4th February 2001
Leaders - Elizabeth Shorrock & Sue Taylor '; Meeting Place - Greenfoot Car Park, Settle
Snow and wind met the 12 people who had gathered at the meeting place for the first walk of the year. We decided due to the weather not to do the walk but instead to go by car to Mearbeck, a hamlet between Settle and Long Preston. Arriving at Mearbeck House, Mr and Mrs Taylor and the family received us with a warm welcome. Then a short history of Mearbeck was read, the information kindly provided by Anthony Bradley who used to live at Mearbeck Farm. Evidently the whole estate used to belong to the Preston family, then in the early 1900s Miss Alison Preston inherited the estate. She didn't marry and chose not to live at Mearbeck House, so the house fell into a state of decay.
Permission had been sought to look around the surrounding buildings so we went out finding the snowstorm had abated temporarily. First we passed through the yard of a working farm, we then saw two private houses, two empty houses and various empty farm buildings. Across from the farm we could see Mearbeck wood. Returning to Mearbeck house Mrs Taylor then showed us around, looking at cellars and attics and the various features. She explained that a lot of the original parts of the house had been lost due to the necessary renovation work. Refreshments were then generously provided by our hosts. On display for us to see were photos and information about the house. After a general discussion we reluctantly took our leave thanking our hosts for a most interesting and enjoyable day.