Helperby is one of those near-perfect villages, combining beauty with community spirit, that have the knack of charming visitors into becoming residents.
But then, it does have the unfair advantage of being not one but two villages, being conjoined with the smaller, but older, Brafferton to the north, effectively making a single settlement.
Helperby/Brafferton lies fives miles north-east of Boroughbridge, about 12 miles from Ripon and 16 from Harrogate.
One of the most strikingly picturesque features of the village is the cobbled areas that line both sides of Helperby’s Main Street in place of pavements. They are said to have originated in the days when sheep would be driven here to market; temporary pens could be made by driving stakes between the cobbles.
Nowadays these forecourts are used for parking, although it’s believed they’re still owned by the church commissioners.
There are still two pubs – the Golden Lion and the Oak Tree Inn – as well as Hartley’s butcher’s shop and Helperby Stores & Deli, which is open seven days a week.
St Peter’s Church in Brafferton holds a shared Anglican and Methodist service every third Sunday and remains one of the hubs of village life, not least due to its links with the nearby St Peter’s CE (VA) Primary School, which was rated Good in all areas at its last Ofsted inspection.
The cricket club is well supported, the first XI playing in division one of the Nidderdale League.
This Saturday (June 22) will see the first Food Fair and Craft Market held in Helperby Village Hall, and Helperby Village Feast takes place on July 6, complete with children’s races, treasure hunt and stalls.
If all this sounds like your kind of village, one of the following three properties, which are all currently for sale, may be the one for you.
The Old Manor House is an early 18th century family home with plenty of period features in Brafferton. It has a spacious reception hall, three reception rooms, conservatory and cellar, and, at the heart of the home, a large farmhouse-style kitchen, plus laundry room, cloakroom, freezer room and pantry. At the top of a sweeping oak staircase are four bedrooms and family bathroom, and on the floor above are two more bedrooms, a bathroom and study.
Outside, there are gardens on all sides, plus a private courtyard with off-street parking and a two-storey brick outbuilding.
Right in the heart of the village, Court Leet is a renovated three bedroom end-terrace property with three good-sized bedrooms and family bathroom. Downstairs, there is a large farmhouse-style kitchen-diner, two reception rooms and study.
Outside, there is a large, walled back garden with lawns, paths, flowerbeds and pond, as well as a garage and outbuilding.
Finally, diagonally opposite Court Leet on the same street, Half Moon House is a sizeable family home on the end of the terrace. It has an entrance hall, dining kitchen, utility room, and two reception rooms, and upstairs there are five bedrooms and three bathrooms. To the front is a cobbled area and to the rear, a walled garden with a view of Helperby Hall.