The reason Keith and Denise Shaw fell in love with Upper Swain Royd Cottage was simple: “It felt like home from the minute we walked in. We also loved the setting, design of the interior, views and gardens,” says Denise.
The family lived a short distance away in the Sandy Lane area and wanted to move to a larger property in the same area.
That was 17 years ago, and over time they have managed to find out quite a lot about the history of this period cottage.
“The cottage sits in a small hamlet of six houses at the Top of Wilsden Road above Sandy Lane. The complex was originally a turkey farm in the 1960s.
“There used to be an Upper Swain Royd toll gate on the road next to the cottage and the original sign is in the Industrial Museum in Bradford. The cottage is Grade II-listed and dates back to the 1800s. At that time, the farmhouse at the rear used to be an old ale house.”
Renovated in about 1990, the cottage is a two-storey with a single-storey extension having a pitched beamed roof.
In fact Keith, who is a retired fireman, remembers attending a barn fire on the complex in the late 1960s.
“Because the cottage had already been renovated, nothing required to be done when we first moved in, but in later years we have changed a few things.”
Full of character and charm, with all-round views, the family have looked after this home lovingly. With two or three bedrooms – the master with an en-suite – the cottage has ample parking, double garage, and a large garden.
“We put in a Rangemaster electric and gas cooker in the farmhouse-style kitchen and had new wood sash-type double-glazing fitted, which goes beautifully with the stone mullions and original timber lintels.
“Guttering has been replaced and new wooden flooring installed in the lounge, together with a traditional log coal burning stove.”
Mullion windows and ceiling beams can leave many cottages feeling a little dark inside, but not so at Upper Swain Royd Cottage, where two roof lights keep the rooms light and airy.
Also on the ground floor is the well- equipped dining kitchen, with stable-style doors at the front which lead out to the garden, and the dining room, which overlooks the front of the house, and could easily be used as the third bedroom.
There is also a stylish bathroom on the ground floor, where a traditional roll-top bath was installed, together with a pedestal wash basin, low level WC and ceramic tiling to the walls and floor.
Upstairs a shower, WC and basin was installed in the en-suite, which was then fully tiled.
The exterior hasn’t been forgotten either. “The large drive, which leading to a double garage, has parking space for several vehicles and was re-gravelled. It also has a splendid Victorian lamp post.
“We have had some great parties in the cottage and in garden – especially the ones we used to have in June for Denise’s late mum’s birthday with family and friends. Also chilling out and relaxing in the garden,” says Keith.
“We both love the lounge to relax in with the log-burning stove going on a winter’s day, admiring the lovely open views across fields.
“The cottage has an easy-maintainable garden with lawn, surrounded by shrubs and dry stone walling with trellis fencing and it feels very private.
“The best thing about living at Upper Swain Royd Cottage has been its location, having good neighbours, and walking in the open fields with plenty of wildlife all around. We have also enjoyed watching all the different changes of weather throughout the seasons.
“If the cottage could be moved, we would take it with us to the East Coast for our new life in semi-retirement, as we will miss it because we have been so happy living here.”