For sale...shooters’ haunt that attracted inn crowd

The grouse shooting season is in full swing and as the guns head to Yorkshire the moorlands echo with the sound of 12 bores, labradors and setters.

At Dallowgill Moor, near Ripon, they tread in the wake of the rich, famous and the royal and now there’s a chance to own a well-connected piece of its history.

The Shooters Arms, which sits on the edge of the heather moorland, has entertained everyone from aristocrats and actors to Kings of England, including Edward VII, George V and George VI.

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The inn, now a country house, is on the market for £625,000 and estate agent Tim Brown, of George F White, says it could well be in the sights of some crack shots.

The stunning family home would make an equally good shooting lodge.

“It is in a fabulous spot at Tom Corner, where the road to Dallowgill peters out on the edge of the moor. The views are incredible and it has a sense of remoteness that you rarely find these days,” said Tim.

The inn was a favourite with the 2nd Marquess of Ripon, owner of Dallowgill Moor and a man revered as one of the greatest shots in the country.

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Frederick Oliver Robinson, also known as Earl de Grey, is said to have downed 28 pheasants in 60 seconds at a shooting party on the Sandringham estate.

He also holds the honour of the biggest ever lifetime bag of birds. The tally over his 71 years was 556,000, including 241,000 pheasants.

The royals were his guests and keen to shoot on what is still regarded as one of the best grouse moors in the world.

After a day tramping through all weathers, they celebrated with a feast and a warming cup at the Shooters. The food and the drink were brought up from the Marquess’s home at Studley Royal.

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He died on his moor in 1923, having shot 52 birds that day, and was brought down from Dallowgill to the Shooters so that doctors could attend his body.

The pub continued to serve until 1932 when the takings couldn’t cover the heating bills and by the 1990s it was in use as a dwelling, though semi-derelict until Christine Simpson and her late husband Alf rescued it.

The bought it in 1998 and it was in a perilous state. It was virtually rebuilt by Alf, a builder, out of the same stone and the couple managed to retain and replicate many features including beams, flagged floors and mullions cut by their son Christopher at his quarry in Killinghall.

The house now has a kitchen with an Aga and a stable door leading out to the garden. A flagged hallway leads to a boot room, shower room, dining room, an office and a sitting room with a wood burning stove. Upstairs are three double bedrooms. Outside, there are barns, outbuildings and 12 acres of land.

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Although a home, the Simpsons decided it should keep its name and its postal address is still The Shooters Inn.

After hearing stories about its famous associations, Christine researched its history and even wrote to the Queen Mother, who often joined her husband King George VI for a day’s grouse shooting at Dallowgill.

“She wrote back and said she remembered coming here for shooting parties and had many good times,” said Christine.

“We bought here because of the location and the views and the fact my ancestors come from Dallowgill. My grandfather was a beater on the day that the Marquess died.

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“But people thought we were mad swapping our bungalow in Laverton for a derelict building. When we came to view it had a sign saying ‘Enter at your own risk’ and it didn’t have any foundations. But we knew we could do it justice.

“It still had the old bar but it was very primitive. It’s hard to believe that nobility drank there.”

The work was complete within 18 months and the couple enjoyed the surroundings. The 18th century former inn is in Nidderdale, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and has spectacular 360 degree views across the moor, the Yorkshire Dales and the Vale of York.

“There’s something special about Dallowgill and everyone who comes here feels it. It’s so tranquil, the air is clean and the views are amazing,” said Christine.

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“I have loved it but I am being sensible and downsizing, even though it is a wrench.”

For details of The Shooters Inn contact George F White, Bedale, tel: 01677 425301,

For more of Yorkshire’s best properties see today’s Property Post supplement.

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