Detached cottage dubbed “England’s most inaccessible home” has its asking price cut after even trainspotters fail to be attracted by its isolated position in the Yorkshire Dales National Park
It might be situated right next to the famous and rather busy Settle to Carlisle railway line, but a cottage currently for sale for £250,000 is being touted as “England’s most inaccessible home.”
Detached and extending to 907 square foot in total, the 1940s property near Whernside in the Yorkshire Dales National Park can only be reached by foot for viewings according to selling agents Fisher Hopper. Those wishing to take a gander have to park at Ribblehead Viaduct and then walk 20 minutes along a track to reach the house, though the agents also note the vendors have a current annual licence for vehicle access – for which they pay £125 per year to the landowner and which allows them access using a “route suitable only for 4×4 vehicles and quads.”
3 Blea Moor Cottages itself consists of a sitting room, kitchen and pantry to the ground floor and 3 double bedrooms and a bathroom to the first floor. It stands on what is described as a “good sized plot,” is fenced to the perimeter of the adjoining railway line and is being marketed as an “exciting renovation project in a stunningly beautiful location.”
Going further in their marketing brochure, the agents note:
“The property presents an interesting investment, with a range of potential commercial opportunities apparent: private holiday home; unique AirBnB style experience; bunkhouse or refreshment stop on the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge route. Plans will be subject to the necessary consents – this is in the heart of the National Park – but for the right buyer with vision, there is great potential here.”
“There are no mains services available. When the property was last inhabited, the following arrangements were in place: Electricity generation via a windmill and generator, Calor Gas cylinders for cooking; multi-fuel stove for heat; septic tank drainage (now disconnected) and water was transported via a trailer.”
Originally one of three railway workers’ cottages – the other two were demolished many years ago – the property adjoins what Network Rail term “Britain’s most remote operational signal box” and with that comes a bonus; the signal box has “fast and strong Internet connection” to the “corporate local area network (LAN)” and to the firm’s “next generation fixed telecoms network (FTNx).” Presumably, if they feel neighbourly, the eventual buyer might be allowed to piggyback on that for communications purposes.
Situated near the 2,629-yard long Blea Moor Tunnel – which cost the £109,000 or the equivalent of £10.9 million to build in 1875 – here is a freehold house that has ignited both local and national opinion. Back in February 2010, the then resident, a hermit-like figure named John Myerscough, was condemned after turning the garden into scrapyard that was condemned by planners as “spoiling the view” for the 100,000 walkers who pass by annually.
Now cleaned up, but still in semi-derelict condition, the property went on the market for £300,000 last summer. It did not sell and now, Darren Spratt, the owner of the Fisher Hopper agency, has taken to YouTube to try to get the building finally flogged.
In a 3:38-minute video, watched by 5,900 individuals thus far, Mr Spratt shared:
“It is a genuinely unique property… It is now in need of full renovation, but it represents an exciting opportunity for a buyer with vision. It is a 20-minute walk from Ribblehead to get to this property. If you think you’ve got what it takes to bring this property back to life contact Fisher Hopper… Thanks for watching.”
Last August, of a building condemned by one social media as “not a house, just a single brick layer shed with no insulation,” a clearly Fred Dibnah-like vlogger named Thomas Edward enthused in a video watched on YouTube 6,600 times:
“I’m gonna [sic] show you something very exciting… We have come to see something very special… This house, I came here about ten years ago… It was a proper wild house, but now obviously [the then resident] has passed on or he’s moved on and it is for sale.”
“It’s very wild. I love a wild property. I could come here… And it had an outside bog originally and it needs a lot of work. It’s had some smashed windows. You can’t trust anyone these days.”
“So, this is on a main public footpath… In the height of summer, you’d have a lot of people walking past.”
“On RightMove, they’re trying to sell it as an Airbnb… to make it into a holiday cottage… And I think that’s a shame because a lovely house, a lovely property in the middle of nowhere and locals can’t get houses. And anyone, someone in Ingleton whose in a small flat or further afield in Lancaster, in a small flat, or someone whose actually on the register to get council housing could live in here very happily and enjoy it, but there’s so many people who want that all the time.”
“It’ll be turned into some holiday cottage and if some guy will have it, he’ll be down in Kent somewhere and he’ll rent it out and he won’t have nuffin’ [sic] to do with it except you’ll pay him a lot of money for a week… It’d be a lot of money and he wouldn’t have anything to do with it, except he’d send up some cleaners. He would have local cleaners cleaning it out, but there again, it’s not giving back to the local community. And I love giving back to the local community and that’s what should happen.”
“In six months time, I could be walking out that door and you’d go: ‘Ah, Thomas Edward’s moved into it.’ It could happen, but you never know, it might not… There you go, it’s on the market… It needs a bit of work, there’s a few holes in the floorboards and it’s got some Roland Rats in there and mice and bats and so on, but it could be a great house and we could put a garage on there and maybe sell a few teas to the walkers… I could have a goat and have it on a postcard and you could come and pose with it.”
Mr Edwards clearly did not purchase the clearly cold and obviously very damp crib and most recently last month a vlogger named Matilda River Walden – a charming and enthusiastic young lady who won the world record for assembling a ‘Mr Potato Head’ in just 5.69-seconds – was the next to visit it and the adjoining signal box also. She shared:
“The signal box is still manned 24 hours a day with one signal box person every 12 hours. Next to the signal box is an old house that’s really spooky.”
