And have that as the snug.

-OK.

0:32:130:32:16

I think we're looking for somewhere long term.

0:32:160:32:20

So in three, maybe four years, when we've got the finances,

0:32:200:32:24

then we could look to changing it around a bit.

0:32:240:32:27

-I think it's exciting.

-It's really exciting. Absolutely.

0:32:270:32:30

Upstairs, there's proof that a bit of project vision pays off.

0:32:300:32:35

-Brilliant. Lovely views out the window.

-Needs redecorating, obviously.

0:32:400:32:45

But I wanted to show it to you because it's a spectacularly sized bedroom.

0:32:450:32:49

A fireplace as well. Great.

0:32:490:32:51

They've just discovered this. They were redecorating and it was all boarded up.

0:32:510:32:55

-It was bricked up. They've taken the bricks out and you have a lovely surround.

-Lovely. Really nice.

0:32:550:33:01

In the oldest part of the property, there's another double

0:33:010:33:05

with the original mullioned windows.

0:33:050:33:07

Next door to which is the family bathroom

0:33:070:33:09

another decorating project.

0:33:090:33:11

There's plenty of potential in the third bedroom.

0:33:110:33:15

-So this is the other master bedroom.

-OK.

-Lovely.

0:33:150:33:20

-A bit bigger, or maybe just longer.

-Bigger.

0:33:200:33:22

You've got the storage in here as well.

0:33:220:33:25

-Same beautiful views.

-Exactly.

-Lovely.

0:33:250:33:28

Good. Let's continue.

0:33:280:33:30

Despite being semi-detached, it looks like our mystery house may have brought house-hunting harmony.

0:33:320:33:38

Along with historic character for Hannah and "good flow" for Martin,

0:33:380:33:43

there's scope to put their collective mark on it.

0:33:430:33:46

Away from the well-tended gardens by the house,

0:33:460:33:49

the one acre of land is overgrown and needs some love and care.

0:33:490:33:53

But it's worth rolling up your sleeves for these stunning Dales views.

0:33:530:33:57

Question is, at what cost, given it's semi-detached?

0:33:570:34:01

What do you think this project is on the market for?

0:34:010:34:05

I'm going to go for 455,000.

0:34:050:34:09

Again, top end, but I'd say 450.

0:34:100:34:14

You're spot on. It's on the market for 450.

0:34:140:34:17

But it's been on the market for two years.

0:34:170:34:19

I thought you'd say it's been up for about a week and we'd have to rush!

0:34:190:34:23

On the market for two years and the owners are very ready now to sell.

0:34:230:34:28

-It would be living there, living the dream, I think.

-And 30 minutes from Leeds.

-Yeah!

0:34:280:34:33

-Perfect.

-The icing on the cake.

0:34:330:34:35

That makes me feel happy.

0:34:350:34:37

Explore. Fight your way back to the house.

0:34:370:34:40

-I'll see you up front.

-Thank you.

0:34:400:34:42

That's so nice, because I do think this project has their name written all over it.

0:34:420:34:48

They can move straight in and in six months, a year, five years,

0:34:480:34:52

there's always something exciting to do.

0:34:520:34:54

And that is what makes it a great mystery house.

0:34:540:34:57

Priced at £450,000 and right at the top end of their budget,

0:34:590:35:03

our mystery semi-detached house is a real historic gem

0:35:030:35:07

which comes with obvious responsibilities.

0:35:070:35:09

But it gives them scope for projects.

0:35:090:35:12

The mystery property, fantastic.

0:35:320:35:34

The structure of the building was great.

0:35:340:35:36

It gives us all the features we're looking for and the space as well.

0:35:360:35:41

And it also gives us that ability to make it what we want as well.

0:35:410:35:48

Slight concerns about it being a semi-detached.

0:35:480:35:50

But I feel quite secluded here.

0:35:500:35:54

I don't think that will be too much of a problem.

0:35:540:35:58

I absolutely love it. I think it's the best house I've ever seen.

0:35:580:36:03

I just feel so at home.

