From Skinningrove Hall to Moonfleet
(via Timm’s Coffee House)
One of Skinningrove’s oldest buildings is a three-storey property that backs onto The Square. Built in 1704 as Skinningrove Hall, it’s been a public house for many years with the (unique?) name of Timm’s Coffee House. It acquired that name after Mr A L Maynard, an owner of the Hall during the 19th century, had visited London where coffee houses were popular at the time. Mr Maynard was to have a key role in the development of mining in the local valley as he discovered an outcrop of ironstone on his land in 1848.
The fortunes of Timm’s Coffee House tended to vary according to the prosperity of the local area: at one time it featured a quoits pitch and garden but during the 1980s it was closed and fell into disrepair. Part of the building has Grade II listed status and it’s retained a landmark position, being clearly visible in good weather from the railway embankment over Kilton Beck and the shale hill above the former Liverton Mine.
The property was sold in 2014 and the new owner has transformed the exterior, changed its name to Moonfleet and started to adapt it into a guest house and bar. The new name was chosen after careful consideration of Skinningrove’s location, evoking romantic thoughts of smuggling and ghostly sights in this hidden coastal valley. The name is inspired by the novel Moonfleet by J Meade Falkner, first published in 1898. Set in a small village on the south coast of England, Moonfleet is a tale of smuggling, drinking and adventure; it led to a film version in 1955 as well as various television and radio adaptations. The new owner has captured the essence of the story on exterior walls of the building with illustrations and the first lines of A Smuggler’s Song by Rudyard Kipling:
If you awake at midnight, and hear a horse’s feet,
Don’t go drawing back the blind, or looking in the street,
Them that ask no questions isn’t told a lie,
Watch the wall my darling while the Gentlemen go by!
Since the floods in 2000, there’s been steady regeneration in Skinningrove and this new venture adds to the revival of a very resilient village. For more information about Moonfleet, visit the website www.moonfleetguesthouse.co.uk email firstname.lastname@example.org phone 07572 743951 or 01287 640850.