Out with the old. Make it new. Let go of yesterday. Sayings are unduly harsh on the past. The past is old news, and old news is today's fish and chip paper. But homes buck this trend. Having a past means gravitas. It signifies longevity, and who doesn't want that? Age before beauty, you say? Why not have both? This seven-bedroom Lancaster farmhouse certainly does.
Dating back some 500 years to a time when Henry VIII was divorcing and beheading wives at a rate which would surely draw suspicion from Lancashire Constabulary nowadays, the £1.1m Thwaite Moss is about as prestigious a sprawling property as they come.
High-class homes are often described as 'sprawling' - even fancy flats in cramped residential buildings tend to somehow find a way to be sprawling - but only a select few properties truly are sprawling in a literal, un-contained, unreserved sense. Thwaite Moss is just one such property; it's hard to make 6,600 feet look anything but sprawling, after all.
A gorgeous Grade II-listed building, Thwaite Moss has been recently renovated and shares a very prestigious feature with the White House: it literally has different wings. Formed in place of the old stables, the home's newest wing (plenty of annex potential indeed) brings Thwaite Moss' stats up to serious levels: six bathrooms, six sitting rooms. Games room. Wine cellar.
Elemental things feel grand and old, and in keeping with the home's sturdy vibe, its setting amongst the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty that it the Forest of Bowland lends a permanent, meant-to-be-there feel to the property. Entrances abound, from those across fired-earth tiles to those through large timber-arched glazed doors. Stone, wood, fire: this place is a kooky well-being Instagrammer's dream.
Drawing elegantly on its history, Thwaite Moss doesn't scrimp on paying homage to its classical rustic roots, with character barn features including exposed lintels, beams, stone walls, and traditional style flagged stone floors abounding throughout. It's the kind of house Robin Hood would have lived in had he not felt the need to dodge his council tax obligations as a result of him being a bandit and all that jazz.
The dining room has high vaulted ceilings - I can see the sunlight in the rafters now - and the kitchen has a five-door aga and double Belfast sink - I can do the washing up later. Take your pick from any one of the three reception rooms which form part of the original house; they naturally come with exposed wooden beams, stone mullioned windows, and large wood-burning stoves set upon flagged hearths.
Chiswick! Fresh horses! (I see you, Blackadder fans)
A charming living room staircase takes you upstairs where two double bedrooms and the master suite await. The master itself has triple aspect over the open countryside and an en suite for a quick wash after an afternoon's dozing in the sun room. Are you feeling more relaxed? I'm definitely feeling more relaxed.
The home's 17½ acres of garden are described as a "tranquil haven for wildlife", while the area also boasts a beck trickling through the back of the garden which naturally sources a pond, as well as productive vegetable plots, a herb garden, and fruit trees that include apple, pear, and cherries. Car space? Double garage. Horses? Two stone-built stables and a tack room with hay loft above. This house has it all.
It even has another house.
The Cottage has its own private entrance and full-length windows that look out over the front of the property, although why one would be looking out when there's an abundance of exposed beams and wooden floors to enjoy inside after warming up by the aga following a walk in the wet, wild, and windy Ribble Valley countryside is beyond my comprehension.
Ancient it may be, but Thwaite Moss has aged beautifully. And seeing as I'm writing this on St David's Day, what was it that Dylan Thomas said? "Do not go gentle into that good night; Rage, rage against the dying of the light." This home certainly is raging.
For more information, head to https://www.fineandcountry.com/uk/property-for-sale/Tatham%2C+Nr+Wray%2C+Lancaster/LA2+8PR/50079813