Fine and Country Windermere
Fine & Country
Thwaite & Thwaite Barn, Troutbeck, Windermere, The Lake District, LA23 1PF
- Available for second time in 400 years
- Now includes extra paddock of 1.3 acres adjoining the Orchard
- Fabulous and rewarding renovation project
- 16th Century Grade II listed farmhouse
- Stunning unspoilt views
- Two spacious reception rooms, gallery
- Dining kitchen, study, halls, cellar
- Three bedrooms, bath and shower room
- Detached L shaped bank-barn
- Gardens and south facing orchard
Welcome to Thwaite, Troutbeck, Windermere, LA23 1P
Restored using traditional methods and craftsmen in late 1980s, having not been occupied since the 1820s, languishing for years as a farm store, tractor shed and luxurious chicken coop, it is now ready to inspire the next generation with its exciting potential to transform it for 21st Century living.
There are stunning views across the valley and up the Troutbeck Horseshoe, part of Wainwright’s Far Eastern fells, and due south, down the valley. The Troutbeck Valley is a Conservation Area and home to a picturesque scattering of period houses including the National Trust property of 17th Century Townend.
Dating back to 1541 with additions in the 1700s, on the ground floor Thwaite offers a porch leading into a hall, two spacious reception rooms, one with a gallery above, a dining kitchen, small study, a shower room and rear hall/store. Rising to the first floor there are three double bedrooms, a bathroom and gallery. On the lower ground floor is a small cellar room.
Across the informal courtyard where free range chickens look perfectly at home, there is a detached traditional L shaped bank-barn, with one big space on the ground floor, accessed from the roadside and three shippons on the lower ground floor, accessed from the courtyard. Set in a total of circa 2 acres including a 1.27 acre field, the courtyard faces due south, the main garden to Thwaite is to the east and there is a generous orchard to the south.
We are looking for a creative person with vision who loves the idea of living immersed in history and with the budget to do the project justice. If that’s you then this is a once in a lifetime opportunity to restore, replenish and reinvigorate new life into this fine old house and reap the rewards of living a Lake District lifestyle.
Trout Beck flows along the bottom of this steep verdant valley, the village itself being protected by not only being within the very heart of the National Park, but also a designated Conservation Area and quite rightly so, it is unique in terms of vernacular architecture, the grouping of the dwellings and the views. Not much has changed over the centuries that Thwaite has been standing with a rich history dating back to the times of King Henry VIII.
Troutbeck lies almost equidistant between Lakeland honeypots of Ambleside and Bowness; the village itself is ever popular with walkers, the village shop, now a tea room does a roaring trade in the season and the pubs are popular with locals and visitors alike. However busy the village may get, positioned just off the main thoroughfare, set down off the lane and tucked behind the barn for privacy, Thwaite enjoys a peaceful and quiet setting with two nearby properties (Low House Farm and Birkett House) which offer the advantage of security that neighbours can bring but due to the configuration do not impinge on the privacy of Thwaite in any way.
The views are breathtaking with each room offering a different aspect; to the east they are straight across the valley towards Garburn and the Kentmere Pass with the occasional house peppering the fields, whilst the views to the north and south take in other village properties and roof tops with the surrounding fells as a backdrop to village life. The adjoining fields have been a source of joy for the family over the decades bringing wildlife right to the door and seeing new life come forth in spring with lambing.
If you love to stretch your legs then the network of footpaths that are available straight from the front door is hard to beat. Walk, run, hike or cycle, the area is an adventure playground for fans of fresh air and fun.
Easy to reach off the main A591 from a variety of different directions there is also a train station in Windermere which is the head of a branch line from Oxenholme on the main West Coast line.
From their family to yours, a slice of history, it
The vendors’ father William Harvey Elias, known locally as ‘Bill’, was a chartered surveyor working in Liverpool. His father had rented Low House next door to Thwaite in the 1930s and got to know the owners. When Low House Farm came up at auction in 1956 Bill had the vision to buy the estate which came with the abandoned "old house", Thwaite, a Tudor building from 1541, with the long-term plan to bring Thwaite back to life. The southern part of the house, known in the family as the ‘music room’ is thought to have been an addition in the 1700s.
