PROUD owners of an 18th century farmhouse perched between two motorway lanes have flung open their gates to reveal a sneaky peek inside their world-famous abode.
Quirky Stott Hall Farm – set in the west Yorkshire countryside – shot to fame when its previous owner Ken Wild refused to move to make way for the M62.
The stubborn farmer, who died in 2004, had refused to sell his land that his father had bought in 1934 when plans for the motorway on the moors were approved.
The pair were part of mass protests from farmers over the motorway, which would cut through miles of rural land.
But their farm was saved because the land beneath the 15 acres which now lies between the carriageways was too steep – making it impossible to build all six lanes on.
Even today, for the thousands of drivers who thunder past the property, the farm provokes a sense of curiosity and intrigue.
But when new owner Jill Falkingham first stepped through the door of her new home, her heart sank.
The carpets in the front room of the farm house were mouldy, the walls damp and every room looked “seriously dated” – hardly the Little House on the Prairie which it is sometimes called.
Fast forward and the famous farmhouse has been transformed into a family home for Jill, husband Paul Thorp and their son John-William, four.
There’s still work to be done but the house, which dates back to 1737, is now warm and cosy with a roaring wood burner and a proper farmhouse kitchen.
According to Jill living next to one of Britain’s busiest motorways isn’t much different to living near to any other road.
She told the Manchester Evening News: “We have treble glazing and it’s no different to living anywhere that has a road.”
However, the rumbling from passing traffic can be annoying.
“The noise does affect me as I am quite noise sensitive. Paul is fine with it but it does grate on me.
“It’s the sort of thing that if you are having a bad day the noise is the last straw. But it’s not going away.”
The couple were happy to reveal the highs and lows of living on an upland farm at more than 1,000ft above sea level – and only around 40ft from the westbound carriageway of the M62.
Although they both have farming backgrounds in Holmfirth, life at Stott Hall Farm has taken some getting used to.
Paul said: “It’s got its own climate up here,” said Paul, who has worked at the farm since 1992 and lived there since 2008.
Jill, who moved into the farm in 2009, is loving life there despite the challenges.
“Working on an upland hill farm is incredibly hard work. The grass doesn’t grow because we are so high up and it’s so cold. Really, the motorway is the least of our challenges.”
She recalls the early days living at Stott Hall Farm as very testing and difficult.
“When I first came the house was horrendous. It was dated and there was no bathroom upstairs. We had to rip all the flags up as everything was damp. All the carpets were mouldy and I was thinking ‘I can’t have a baby and live in this.’
“Paul had been living here on his own for a number of years. He was living in two rooms, living like a bachelor.
“I remember how cold the house was and there being a hole in one of the walls where you could see outside. A huge amount of work has been done and we are slowly getting there.
The driver climbed out through the windscreen. He wasn’t hurt at all.
“A lot of people say it’s bleak and like Wuthering Heights but I don’t see it like that. I think it’s beautiful.”
Its previous owners, Ken and Beth, told in a film made about the house how dust was a real problem, the Mirror reported.
And Beth added how they had sadly witnessed fatal crashes.
On one occasion a lorry overturned on their property.
"The driver climbed out through the windscreen. He wasn’t hurt at all," she recalled.
And this mum completely transformed a shabby Wendy house she got second hand with some old paint and charity shop bargains.
Meanwhile this dad-of-three made an incredible playhouse for his kids which includes a garage and private lawn – and it cost just £150.
Plus this bloke transformed his tired bedroom into trendy boutique hotel style room with bargains from Amazon and eBay.
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