All Creatures Great and Small House, Askrigg, Leyburn, England

This bed and breakfast for sale in Leyburn is known as Skeldale House, because it served as the set location for the 1978-1990 BBC series All Creatures Great and Small

For comparison, below is the original Skeldale House, where James Herriot (the real life Alf Wight) had his veterinary practice and wrote his bestselling book series about life in the Yorkshire countryside.

Meanwhile, the exterior set chosen for the 2020 PBS re-make of the series looks a little like they blended the two:

Settle in and we'll take a good gander at all things Skeldale. 

The original BBC series chose the town of Askrigg to fill in for Herriot's fictional Darrowby because Askrigg had the appropriate vintage and bucolic feel of the Yorkshire Dales.

Then the producers spotted this house on Main Street:

At the time it was called Cringley House, and it became the "front" for the show. The characters would be seen coming and going, but they only really went inside for quick tea breaks and chats. After the success of the TV series, the current owners saw the value in re-naming it Skeldale. They loved the show and the bed and breakfast potential of this Victorian stone house and wanted to make it seem as if James, Siegfried, or Tristan might walk through the front door at any moment.

If it were mine, I'd borrow a page from Thomas Jayne's book and turn the sitting room into a dining room:

{Thomas Jayne, via}

That means that the current dining room...

...could become a flower-filled sitting room:

The kitchen is compact but pretty, and continues the soft color scheme of the rest of the house:

There are 6 bedrooms and 6 bathrooms:

Except for the nicely-appointed bathrooms with modern conveniences, the current interiors show nods to these other things Herriot:

{original series source, Herriot museum source}

{current series source}

Here are the dining room versions:

{original series source, Herriot museum source}

{current series source}

{original series source, Herriot museum source}

{current series source}

I'm eager for the second season of the new show to return in 2022. I like the stories and the costumes, but the thing that completely hooked me on it were the set designer's mood boards:

She was inspired by butter! A kindred spirit. The miniature set designer in me wants to re-create her rooms with a little Aga stove and apothecary shelves full of tiny potions*, but the organizer in me just sighs and hopes I'll get it out of my system before I make a big mess. Anyone else have that create/clean struggle? (That's why I like Photoshop. All my little scraps of fabric are virtual.)

In the meantime, at least we have the books and the real estate listings to let us imagine living in the world of James Herriot:

"I think the exact moment it dawned on me that Yorkshire was a magical place was when I pulled my car off the unfenced road leading from Leyburn over Bellerby Moor to Grinton. It was near the highest point, by a little stream, and I looked back over the swelling moorland to the great wooded valley of the River Swale where it curves on its approach to the town of Richmond." {source}

A deep-dive into the old series is here. A video tour of the new Skeldale set with the designer is here.
The Skeldale House bed and breakfast listing is here.

*Stay tuned for a visit to the nearby Apothecary House which is also for sale!

Popular Posts