Thwaite had not been lived in since the early 1800s and was used as a farm store by the local farmer, his tractor was stored in the end room, a gate for access in the gable end where the large window is now. The family remembers “exploring the house in the 1960s when there were no floors on the upper level and climbing on the beams and round the edges of the rooms.” Mr and Mrs Elias always wanted to restore the "old house" and finally received permission in the early 1980s. As it was a Grade II Listed building they were keen to retain as many of the original features as possible. Using local craftsmen, the restoration project took five years and they moved into Thwaite in 1991. Mr Elias died in 2001 enjoying 10 happy years in the house and Mrs Elias continued to live there until 2021 fulfilling her wish to live there for the rest of her days, such was her love for this wonderful property. The house has passed to the next generation and it with a heavy heart that it is now offered for sale as it has been a much treasured family home.
Historic England’s website lists the house as Grade II and in the entry dated 1974 describes it as an “outbuilding to the Low House.” It goes on to say “This was the original farmhouse, now an outbuilding, probably C16. Stone rubble, old roof of graded slates, 2 low storeys. A 2-storeyed gabled porch, and remains of wood mullioned windows. A gabled wing has an external chimney stack. A south wing is lower. Interior said to have original staircase with turned balusters, and moulded wood partitions. Now used only for farm storage.” The entry has not been updated but clearly a lot has changed.
The restoration undertaken in the 1980s was carefully executed with oak mullion windows installed, oak paneled internal walls restored, flagged floors and stone steps overhauled, beams and exposed roof and ceiling timbers revived and replaced where necessary before being skillfully replastered using traditional lime plaster.
The main entrance is through a traditional porch where logs are stacked either side for convenience, the original door is on the outside, but a second glazed oak door has been added internally to keep out the draughts. Off the hall with its flagged floor are the two main living spaces, these two reception rooms provide a real contrast – the first, the sitting room is centrally placed and is the type of room that has been portrayed in paintings countless times over the years of life in a traditional farmhouse; instantly welcoming and immensely characterful. At one end is a high stone mantelpiece housing a wood burning stove, there are irregular width oak floor boards and plenty of space for both gathering around the fire on a cold evening and laying a large dining table for family gatherings. The second, the ‘music room’ so called as Mr Elias “loved classical music and played the piano so he loved to sit in the music room and listen to music” has a wow factor of a different type altogether. Built as an extension in the 1700s it is double height with a ceiling rising to the apex and with windows to three sides (one with an oak window seat and two with fitted oak shutters) light floods into this airy room with its pale oak parquet floor. Reminiscent of a minstrel’s gallery, a mezzanine floor has been built at one end and is accessed off the main bedroom; it’s a lovely design feature.
The kitchen is a good size and whilst the units will definitely be on the list for replacement it does have certain features that may prove to the framework for your future plans – a beamed ceiling, a dual aspect, an old outer door to the garden (with a traditional horizontal flag providing shelter outside) with an oak and glass inner door, a solid fuel stove, oak mullion windows and cills and a pine boarded floor. There’s a lot to work with.
The little cellar is worth a mention, narrow stone steps lead down (watch your head if you’re tall), there’s an oak mullion window and stone flagged bench and floor.
The study was used as a snug over the decades; one family member recalls “a few of us would cram in and watch Match of the Day. When the house was full with family staying I’d often be the lucky one to get a mattress to sleep on in there as it was all nice and cosy - from that room you can hear everything that goes on in the house!” According to “The story of the old homesteads and ‘statesman’ families of Troutbeck by Windermere’ by S H Scott this room historically was known as ‘The Bower’ and was where the Lord and Lady of the Manor would sleep. The dictionary definition of ‘bower’ being ‘an attractive dwelling or retreat, a lady's private apartment in a medieval hall or castle.’ How fitting!
Worthy of note, at the foot of the stairs is an unusual section of flooring with smooth stones, thought to have come from Trout Beck, laid on edge to decorative effect. Stone steps rise to the first floor where original character is all around – oak floor boards of varying widths, oak uprights in the internal walls and beautifully worn and aged oak doors with rustic wooden latches or cast iron handles, the metal worn thin by decades of use. The floors often have a gently slope to them, as one family member adds “the creaky floorboard by the bathroom gave us hours of fun trying not to step on it and wake up those sleeping”.
There are three double bedrooms and a spacious house bathroom which itself has some cracking views. The large walk-in airing cupboard adjacent to the bathroom offers potential for a layout change (subject to consent) to provide a second bath or shower room on this floor.
The bedrooms themselves are all highly atmospheric and full of character – oak mullion windows with oak cills, dark oak paneled walls and floors. There’s a spacious inner landing, a room in itself and a lovely spot for a desk if you were looking to work from home. One bedroom provides access to the gallery which has a pine floor and balustrade. From here a closer inspection of the roof trusses of the music room is possible – there is still bark on them. The view across the music room through the large gable end window to the valley beyond is truly magical. The gallery would make a lovely hobbies area, a place to quietly read or an ideal study.
