Coach House

The Old Coach House

The Coach House in Cumbria, where the cats originally from Moon Cottage are now resident, was built in 1850* and in those days consisted of stables for the horses and a building to house the coaches with a bedroom above for the groom or grooms to sleep in.

The Coach House existed to service whoever might be the current incumbent to the nearby Church of St. John's, who would himself be living in the adjacent Vicarage, a typically substantial Victorian mansion standing amidst a wooded garden full of flowering shrubs, plants and tall trees on top of a hill at the very northern end of the village, overlooking the Barbon fells and the peaks of Yorkshire including Whernside and Ingleborough.

The most illustrious incumbent who lived in the Vicarage was the Revd. Theodore Bayley Hardy V.C.,D.S.O.,M.C. the most decorated non-combatant of the First World War, a fabulously brave but painfully modest man whose memory continues to be honoured by people from far and wide, who visit the church and the old vicarage in the manner of a pilgrimage.

View from Coach House over IngleboroughIn the third book, The Cats on Hutton Roof (with apologies to the great Tennessee Williams and his Cat on a Hot Tin Roof) sees Fannie, Titus and Pushkin leaving Moon Cottage with their human companions and taking up residence in their new home, The Coach House. For legal reasons the move has to be made initially without any furniture and although the two legged residents are delighted with their breathtaking views from their conservatory windows, the cats without benefit and comfort of furniture see the move in altogether a different way and so anxiety rules.

Hutton RoofThe village of Hutton Roof which is just in Cumbria but very close to the Lancashire border, nestles down under a massive limestone pavement, called Hutton Roof Crags and the great Lake District specialist A. Wainwright says in his book Westmorland Heritage:

"All roads to Hutton Roof lead uphill and the village is well named, lying along an elevated slope with far-reaching panoramas across the valley of the Lune?the summit provides an outstanding distant prospect of range after range of mountain and fell to every point of the compass: a superb viewpoint".

*The Vicarage, the Coach House, the Barn lower down the hill - now the Post Office - and all other outbuildings and walls were built under the jurisdiction of the original incumbent the Rev Richard Hodgson in 1850 for the princely sum of £900 in total and sold in 1972 for the rather different figure of £14,000.