There must have been a time when Boston Spa felt a little irritated at the growth of Harrogate. Its spa heritage dates from 1744 and the town – then known as Thorp Spa – thrived for some time before being completely eclipsed by its neighbour to the north-west, which outgrew and outcompeted it during the Victorian age.
But today, Harrogate’s success can also be seen as Boston’s good fortune, because it has remained modest in size and retains its finest original buildings. These are beautiful examples of Georgian style, all built in local magnesian limestone, and they arguably equal anything Harrogate’s gritstone has to offer.
Despite its “also-ran” status in the spa stakes, Boston is still very much a thriving town. Just one mile from the A1(M), two miles from Wetherby and 10 from Leeds, it still has the population of a village (4-5,000) but almost all the conveniences you might want from a town.
Its High Street, which forms part of the A659 from Harewood to Tadcaster, shadows the River Wharfe to the north for much of its length.
It’s book-ended by residential properties, and home to many of Boston’s amenities, including shops, cafés, pubs and restaurants. The three primary schools and one secondary academy are all rated good or outstanding.
As far as village life goes, there’s too much going on to list everything, but of particular note are the renowned Jazz in the Spa on Saturday evenings, and the two-day annual Boston Spa Beer Festival.
If you like the sound of all this, you may be interested in one of the following three High Street properties, which are all currently on the market.
Boston Hall is one of the most exceptional properties in the area, and comes with history attached; built in the early years of the 18th century, it was renovated in 2013 by its current owner, and vendor, Sir Geoffrey Boycott, the former Yorkshire and England cricket captain.
The main house has five large bedrooms, a living kitchen, pantry, utility room, study, morning room, study, two reception rooms and cellars.
But that’s just the start – there also a three-bedroom staff flat, two-bedroom adjoining cottage, and large, two-bedroom west wing with acres of attic storage space.
Outside, there are well-kept gardens, a large shed and even an artificial putting green, as well as two driveways with plenty of off-street parking, and planning permission – now lapsed – for a garage to the rear.
Penraven was built in 1793 and is Grade II listed. It has five bedrooms, three bathrooms, breakfast kitchen, three reception rooms and three more usable rooms in the converted basement. Outside, there is a paved back garden and detached coach house with two floors of storage space, as well as an attached store.
Finally, The Chestnuts is an imposing double-fronted Victorian house that still has many of its period features, including sash windows, fireplaces, tiled hallway and even an old pump in the garden. It has six bedrooms, two bathrooms, breakfast kitchen, utility room, study and three reception rooms. Outside, there’s a south-facing garden with patio and off-street parking and Grade II listed stone boundary wall.