Hudson’s Cottage, Howsham
This pretty house in the village of Howsham has an impressive claim to fame and surely deserves a blue plaque.
York’s railway pioneer George Hudson was born there in 1800 and was raised in the property along with his nine other siblings. The cottage is spacious and has three large bedrooms, though for George and his 12-strong family it was quite a squash.
At the age of 15 he left home to escape the stigma of having fathered an illegitimate child. He found work at a small draper’s shop and married the proprietor’s daughter, Elizabeth. He led an ordinary life until his great-uncle, Matthew Bottrill, died, leaving him an inheritance of £30,000.
In 1833 Hudson was elected treasurer of the York Railway Committee and, using his political clout, he helped push through Parliamentary Bills allowing him and a group of fellow businessmen to form the York and North Midland Railway Company in 1836. At this time he is credited with saying: “I’ll mek all t’railways come to York’,
He did and was dubbed the “Railway King”. A millionaire, his empire crashed around him amid allegations of financial wrongdoings. Hudson fled to France to avoid his creditors but returned to Yorkshire just before his death in 1871. He was buried in a humble grave in Scrayingham.
His birthplace in Howsham is Grade II listed and has been beautifully and sensitively restored by owner Sue Folwell and her husband, Arthur. They bought the property in 2003.
“We were looking to downsize and I wanted a cottage in the country, which sounds easy to find but it was difficult. We looked at properties in commuter villages, near Harrogate, that were a bit soulless and houses in areas that were too remote,” says Sue. “Carter Jonas suggested we look at Hudson’s cottage and it was perfect. It has a lovely feel to it and Howsham is a wonderful hamlet full of lovely, friendly people.”
The couple have restored the property’s historic features and have decorated in classic country style.
The house has an entrance hall, sitting room, dining kitchen with Rayburn, a utility room, a cloakroom, three bedrooms and a bathroom. Outside, there is a garden and parking.
Contact Carter Jonas, York, tel: 01904 558200, www.carterjonas.co.uk