Last weekend I was out in Coverdale investigating a number of potentially derelict properties I’d marked on my ‘Big Dales Map of Stuff’1, that looked optimistically forlorn from Google Maps’ all-seeing satellite eye, but that in reality turned out to be total dead ends — they were all very much lived-in and I imagine my intrusion would not have been appreciated. It was a lot of walking for very little payoff—West Close pictured above, the furthest place on my itinerary, was the only one worth logging, and even then I only managed this exterior after it felt like I was being watched.
Sure enough, someone had pulled over on the narrow road that overlooks the river next to this place and appeared to be talking on a mobile phone — possibly totally unrelated to what I was doing, but I elected to go no further all the same. Farmers in these parts are somewhat paranoid, and often rightly so as their isolated properties are routinely targeted by thieves looking to steal and sell off valuable farming equipment. My interests are somewhat more benign, but I’d rather keep a low profile all the same.
West Close has obviously had some recent work done on it judging by the condition of the stonework and the newly installed wooden shutters that, curiously, have all been furnished with Norfolk latches, even the upper windows which would require a ladder to reach! It screams ‘barn conversion’ to me so even without a look inside, I can take a pretty good guess at what I’d find.