Across the informal courtyard is a substantial detached stone and slate barn, constructed in an L shape, it is accessed either from Bridge Lane directly into the ground floor or at lower ground floor level where there is the original animal housing, the slate boskins and cobbled floor still in place in the shippon and in the stable section, there are hay troughs, wooden dividers and a cobbled floor. Between them sits a former bull pen. It has great amenity value and offers a super opportunity for a variety of recreational uses.
The family remembers the lower ground floor being used to kennel sheep dogs and hay bales being stored above where they would make dens with friends “much to the annoyance of the farmer”.
The garden to the east is accessed either down the track to the south or from the rear hall. The garden has a panoramic view across the valley and gets the morning sun. Roses, azaleas, rhododendrons, holly and camellias are planted here. On the northerly elevation is a small stone and slate lean-to store. The walled 0.24 acre orchard lies to the south and has fabulous views. If you didn’t want the fruit trees, it would landscape to create a stunning garden. In addition to garden and orchard, to the south is a 1.27 acre field, gently sloping with gated access from the top of the drive, the field is currently rented to a local farming for grazing.
On the road
Windermere 3.2 miles
Ambleside 3.6 miles
Grasmere 8 miles
Hawkshead 8 miles
Kendal 10.5 miles
Coniston 10.7 miles
Oxenholme train station 13.8 miles
M6 J36 17.5 miles
Keswick 20.3 miles
Manchester 84.6 miles
Manchester airport91.8 miles
The above journey distances are for approximate guidance only and have been sourced from the fastest route on the AA website from the property postcode.
Goodly Dale Community, St Martin’s and St Mary’s CoE and St Cuthbert’s Catholic (all in Windermere)
Windermere School (Independent)
Lakes School (Troutbeck Bridge)
Windermere School (Independent)
Lancaster 13 minutes
Manchester (Piccadilly) 1 hour 14 minutes
London (Euston)2 hours 47 minutes
Edinburgh 2 hours 4 minutes
Based on approximate direct train journey times from Oxenholme train station on the main West Coast line. Train service durations vary, please check nationalrail.co.uk for further details.
Things to do in the area
Local leisure activities
Sailing, boating or paddle boarding on Lake Windermere
Golf Clubs at both Windermere and Kendal (Carus Green and Kendal clubs)
A number of local hotels have gyms and spas (for that post work out treat!)
Places to eat
Queens Head, The Mortal Man Hotel and The Old Post Office Tearoom, all in Troutbeck and within walking distance
The Kirkstone Pass Inn at the top of ‘The Struggle’, Ambleside
Lakeland Farm Visitor Centre, Ings – for a great brunch and Sunday lunch
Fine dining at The Samling (Ambleside), Gilpin Hotel (Windermere), Linthwaite House (Bowness on Windermere) and Forest Side (Grasmere)
Great walks nearby
The owners tell us “Walking the fells was a big part of visiting Troutbeck, some from Troutbeck itself, round the Kentmere Horseshoe or over to Kentmere or Wansfell, and the occasional trip over the Hardknot Pass to Wasdale for the bigger ones.”
Mains electricity and water. Private drainage to a shared septic tank in the field below Thwaite (to the east).
Local Authority charges
Westmorland and Furness Council – Council Tax band G
Included in the sale
Fitted carpets, curtains, curtain poles, blinds, light fittings and integral kitchen appliances as described. The oak dresser and oak chests (sitting room and on the landing) are available by way of further negotiation.
Health and safety - the wooden floor of the barn is not safe for viewing access.
Use Sat Nav LA23 1PF with reference to the directions below:
There are a variety of ways to approach the village of Troutbeck; from various points along the A591 at Ings, Windermere, Troutbeck Bridge and Ambleside and also, from the north over Kirkstone Pass. Our preferred route is from Troutbeck Bridge as it’s probably the most direct view and when driving away from the house and back down to the main road, the view of Lakel Windermere is lovely. The turning onto Bridge Lane at Troutbeck Bridge is on the right, just after passing the petrol filling station and shop (as if approaching from Windermere). You’ll pass Townend on the right and it’s a short way along, also on the right. There is access from the opposite direction down the driveway to Low House Farm, but this is shared. This second driveway can be gated to enclose the courtyard at Thwaite so making it safe and enclosed for children and dogs.