The Vale of Mowbray - three homes in a stunning part of Yorkshire
If you love the kind of houses to be found east of Knaresborough, in the Vale of York, but find the land a little too flat and the sky a little too big, you might do well to look further north, in the Vale of Mowbray.
For some people, this name conjures up images of pork pies, as there’s a food producer of the same name based at Leeming Bar.
But the Vale of Mowbray is far more than just a source of picnic fodder. It stretches from the Yorkshire Dales to the North York Moors and from the upper limit of the Vale of York to the Cleveland lowlands in the north.
As such, it’s contiguous with the Vale of York, but differs from it visually due to its undulating landscape.
Cradled by the hills to the east and west, this is fertile land, criss-crossed by low hedges, and dotted with the church spires of beautiful villages built largely of brick with pantile roofs.
It’s also something of a topographical bottleneck, offering the easiest north-south passage, so it’s bisected by both the East Coast Mainline railway and the A1(M), which run parallel with each other on either side of the River Swale.
Its name, incidentally comes from Robert de Mowbray, who was given the land in 1086 by William the Conqueror and governed it from Thirsk Castle.
The main settlements are Northallerton, Bedale and Thirsk, so only the southern fringe of the vale lies within our immediate area.
The following properties are three of the few currently on the market in the most easily reachable part of the vale.
Swallow Cottage is a beautiful stone-built end-of-terrace property in Rainton, north-east of Ripon. All beams and stone fireplaces, it has two bedrooms, a shower room, a dining kitchen and a large living room with wood-burning stove.
To the rear, there’s a walled garden with decked seating area, flower beds and useful covered area outside the back door. There’s off-street parking for one car directly in front of the cottage and a double-width parking space at the end of the terrace is available by separate negotiation.
East Barn is a stunning barn conversion at Skipton-on-Swale, just east of the river, between the A1(M) and Thirsk. It has four bedrooms, two shower-rooms, a large lounge/dining room with snug area, and a breakfast kitchen that leads onto the oak-framed garden room with underfloor heating, wood-burner and tri-fold doors opening to the patio.
Outside, there’s an adjoining double garage accessed via the utility room, plus brick-set courtyard to the front and large enclosed gardens – including sheltered herb garden – to the rear, with views across the surrounding countryside. From this part of the garden there is direct access to footpaths allowing off-road riverside walks.
Finally, just a mile away from East Barn, 23 Beech Close is a more modern mid-terrace property on a quiet cul-de-sac in Baldersby, to the west of the Swale. It has three bedrooms – one of them a single which could be used as a home office – a bathroom, sitting room with log-burner, and dining kitchen that open onto the recently turfed back garden. There’s also a front garden and single garage.