He and Sheila came to the local farm here after being married in 1972. “At one time we had 400 acres,” David says.
Swapping joinery for agricultural husbandry was a good move – David became renowned for his dairy farming and on the wall of their home there is a large framed picture of him receiving an enormous trophy from Princess Anne.
“That was for highest yielding cow in the UK,” he says, with a trace of justifiable pride.
There is a similar sense of pride in achievement when it comes to the home he and Sheila have created – or there should be.
The style and space on show in this home is obvious from the moment we begin our tour in a quite brilliant, sweeping, open plan living/dining room running into an impressive kitchen area.
This is a wow factor spot by any standards, a delightful space, lit by bright sunshine flowing in through a range of French doors and floor to ceiling arched windows.
At our feet is a stretch of Indian stone flooring (like all of the floors in the house with underfloor heating), overhead there are characterful exposed beams – and beyond there is a superb view of the extensive gardens.
The kitchen area is a warm and welcoming spot, in this instance created by master craftsman Peter Thompson and featuring Pippy Oak wall and base units offset with granite work surfaces and separated from the dining and living areas by an impressive eight ft central island. There are plenty of integrated appliances including dishwasher, microwave and American fridge freezer and a central Range with oak mantel over.
The ground floor then rolls along past a utility room to a games room (or further living room) before arriving at a guest bedroom with its own en-suite shower room.
This pretty much self-contained ‘wing’ of the ground floor was created with elderly parents in mind – and David created the doorways with extra width to allow for wheelchair access.
Retracing our steps we move back through the living room, pause to admire an extensive dining room before stepping along to a useful study (which, unlike some ‘studies’ is actually a very decent size for a home office).
Next we step up an impressive hand made staircase (that man Peter Thompson again) to discover another truly stunning spot, in the shape of the master bedroom.
This is a jaw-droppingly inspiring room, with an exposed brick wall to your front, climbing up into a high apex, criss-crossed by original beams and trusses. There is a step up to a dressing room on one side and then a contemporary shower room to the other.
An exposed brick wall features in the Victorian style house bathroom, too, alongside a traditional free standing bath and a walk in shower cubicle.
This bathroom services two further double bedrooms, both with fine views over open countryside.
And there is a little bit of history to be found in one of these rooms where to one wall there are a series of children’s drawings featuring cows and sheep and aeroplanes and houses and, a clue to their antiquity, one of Charlie Chaplin.
David explained: “This used to be the grain store and we’ve traced the drawings here back to the war, when children would come up here and play and obviously did these drawings.”
The couple thought long and hard about covering up the drawings but decided to let them stay as a ‘conversation-starting’ piece of history.
“We could have covered them up but once they are gone, they are gone…”
It is perhaps that sense of retaining the past while accommodating the comforts of the present that has made this barn conversion so successful.
While all the beams are original and many of the floorboards made from reclaimed wood (in part from a hospital in Liverpool and elsewhere from other barns on the farm) and period pieces abound, there is a degree of modernity in the creature comforts to be had here, including that toe-warming underfloor heating.
Adding to the sense of space, the house is wrapped up with large gardens, too, with a double garage and parking space to one side and extensive lawned gardens fringed by ash trees to the other.
And there is the rub… David and Sheila raised their two children here but they have now grown and flown the nest. David says: “This was a brilliant place for our children and that’s what it is about, really, it’s a house that needs a family, it should have kids running around.”
Indeed it should. With its big open spaces inside and all that garden and country to ramble around outside it is a children’s dream home.
Not bad for adults, either, sitting in open countryside yet just a minute away from the A19, ten minutes from Clifton Moor and 15 minutes from York city centre, it represents the best of all worlds.
An escape to the country – in touch of town. No wonder it’s about to become a television star…
AT A GLANCE
Beastlings Byre, Shipton by Beningbrough
Reception rooms: 4
Bathrooms: 3 plus ground floor cloakroom.
Gardens: Extensive, private, lawned gardens in open countryside, double garage and extensive parking space.
Wow factor: Absolutely brilliant kitchen/living room with super views to the garden and countryside beyond.
Contact: Williamsons. Phone: 01904 234545 or 01347 822800