House that time forgot definitely lacking in mod cons

Peeling wallpaper in parts of Dandra Garth, in the Yorkshire Dales, near Sedbergh, and d�cor that has remained untouched for decades. Agents warn that modernisation  if a buyer shuns the simple life  could cost as much as the property itself.
Peeling wallpaper in parts of Dandra Garth, in the Yorkshire Dales, near Sedbergh, and d�cor that has remained untouched for decades. Agents warn that modernisation if a buyer shuns the simple life could cost as much as the property itself.
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The estate agency brochure makes it clear Dandra Garth has absolutely no mod cons.

There is no bathroom, no toilet, no drains, no mains water or heating and the décor hasn’t been touched for decades.

But this house that time forgot is attracting a flood of interest from would-be buyers.

The stunning location in the Yorkshire Dales, near Sedbergh, is seductive and the guide price is certainly a draw. It is on offer for £200,000 to £250,000, for which you get the four-bedroom manorial farmhouse with a huge attic once used as servants’ quarters plus a separate barn.

Approached up a track and hidden behind high walls, the house has south facing views over its gardens and its three acres of land.

Estate agent Tim Brown, of George F White, said: “There is an incredible amount of interest but I’m not surprised. This place is virtually untouched by the 20th and 21st centuries. Properties like this are very rare.

“It needs everything doing but it is magnificent. It is in one of the most beautiful spots in the Yorkshire Dales National Park and has huge potential. Almost untouched since it was built, it promises to be one of the most exciting restoration projects that we have ever seen. It is a house from the past which can be very definitely made into a beautiful home of the future.”

Grade two listed Dandra Garth in Lower Garsdale was the home of Walter Harper, whose family moved there in 1942 to farm the surrounding land.

His father died in 1968 and his mother passed away in 1972 but Mr Harper continued to farm until the early 1980s.

Now 92, Mr Harper has moved to a rest home but until recently he was quite happy living at the house without any utilities or luxuries at all.

He was content to keep warm in front of his open fires and to boil water on the range to fill a tin bath in the kitchen.

He was only persuaded to have electricity to the property 10 years ago, before which he used the gas lights connected to a Calor bottle.

A single tap in the kitchen supplied cold water from an untested spring supply and the loo was an outside earth closet.

“He didn’t see anything wrong with it and was reluctant to see any change. Getting the electricity in was a revolution,” says his nephew Roger Harper, who has happy memories of visiting the house as a boy.

“It is very primitive but he liked it that way.”

The house dates from the early 17th century and was added to in the 19th century. It took its name from one of the Norsemen who were once prevalent throughout Cumbria.

The property’s coat of arms has a lion rampart and border of thistles, which shows an association with James I, who is said to have passed through the dale and given a local clergyman the manorial rights.

However, the house is now thought to have passed from its original owner to four Yeoman farmers as settlement after a dispute in the High Chancel Court.

The picture perfect country property looks idyllic from the outside and though the inside hasn’t been touched for years, the vintage charm is part of the appeal.

It still has a larder and stone shelves that many luxury home owners are now demanding.

The peeling wallpaper is also a selling point for the growing number of buyers who dearly want to take on a “project.”

Though it looks a bargain, prospective buyers are warned to be realistic about renovation costs. Says Tim Brown: “I’d estimate that you would need to spend £200,000 on it.”

Of course, the other option is to spend the bare minimum and live very simply.

“My uncle is 92 and has done remarkably well on it especially considering the water situation,” says Roger Harper.

There is an open viewing of Dandra Garth on Saturday June 25 from 11am until 12.30pm and details are online at www.georgefwhite.co.uk.

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