7 June 2002

Yorks unit was birthplace of Captain Cook

By Andrew Shirley

CAPTAIN James Cooks birthplace is included in a brace of sizeable units to hit the market in the north of England.

The intrepid explorer was born at Aireyholme Farm, part of the 762-acre Roseberry Estate, Great Ayton. Valued at £1.03m, the property, a mixture of tenanted and vacant possession land in the North Yorks Moors National Park, is up for grabs following the recent demise of Lady Fry of the prominent Quaker family.

Aireyholme is the principal tenanted lot and offers possibly the best value of the disposal. Including a Grade 2 listed farmhouse, two cottages and 282 acres of arable and grazing land, Richard Murray Wells of Smiths Gore is asking £290,000.

He says the deal should be attractive to the tenant or investors taking a long-term view. "It is a three-generation tenancy, but with vacant possession the house and buildings would easily be worth £0.5m. This area is very popular with commuters."

With the benefit of vacant possession another listed farmhouse is valued significantly higher at £350,000. A 149-acre block of permanent pasture could tempt a local farmer for £175,000 (£1170/acre), while 90 acres of arable soil is rated at £2000/acre.

For those prepared to take an extremely long-term punt, 116 acres of coniferous woodland leased to the Forestry Commission until 2161 at less than £15/annum is guided at £5000.

Joint agents Penrith Farmers & Kidds and &#42 & &#42 Bowe are handling the sale of the bigger of the two farms, a 1172-acre Cumbrian stock unit at Berrier, near Penrith. Eycott Farm was culled out during foot-and-mouth and has remained largely unstocked since then, according to PFK agent Oliver Bateman.

He says the owners have now taken the decision to concentrate on their other holding in the locality. Most of the land would be classified as rough grazing, although 105 acres are suitable for silage. A five-bedroomed period house and smaller bungalow make up the residential angle and there could be potential for conversion of some traditional buildings.

Mr Bateman, who has lotted the sale five ways, expects the farm to be split. "It is an awfully big lump to go as a whole. The house is in a superb position and the possibility of converting the buildings could appeal to non-farmers. An Environmentally Sensitive Area grant of £16,000/annum should bolster interest from local farmers in the land, he adds.

A firm guide has yet to be finalised but is likely to be in the region of £1.2-1.3m. &#42

Captain Cook may have wandered these hills above the Roseberry Estate.