The Thatched Cottage

The Thatched Cottage is an instantly recognisable Appleby landmark – indeed, it is well known throughout the county!

Front of cottage on Fayre day (3)

It was built, along with other properties in the village of this type, around 1700. It is a very robust stone construction with thick walls and beamed ceilings. Although it now boasts a thatched the roof, for many years it was topped with clay pantiles. Here it is at the turn of the 1900’s with a tiled roof.

1 Cottage at distance - before

The main part of the roof is constructed from Norfolk Reed. It is expected to last around 40 years. The ridge is created from long straw, reed would be too strong to bend over the top. This ‘topping’ will last around 10 years.

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To the evident delight of many spectators, including television’s BBC Look North, the front roof was re-thatched in 2009

Appleby Thatched Cottage March 16 to 31 2009 (54)

The cottage has three chimneys servicing a cast iron stove, a fully working range and a dog grate in the ground floor rooms. Originally there was just one chimney in the middle. This was removed when the stairs to the first floor were fitted in the 1900’s and a fireplace was installed at either end of the cottage. The third chimney was added in 2004 to the rear.

range room

The rear roof was newly thatched in 2004 when the building work was carried out to create a kitchen and bathroom.

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Visible from the lane, the ridge is topped with traditional straw animals – an Owl . . .

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And a pussycat – inspired by the poem read at the nuptials of the current residents!

Appleby Thatched Cottage March 16 to 31 2009 (130)

Thanks to the skills of the ‘thatchers’ The Thatched Cottage roof will protect the cottage from the elements for some time to come!

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Everyone visitor to ‘The Thatch’, upon seeing the garden, comments how much bigger it is then they imagined! We have created a garden from an overgrown jungle thick with briars and dead trees –

Garden Rear 1-1

– into a colourful, well stocked garden.

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Set over several levels the garden has a lot of steps! Mainly constructed from old railway sleepers, they lend the garden their own characteristic – being slightly rustic in appearance and providing many species of wildlife such as frogs and toads some where to live.

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With lots of little twists, the garden is certain to bring a smile to everyone’s face!

Garden today 1.6.1403

Thatcher: Seamus Heaney

Bespoke for weeks, he turned up some morning
Unexpectedly, his bicycle slung
With a light ladder and a bag of knives.
He eyed the old rigging, poked at the eaves.

Opened and handled sheaves of lashed wheat-straw.
Next, the bundled rods: hazel and willow
Were flicked for weight, twisted in case they’d snap.
It seemed he spent the morning warming up:

Then fixed the ladder, laid out well honed blades
And snipped at straw and sharpened ends of rods
That, bent in two, made a white-pronged staple
For pinning down his world, handful by handful.

Couchant for days on sods above the rafters
He shaved and flushed the butts, stitched all together
Into a sloped honeycomb, a stubble patch,
And left them gaping at his Midas touch.

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The Owl and the Pussycat by Edward Lear

The Owl and the Pussy-cat went to sea
In a beautiful pea green boat,
They took some honey, and plenty of money,
Wrapped up in a five pound note.
The Owl looked up to the stars above,
And sang to a small guitar,
‘O lovely Pussy! O Pussy my love,
What a beautiful Pussy you are,
You are,
You are!
What a beautiful Pussy you are!’

Pussy said to the Owl, ‘You elegant fowl!
How charmingly sweet you sing!
O let us be married! too long we have tarried:
But what shall we do for a ring?’
They sailed away, for a year and a day,
To the land where the Bong-tree grows
And there in a wood a Piggy-wig stood
With a ring at the end of his nose,
His nose,
His nose,
With a ring at the end of his nose.

‘Dear pig, are you willing to sell for one shilling
Your ring?’ Said the Piggy, ‘I will.’
So they took it away, and were married next day
By the Turkey who lives on the hill.
They dined on mince, and slices of quince,
Which they ate with a runcible spoon;
And hand in hand, on the edge of the sand,
They danced by the light of the moon,
The moon,
The moon,
They danced by the light of the moon.




Visit for further information about thatching.