0:36:030:36:05

There's so much space.

0:36:050:36:09

And you can tell both of us really like it.

0:36:090:36:11

I think we're both on the same page and we're both at home in this house.

0:36:110:36:17

I'm very excited about it.

0:36:170:36:19

Hello?

0:36:220:36:23

Hello! Welcome to my new home!

0:36:230:36:26

Ah, lady of the manor!

0:36:260:36:28

You have to leave "your" house, and we'll discuss all the houses.

0:36:280:36:32

North Yorkshire's dramatic landscape is home to a number of medieval architectural treasures,

0:36:420:36:47

despite Henry VIII's destructive hand during the Reformation

0:36:470:36:51

and the eviction of wealthy Catholic families from their households.

0:36:510:36:56

Markenfield Hall, three miles from Ripon,

0:36:560:36:59

is a remarkable survivor of this turbulent period in England's history.

0:36:590:37:03

I was lucky enough to meet Ian Curtis, who's agreed to show me round

0:37:030:37:07

this unique historic building that he calls home.

0:37:070:37:10

What an amazing, amazing property!

0:37:100:37:13

It is the most unspoiled early 14th-century house in England.

0:37:130:37:18

It has been largely unchanged since the 14th century

0:37:180:37:21

so that if the builder, John De Markenfield,

0:37:210:37:24

who built it in 1310 went through the gateway into the courtyard, he'd recognise what he saw.

0:37:240:37:30

How did it survive? So many of them were altered beyond recognition in their history.

0:37:300:37:35

Yes. I think it survived for two reasons.

0:37:350:37:38

One is that the Markenfield family who built it

0:37:380:37:41

were leaders of the Rising of the North, the Catholic rising against Queen Elizabeth, and were evicted.

0:37:410:37:47

And then it became a tenanted farm with an absentee landlord.

0:37:470:37:51

The farmers had no interest and no money, really, to alter it in any way.

0:37:510:37:56

-So poverty and catastrophe saved the building.

-Saved the building.

0:37:560:38:00

And inside, the original fabric is impressively intact.

0:38:000:38:04

There's the great fireplace and the vaulted ceilings of the undercroft,

0:38:040:38:09

and this upstairs room, the real centrepiece.

0:38:090:38:12

This is amazing, Ian!

0:38:130:38:15

Tell me all about this. This is the Great Hall.

0:38:150:38:18

This is the Great Hall, where the family would have assembled formally

0:38:180:38:23

twice a day for formal meals.

0:38:230:38:25

This continued until 1569

0:38:250:38:28

when the family were kicked out.

0:38:280:38:30

And it became a grain store.

0:38:300:38:32

-A grain store?!

-A very, very bare room it became

0:38:320:38:36

until five or six years ago when we decided to turn it back into a family living room and library.

0:38:360:38:43

The adjoining chapel is where Ian and Lady Deirdre married,

0:38:430:38:47

the first recorded wedding since 1487!

0:38:470:38:50

These days, it's a welcoming place of worship.

0:38:500:38:54

It is a Catholic chapel at which we Anglicans also worship.

0:38:540:38:58

The services are alternate, roughly once a fortnight.

0:38:580:39:02

And it's very popular. Although we're the smallest parish in the north of England -

0:39:020:39:07

population four - you are currently being addressed by 25% of the population!

0:39:070:39:12

We get a packed chapel because people love coming here.

0:39:120:39:16

I think their imagination is taken particularly in these ecumenical times

0:39:160:39:21

by the fact that the two churches share an old building together.

0:39:210:39:25

It's a wonderful space. It's quite austere. It's not very fancy,

0:39:250:39:29

but it has a great feeling of peace to it.

0:39:290:39:31

Markenfield Hall may be an intimate family home today,

0:39:330:39:36

but it's also a fantastic monument that over its 700-year lifetime

0:39:360:39:40

has borne witness to key chapters that have changed the course of English history.

0:39:400:39:45

Thing about North Yorkshire, they know how to build good bridges.