“There’s no vehicular access to the buildings, so the people at the box each time have to walk a mile when they start and finish their shifts… So, I wouldn’t like to be finishing my shift in the middle of the night.”
Editor’s Note – Unlike as is the case in many publications, this article was NOT sponsored or supported by a third-party.
Social media reactions to the marketing of the cottage…
“Top class views, zero amenities.”
“No facilities, but a lot of trains in your back garden and thousands walking past on a good day… If you want peace and quiet, this ain’t for you.”
“£250,000 to live in a shed that needs £100,000 maybe more spending on it… Bonkers! Do they throw in a train at that price?”
“That’s not a house, that is a single depth brick shed with no cavity wall, no insulation, no mains utilities, no mains drainage, not even connected to a septic tank, no road access… Best knock it down and build something sustainable.”
“It’s not Blea Moor, it’s just a BLEAK dump.”
“This should go to a working class local and not a retired middle-class southerner. Talk about sending boat people to Rwanda; we should be sending bloody middle-class southerners there ‘anall.”
“Some snob from the south will outbid the locals for this. Like they always do.”
“I’m a local and whoever buys it, I hope they like the snow because you will be snowed in living there and if you’re not, you will have the delight of living in low cloud a lot of the winter months. I live just further up the valley and it’s very bleak in winter.”
“It’s right on the Yorkshire Three Peaks route at a spot where there are no facilities for miles. It could become a gold mine for whoever’s lucky to bag themselves it – selling bacon butties and coffees to thousands of hikers a week.”
“It’s a former railway worker’s cottage. The irony is that you could never afford to buy it now on a railway worker’s wage. What sad times we are living in.”
“£250,000 for this… Put the weed down dude… These estate agents must be on acid.”
The Names & Numbers – 3 Blea Moor Cottages (also known as ‘Bleamoor’), Blea Moor Road, Ribblehead, Chapel-le-Dale, Whernside, Carnforth, LA6 3AT, United Kingdom
January 2023 – Price reduced to £250,000 ($302,000, €282,000 or درهم1.1 million) by Fisher Hopper after “struggling to attract offers” according to The Yorkshire Post.
July 2022 – For sale for a price of £300,000 ($362,000, €338,000 or درهم1.3 million) according to vlogger Thomas Edward and featured in The Sun in August that year as “one of Britain’s most remote homes.” Offered by estate agents Fisher Hopper.
February 2010 – Featured in The Westmorland Gazette and described as an “eyesore in a Yorkshire Dales beauty spot.”
An article by Daniel Orr referenced how: “Since moving in to Blea Moor Cottage, close to the Ribblehead Viaduct, near Ingleton, about three years ago, John Myerscough has accumulated scrap vehicles and waste which is seen by locals and tourists using the famous Three Peaks route every day.”
Going further, Orr added: “Among the rubble on his land are two shipping containers, a caravan, five disused oil tanks, a small digger, a cement mixer, numerous tyres and wheels, and a huge pile of household waste including a sofa, two wardrobes and a television.”
“Passengers on the Settle to Carlisle railway, which runs right behind the property, get a close-up view of the mess and the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority believes the land has an ‘adverse effect on the amenity of the area’.
“Now it has imposed an enforcement order on Mr Myerscough, thought to be in his forties, on the grounds that the ‘untidy land’ goes against planning policy and if he does not clear up within three months he will face prosecution.”
Peter Watson, head of planning at the YDNPA, said: ‘For an individual property it is one of the worst I have ever seen and it is in a very prominent location next to a walkway which is used by 100,000 people every year. It is a serious offence.’”
“‘It is in the Settle to Carlisle railway conservation area, and that is a very popular route known throughout the world. It is spoiling a beautiful view for people. For the past two years, we have been pursuing Mr Myerscough and have written to him and tried to talk to him on a number of occasions to help him with the situation, but he doesn’t respond. The problem has just grown over that period.’”
“Locals say Mr Myerscough, also known as ‘Hippo,’ brought the shipment containers up to his land using a tractor and trailer via the bridleway, which was widened for maintenance track work.”
“He is said to be a ‘recluse’ and is known to have worked at a garage in the Dales, but left about two years ago.”
“Peter Handley, of nearby Gunnerfleet Farm, said: ‘You don’t really see much of Mr Myserscough really. Only now and again.’”
“Blea Moor Cottage is the only remaining building from three former British Rail work buildings, and was converted by Mr Myerscough into a dwelling.”
1940s – Built by the London, Midland and Scottish Railway to provide accommodation for workers on the Settle to Carlisle railway line.
Well done, Matthew, for discovering all the weird real estate opportunities. And none weirder than this dump. It’ll take, I dunno, another quarter of a million £ to make it habitable, but you’ll still be 18 inches from a railway line.
It does look rather squalid to say the very least, Margaret. It is effectively just a very expensive building plot, but I would say other than the occasional train (and sometimes you get The Flying Scotsman and the like), it is a glorious location. If you could secure access and build something with not only services of some form, it could be a great location for a holiday home.