Every time we come home to Crabtree House and Barn, enjoy the far reaching views across the valleys and listen to the woodpeckers in spring, spy the deer in the fields taking a cheeky snack from the gardens, we know why we still live in the Blackburne Valley in Scammonden.
We moved here over 17 years ago when we purchased Crabtree House and Barn, then one huge residential property. We have spent those years improving the property, raising our son Henry and now welcoming lots of lovely guests to the barn next door to us.
Crabtreee Barn has a history stretching back to at least the 1500s where records show evidence of a public house being on the site known as Glen Hey. In 1855, the pub and barn were rebuilt and the Shoulder of Mutton re-opened in what is now Crabtree House. Next door, above the arch of the barn a plinth with “J&M C 1855’ is placed referring to John and Martha Crabtree the owners and landlords of the pub. The barn was almost certainly used for storing hay as well as housing animals and the large beam across the kitchen area is the origjnal ‘Queens Truss’ that was used in the building’s construction.
Now a comfortable and modern barn renovation, Crabtree Barn continues to offer the hospitality that has been its history for over 500 years. And all being well, will for many years to come…
TO THE PRESENT DAY
It must undoubtedly have been tough living in the Blackburne Valley in the 19th century and Matilda’s reputation as a formidable woman has run through the ages to this very day. In the 1970s a very old lady came to visit the area and recalled the house as an inn when she was a small girl in the 1880s. She recalled looking up the stairs at what to her was the oldest woman she had ever seen, who was sitting quietly in a rocking chair smoking her pipe! Matilda Crabtree certainly smoked a pipe and for years after her death locals in the bar would occasionally get a whiff of the brand of tobacco she used to smoke and admit that it was just Matilda coming back to check on them all. Matilda Crabtree was buried in the nearby Dean Head church in Scammonden.
A number of other inn keepers kept the Shoulder of Mutton, but when Thollin Wood Mill shut after a dispute over water rights then there was no real trade to keep the pub going. In the mid 1920s the inn was converted to housing. The barn was generally used for storage and keeping animals such as chickens for generations until the 1990s when the Mason family bought the property and renovated the barn, installing the first floor and using the area as a studio, constructed the atrium so that the first floor did not clash with the level of the arch and knocked through doorways into the house.
In 2002 Rachel and Wayne bought the property, converting it in 2013 into a holiday let with a kitchen diner and two bedrooms with en-suites, as it is today and blocking off again the house from the barn. We named the barn Crabtree Barn after the Crabtrees who ran the pub originally in Victorian times.