The cottage is so-named because it was the ‘old home’ of Mary Ann Yabsley. When her father, William, retired, he was reluctantly forced to move out of the cottage as it was tied to the Beechwood estate, where he had been the gardener. Mary Ann vowed that she would come back and buy her ‘old home’ from Lord Seaton, which she eventually managed to do in 1922.
It is likely that the original two cottages, which can be seen from the two doorways in the photograph, housed workers at Beechwood House, which was first built in 1785. The two were knocked into one in the mid-twentieth century, when the cottage served as the local post office (the safe is still in The Tulip Room). The ‘outbuilding and wash house’ were converted into the present kitchen a few years ago. In late 2012, we fitted out the utility room as our bakery, complete with woodfired oven.