Hannah Hauxwell often visited this farmhouse now for sale in her rural idyll
The YTV documentaries on “Daughter of the Dales” Hannah Hauxwell brought the wild and remote beauty of Baldersdale to millions of viewers. Too Long a Winter revealed Hannah’s seemingly impoverished and isolated existence in a little known rural idyll. We watched as she struggled through a blizzard in threadbare clothes to tend to her cows before returning to the tumbledown farmhouse where she lived alone with no running water or electricity.
We saw her ever-present smile broaden in summer when the meadows bloomed and there were blue skies above the magnificent Pennine landscape. The natural beauty she enjoyed throughout the seasons proved her assertion that she was not poor. Despite living on less than £240 a year when the TV crew first came calling, she considered herself rich and lucky to live in such a stunning landscape.
This setting loved by the world’s most famous Daleswoman also won the hearts of Paul and Victoria Hindle. They first set eyes on it three years ago when they went to view Clove Lodge, which is close to Low Birk Hatt, Hannah’s former home.
“We lived just outside Hull but we wanted a house with more space for our two young sons. When Paul showed me the brochure for this place I had no intention of moving here but I agreed to view it and we came up on a miserable March morning,” says Victoria. “We drove up onto the moor and into this gorgeous landscape with reservoirs and moorland. It is so incredibly special so that was it. I fell in love with it.”
The couple bought Clove Lodge and have sensitively modernised the Grade II listed property, most of which dates to the 1750s but with some parts built in 1296. They are selling with heavy hearts now they are relocating for work but their loss will be someone else’s gain. The farmhouse, its ancillary buildings and land are now on the market for £1.195m with Strutt and Parker.
Along with the main house, there is an adjoining cottage, which is used as a luxury holiday let. The property also has 17 acres, a bunk barn that offers budget accommodation for walkers and there is potential to turn more outbuildings into more walkers’ accommodation.
“Hannah Hauxwell actually spent a lot of time here when she lived at Low Birk Hatt. This was a working farm then and she was friendly with the farmer and his wife, who did some shopping for her. Her animals came here when she left to move to a cottage in Cotherstone in 1988,” says Victoria, who adds that while the area appears and feels remote, it is surprisingly easy to access amenities and is a wonderful place to bring up children.
The village of Cotherstone, which has a shop, primary school and pub, is a 15 minutes drive away, while Barnard Castle is a 20 minute drive. A school “bus”, aka a Landrover, picks the Hindles sons up from the top of their drive to take them to and from school.
“Even in winter we have never been stuck here because the snow plough comes down our track to turn round in the yard,” says Victoria. “There is also a fantastic small community here and the women in the Dale really look after each other. “
During their time at Clove Lodge, Victoria and Paul have put double glazing in the farmhouse, along with a new utility room and fresh decor. Outside, a small fortune has been spent on external landscaping and additional drainage. The holiday cottage has been completely renovated with a new roof, ceilings and floors, along with a new kitchen and bathroom. The bunk barn too has been totally revamped.
“We are on the Pennine Way and on the Land’s End to John O’Groats route too so we have lots of walkers passing through Baldersdale who want to stay overnight because it is so spectacular and there is nowhere else to stay between here and Tan Hill or Keld. The bunk barn sleeps eight and there is potential to convert other buildings here into additional accommodation if the new owner of Clove Lodge wants to do that,” says Victoria.
The holiday cottage was deliberately taken upmarket and has been very popular with prices starting at £150 per night. Particularly popular with guests is one of the family’s best-loved new additions, a timber hot tub and sauna overlooking a waterfall in the woods.
Clove Lodge, which comes with 17 acres of land, has been a haven during the pandemic. “It has been a Godsend, especially the first lockdown last summer. We really enjoyed the peace and tranquility that this place offers,” says Victoria.
The Hindle family is moving as Paul has been promoted to a job covering a much wider area, which includes more southerly parts of the country. “We are very, very sad to leave as we have loved living here. It is such a wonderful and tranquil place with dark skies so we see meteor showers and a sky full of stars. It is idyllic,” says Victoria. “We have been told it takes a special person to live here and we are pleased that we have looked after it for whoever lives here next.”
Clove Lodge, Baldersdale is for sale at £1.195m. The main house has a reception hall, a snug, a library and a galleried sitting room above. There is also an office, a kitchen/dining room with Aga, a utility room and boot room. Along with a ground floor bathroom, there is a main bedroom with en-suite, a second bedroom with en-suite and two further bedrooms.
For details contact Strutt and Parker, tel: 01423 561274.
Daughter of the Dales
Hannah Hauxwell’s existence was first highlighted by a Yorkshire Post article in 1970 and YTV documentaries followed.
It told how Hannah, then 44, ran her farm alone after the death of her parents and uncle. With no creature comforts save for a radio, she got by on next to nothing and battled all weathers tending her stock.
Hannah moved to Cotherston in 1988, then to a nursing home, never losing her happy countenanace. She died in January 2018.
*Please support The Yorkshire Post and become a subscriber today. Your subscription will help us to continue to bring quality news to the people of Yorkshire. In return, you'll see fewer ads on site, get free access to our app and receive exclusive members-only offers. Click here to subscribe