18th century holiday home in the heart of Masham
Named for Theakstons’ first ever pub, Black Bull Cottage was originally home to the brewery’s hardworking drayhorses. Nowadays the accommodation is a little more luxurious with three comfortable bedrooms, a stylish bathroom with walk-in shower, newly renovated sitting room and a large well equipped kitchen.
Masham (pronounced Mass-em by the locals) is a bustling market town in lower Wensleydale, in the heart of North Yorkshire. Despite its small size the town boasts two breweries, four pubs, an award-winning restaurant and a gin distillery. Not to mention the friendly cafes and fantastic fish and chip shop! There has been a market in Masham since 1250, when the town was granted the first of its three charters. Originally a sheep fair, you can now buy fresh fruit and vegetables, fish, cheese, confectionary, homeware, books, records and crafts every Wednesday and Saturday in the Georgian town square, with a stall selling sheepskin rugs and slippers to maintain the woolly heritage. There is a monthly Farmers Market on the first Sunday of the month.
Masham is steeped in history and the town’s proximity to nearby Fountains Abbey and Jervaulx Abbey, with their large flocks made the market an important place to trade. Although now in ruins, both abbeys are wonderful to visit.
In medieval times the town was administered by the Diocese of York, although the Archbishop did not relish the 40 mile journey on country roads so established the Peculier Court of Masham which allowed the town to govern itself. This court heard offences including drunkenness, keeping a hat on during communion and ‘carrying a dead man’s skull out of the churchyard and laying it under the head of a person to charm them to sleep’. Thankfully these are activities are no longer prosecuted.
Following the dissolution of the monasteries, Henry VIII bestowed the Peculier Court to Trinity College Cambridge. The Court was composed of four and twenty men of Masham and sat in what is now College House on College Lane, one of the oldest parts of Masham. The Four and Twenty still play a vital role in the town through their charitable endeavours and regularly convene in the Theakstons visitor centre bar, The Black Bull in Paradise. Old Peculier and Four and Twenty are also excellent real ales, available across the country.
Whether you are looking for rest and relaxation, or an exhilarating action-packed holiday, Masham offers it all. For the energetic there are riverside paths, woodland trails and excellent hiking routes in the Yorkshire Dales National Park. The Tour de Yorkshire races through Masham each year, and there is plenty of rock climbing to be had in nearby gorges. For those looking for a slower pace a gentle walk around the square, taking in the art gallery, glass workshop and town hall via one of the local hostelries or sweet shops is a wonderful way to while away the hours. There is a luxury health spa and country club five minutes up the road at Swinton Park if pampering is on your to-do list. The town hall has an impressive calendar of live bands and film screenings to keep you entertained in the evening, or make the most of your home from home with the board games, smart TV, record player and books in the cottage.
Masham is a haven for foodies, offering fine dining at a Michelin rated restaurant, excellent pub grub at any of the local inns, a brewery bistro and cosy cafes. For visiting chefs the town is fortunate enough to have two butchers shops (including an award-winning sausage maker), a greengrocers, bakery, deli and vintners.
For families there are ice cream farms and adventure trials down the road and the thrills and spills of Lightwater Valley theme park a 20 minute drive away.
The cottage sleeps 5-7 people.
Bedroom 1: double room
Bedroom 2: twin (bunk beds)
Bedroom 3: large single room
Plus a double sofabed in the sitting room.