Welcome to our patch
We moved to Middleton in 1996 as our home in Pickering was bursting at the seams with an enlarging and growing family. Middleton Hall was a magical place full of brambles, ivy, undergrowth and trees leaning at odd angles. The bones of the garden showed that long ago there had been love and attention given to it and there was potential to enjoy a more managed area. The outbuildings were beating the Hall by a short head in their attempt to fall down but they had to wait until we could cope with a second invasion of builders. The Hall made a great place to bring up our five children and for them to fill the place with friends.
In time we had fewer resident children and a habitable living space, so we turned our attention to helping the garden to be more interesting and to resurrect the outbuildings. There seemed little point in repairing the buildings if they had no function so we decided initially to rescue The Applestore, then later The Coach House and finally The Barn so we could share our home with guests.
We used a local building firm with a very traditional approach and some excellent craftsmen. Hand cutting pegged beams or restoring a crooked Yorkshire slide window was a joy to them as well as to us. The tons of lead on the roofs were lovingly shaped and the stonework replaced, renovated or sensitively crafted to create harmonious living spaces.
We had spent many holidays in self-catering cottages and wanted to deliver to our guests the level of detail and comfort we expected but didn’t often find. We wanted finishes that were as good as or even better than in our own home. We hope to describe the cottages and show on our website how they really are, offer orientation information to browse before you come and give a personal welcome to fine tune your holiday when you arrive. We have both been busy in caring professions and aim to support you during your visit. We also want to ensure that you are well looked after even if we are perhaps on holiday or simply not home, so we have teamed up with Chantelle Dawson, a Canadian who has been immersed in Yorkshire culture for almost 12 years, due to marrying a man from the surrounding area. Chantelle’s property management style is very personable and she has a great eye for detail. She prides herself on excellent customer service and communication, and she will help ensure that you have absolutely everything you need for a wonderful getaway.
Middleton Hall, our home
We have encouraged wild birds to visit and nest around the Hall and we hope the owl and bat boxes will provide appropriate homes. You may be lucky enough to meet badgers, hedgehogs, woodpeckers and goldfinches, to name a few of our favourites. A visiting sparrow hawk can at times be a spectacular sight swooping down. We developed the wild woodland area at the very top of the garden to let in more light with cleared undergrowth. Hundreds of daffodils have breathed a collective sigh of relief and now flower annually. We have replanted with oaks and other native trees and shrubs and created a woodland walk and nature viewing area. In the paddock is a large trampoline and a bendy house made of living willow wands. Mowed paths encourage you to wander though the meadow-like grass and flowers.
The Applestore had racks for keeping fruit through winter but sadly, these had to be sacrificed to provide suitable sleeping arrangements. Otherwise the lay-out is unchanged although the ‘coppers’ for boiling washing no longer occupy the corners of the kitchen. The new bathroom is a recent addition, providing a lovely space with beautiful fittings to relax in after a day of exploring.
The Barn was falling in all directions and needed serious stabilisation before we remodelled the interior with a contemporary style. This ‘cottage’ really does have a ‘wow’ factor due to its huge space with plenty of natural light through large windows to bring the garden ‘inside’ and has sophisticated lighting at night. The bathrooms are very special and the snug is a lovely cosy place to while away the time reading a long promised book. Two mezzanine bedrooms and a study/fifth bed offer a flexible and visually stunning experience.
The Coach House was about to ‘follow the laws of gravity’ according to our architect. Major renovation has resulted in a cottage with the feel of the original building, but with a refashioned natural stone floor, under-floor heating and the preservation of one of the original stable partitions.