What luck! Two invitations to visit Landmarks in one week – and I can manage both. Cowside is an extremely remote farmhouse way away in Upper Wharfedale in the Yorkshire Dales that even the National Trust (who are the owners) could not contemplate renovating as a holiday home. No mains electricity, no mains water supply – not even an access road or track. They passed it on to The Landmark Trust who seem to thrive on such challenges! Friday was my 4th visit. In April 2009 I first ventured off the Dales Way to have a peep at Cowside of which the Landmark Trust had only recently announced their intentions. In October 2010 when work was well underway I was invited to view progress and again in May 2011 when I could not believe the transformation that had taken place. The winters of both 2009/2010 and 2010/2011 have been the worst in decades. But now the work is complete and the property ready for its first guests – arriving on the 21st October – just one week away!
As visitors we had to park nearly two miles away but I enjoy hiking so the chance to step it out along part of the Dales Way was an additional pleasure for me.
The final uphill approach to Cowside. No vehicular access so everything must be brought from the bottom of the field via the grassy track.
A warm welcome to Cowside. Cake on the table and a log fire in the stove in the Kitchen, or Housebody, as it is to be known.
During early archaeological investigations these fantastic wall paintings were discovered. Monochrome Biblical texts in Gothic script they adorn two walls in the Parlour. “On the west wall is Whether ye eat, or drink or whatsoever ye do do all to the glory of God Cor[inthians] X:31 and For of him and through him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen. Rom[ans] XI: 36. On the east wall is Better is a dinner of herbs where love is than a stalled ox and hatred therewith Pro[verbs] XV: Cha[pter] 17 ver[se].” From the Cowside History Sheet.
One thing I particularly appreciate when staying in Landmarks is the Landmark Library. This is not shelves of old books bought by the yard but a well chosen selection of relevant titles for adults and children alike.
“There will be a bookcase containing the sort of relevant and interesting books you might expect from a well-read host, as well as those standard reference books you sometimes need to get the most out of a good walk or conversation.”