0:39:520:39:56

So let's find out whether Hannah and Martin know how to pick good properties!

0:39:560:40:01

North Yorkshire. What are your feelings about North Yorkshire generally? Not put off?

0:40:050:40:10

No, not at all. Definitely the place we want to be.

0:40:100:40:13

Let's spin back to the first house.

0:40:130:40:15

It was up near the Moors. A very lovely property.

0:40:150:40:19

For me, from the outside, absolutely beautiful.

0:40:190:40:22

Lovely gardens. I really liked the rooms and the way it was laid out.

0:40:220:40:26

But for me I think the concern was I'd always be thinking, "I'm not in the Dales.

0:40:260:40:32

"I'm away from where I'd like to be." So that's why it was a no for me in the end.

0:40:320:40:37

You wrinkled your nose when Hannah said she liked the layout.

0:40:370:40:40

-That was a deal breaker.

-It was. Beautiful looking from outside.

0:40:400:40:44

But the house didn't work for me. It was the layout.

0:40:440:40:47

What about the second house, the barn conversion?

0:40:470:40:50

It really didn't do it for me.

0:40:500:40:52

It didn't have any scope for doing anything to it, apart from the extension. The land was nice.

0:40:520:40:58

But a no from me for the second property.

0:40:580:41:01

You were more won over by the barn conversion?

0:41:010:41:04

I quite liked it. I quite liked the way the rooms flowed together.

0:41:040:41:08

The views were again, fantastic.

0:41:080:41:11

But it was just too small for us.

0:41:110:41:14

The mystery house was a gamble because it was way out of your area. Not where you were looking.

0:41:140:41:20

And it was attached. It seemed to score high points!

0:41:200:41:23

Yeah, I'd always ruled out houses from that area because it was too close to Leeds

0:41:230:41:28

and maybe too towny. But it's really beautiful once you get up there.

0:41:280:41:32

But the house and the land ticked all the boxes.

0:41:320:41:35

All the rooms were really nice and spacious.

0:41:350:41:39

The features with the woodburners and the beams and the fireplace was all really good.

0:41:390:41:46

The house itself felt really good.

0:41:460:41:48

It did give us some scope to introduce our own feel to it.

0:41:480:41:52

Obviously when we have the budget for it.

0:41:520:41:55

But it was something we could grow into. The land was there.

0:41:550:41:58

I think it would have been quite exciting for us to get involved and clear the land, do the house.

0:41:580:42:04

So we'd feel part of that house.

0:42:040:42:07

The only down point, really, being semi-detached.

0:42:070:42:10

What's the plan? What's going to happen next?

0:42:100:42:13

We'll definitely have another look round the mystery property before we go home.

0:42:130:42:17

We'll try and get a builder round to give us a few quotes as to what we can do.

0:42:170:42:23

Just to give us some idea of budget.

0:42:230:42:25

But the mystery property was the one for us, I think.

0:42:250:42:28

So the mystery house came up trumps. Great.

0:42:280:42:31

I'm impartial, but I think that property has your names written all over it.

0:42:310:42:35

-I hope it works out.

-It's great to have found it. Really lovely.

-Fantastic.

0:42:350:42:39

I thought this was going to be a knuckle-buster of a show,

0:42:440:42:47

grappling with the triangle and the square of compromise, but it all worked out just fine.

0:42:470:42:52

We did a good job finding properties outside their search area but with long-term potential.

0:42:520:42:58

They did a good job falling in love with the mystery house.

0:42:580:43:02

If you'd like to see us grapple with more geometry of compromise,

0:43:020:43:05

then join us next time on Escape to the Country.

0:43:050:43:08

If you want to escape to the country in Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland or England,

0:43:110:43:16

and would like our help, please apply online:

0:43:160:43:18

Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd

0:43:440:43:48

Alistair Appleton helps a young North Yorkshire couple whose budget extends to £450,000 seek a home. The task proves hard work, with the couple having very different tastes, but will they agree on a Georgian former flax mill with a medieval chapel?


Download Subtitles

SRT

ASS