Yorke House is a traditional stone-built Dales house set on the hillside above the River Nidd at Dacre Banks in North Yorkshire, with attractive views over the Nidderdale valley
Originally constructed for Mr and Mrs Davidson in the 1890s, the house occupies a south-facing position in the centre of four acres of land.
Mrs Davidson was a keen horticulturist, developing the land on the south side for the production of fruit and vegetables. Three gardeners were employed to produce seasonal organic fruit and vegetables, including many exotic varieties grown in an extensive range of greenhouses and conservatories. These were sent to market by the convenience of the adjacent single-line railway, or through country lanes by pony and trap. Interestingly, she encouraged local residents to purchase produce through an innovative ‘pick-your-own’ scheme
Unfortunately, after her departure from Nidderdale in the early 1940s, the property changed hands to several owners in rapid succession. The land was then used as a smallholding for rearing sheep, hens and cattle, and during this period virtually all the greenhouses, garden features and plantings were destroyed. All that remains of Mrs Davidson’s original plantings are the beautiful mature lime trees along the drive, a mature willow dominating the main lawn and a few ancient fruit trees in the orchard
It was in 1976, at the end of the ‘long hot summer’, that Tony and Pat Hutchinson fell in love with the property and its location. They continued to restore both the house and the garden during the past forty years to create their family home, but sadly in 2017 Tony had a stroke which has left him confined to a wheelchair.
But every misfortune provides an opportunity to move on, and so a new home has been constructed on the site of the Millennium Garden. Now aptly named ‘White Rose Cottage’, both house and garden are suitably adapted for Tony to speed around and enjoy some independence. The large greenhouse has also become a haven for Tony to propagate new plants from seeds and cuttings, currently it is bursting with Echeveria plants waiting to be sold on the Open Day plant stall.
Tony and Pat are delighted that their son Mark, his wife Amy and family have moved into Yorke House, so that they can still enjoy the pleasures, and hard work , of the lovely garden they created.