Why you might want to move to Kirkby Overblow for the views, or the holy water

Perched on a ridge of high ground above the Wharfe Valley, the original reason for Kirkby Overblow’s existence is lost to history.

Wednesday, 24th November 2021, 3:50 pm
Tremayne, Kirkby Overblow - guide price £1.695m with Carter Jonas, 01423 523423. PHOTO: Tim Hardy Photography.

The first part of the village’s name is very common in our area, and comes from the Old Norse (Viking! ) words kirk and by, meaning church and place.

A couple of hundred years later, the village was given the second half of its name. Overblow comes from Oreblowere – metalworkers (“ore blowers”) who took advantage of the winds that were channelled by the valley and fanned their furnaces.

But the reason people first settled here may have had more to do with water than wind or fire. In a recess a few yards back from Swindon Lane can be found Saint Helen’s Well, just at the edge of the churchyard. In pre-Christian times, wells were often regarded as holy sites – the (Celtic) Britons were famous for their reverence for springs – and these sacred places were often appropriated by early church-builders looking to take advantage of their established sanctity.

Wharfedale View, Kirkby Overblow - £375,000 with Martin & Co, 01423 565556.

As a result, many ancient wells can still be found in or near churches built on ground that was hallowed long before they were built, and the Grade II listed All Saints’ at Kirkby Overblow is quite possibly one of these.

Whatever the village’s true history, it offers plenty of attractions to would-be residents today. It’s an easy drive to Harrogate, Wetherby and Leeds, still has a primary school (rated Good at its last Ofsted inspection in 2017) and pub (the Shoulder of Mutton), and even a ladieswear shop, Best Kept Secret Clothing. Oh, and the views across the valley are gorgeous.

Whatever your reason for wanting to settle here – the school, the pub or the holy water – one of the following three properties, which are the only ones currently for sale there, may be the one for you.

Tremayne is a fantastic six-bedroom detached house with four bathrooms, living kitchen, utility room, boot room, two reception rooms, top-floor study area and games room, and, on the lower ground floor, a garage and a self-contained guest bedroom with en suite shower room.

Inglefield, Barrowby Wood, Kirkby Lane, Kirkby Overblow - offers over £975,000 with Feather Smailes Scales, 01423 501211.

Outside, there is additional parking, landscaped gardens, two summerhouses, an orchard, pond, and magnificent views from the terrace.

Inglefield is a stunning four-bedroom Edwardian property which forms part of a gated development. It has three bathrooms, one of them en suite to the master bedroom, which also has a good-sized balcony with jaw-dropping views across the valley.

There’s also a kitchen, utility room, study and two reception rooms, the larger of which open out onto the terrace.

The semi-detached house is set in about two acres of grounds, most of which are woodland, which is transformed by bluebells in the spring.

Finally, Wharfedale View is a beamy, stone-built cottage with two bedrooms, a shower room, an open-plan kitchen, lounge and dining room, and a utility room. Outside, there’s off-street parking for two cars and a front garden patio with far-reaching views.