Running Tyas Cottage


Most of the furniture was recently inherited. It had to be shipped over from South Africa. As we didn’t need it in our own house, but we wanted to keep it, we’ve used it to furnish Tyas Cottage. There are two 18th Century Cape Dutch chairs with “riempie” (hide) seats and the 20th C yellow wood armoire that is also in the Cape Dutch style.  The mahogany bed is actually English, Georgian period but in Elizabethan style and the circular table in the kitchen is made from mulberry wood. There is doubt about the oak refectory table (in the hall).  The South African antique valuer thought it was 17th C.  It is all of great sentimental value to us, some of it having been in my family for several generations, so please treat it with the greatest care, particularly the two sofas. They are both very old and will not withstand rough treatment.  If you need to move any of it, please ask us first.  Also, please never directly place cups on any of the furniture, but use the coasters that have been provided.  There is additional garden furniture (chairs, umbrella and barbecue) stored in the little room under the terrace behind the house.


We ask you to confine pets to the ground floor, excluding the bedroom. A gate can be fitted to the bottom of the stairs. Also, please place the water dish on a door mat or some other form of protection, as puddles will permanently stain the floor. There is a towel for dogs in the linen press in the hall. When outdoors, remember that this is a sheep farming area and there have been cases where local farmers have shot dogs that they thought were stray, so you’ll need to take care. Please try to keep them from relieving themselves on the lawn as this causes scorching which is a real pain to patch.


  • If you stain something, PLEASE don’t wash it (this will just “fix” the stain).  If possible soak the item in cold water and leave a note to say what substance has caused it, or, best of all, contact me to take it away and deal with it before it dries.
  • Please don’t move any furniture and in particular, the kitchen and living room tables. Ask us if you need furniture to be moved.
  • Please – NO stiletto heels upstairs! The timber floor there is very soft.
  • If the wood stove (upstairs) is allowed to get too hot it could warp or crack, so please take care never to leave it unattended when the air intakes are open. Also, always use the fireguard when the door is open and please don’t burn paper on it.
  • There is a step for reaching top shelves. It is stored in the cupboard on which the tea tray is placed.
  • An electric slow cooker is stored in the oven of the Rayburn cooker.
  • Should anyone find the noise from the central heating boiler intrusive, in the right hand drawer of the table underneath the wood carving there is the key to the door between it and the master bedroom. Inside this cupboard you can switch off the heating. Remember to switch it on again in the morning. Because the underfloor heating is slow response, the temperature of the barn should be comfortably high throughout the night.
  • A barbecue is under the balcony outside the living room, and we keep a supply of charcoal, kindling, firelighters logs and midge deterrent candles, should you wish to buy them from us.
  • You will also find additional outdoor chairs under the balcony.
  • The video player and games are in the bottom left cupboard of the large ‘armoire’ in the living room.
  • There are some outdoor games in the cupboard in the downstairs bedroom.
  • As I usually put home-grown as opposed to bought flowers in the living room they often don’t last the full week. Should this be the case, please put them outside the kitchen door, and I will replace them.
  • Cleaning products are in the top cupboard behind the door into the hall
  • As we don’t have gas down here, the large hot water cylinder can be emptied if 3-4 large baths are taken one after the other.   There is also an emersion heater switch inside the green bathroom cupboard, should you need hot water in a hurry.
  • Also, please, please don’t use glitter – neither in the house nor outside (it takes forever to remove).


The wireless network to which you can connect is called NETGEAR-5G-EXT and is unsecured.


Please place filled bags outside our back (kitchen) door. There is a small bin under the sink for biodegradable rubbish. If you leave this on the bench outside the kitchen door, I’ll put it into my compost bin.  There is also a green plastic bag in the cupboard behind the kitchen door into the hall.  Please can you put the following items into it:

Newspapers;  Plastic bottles; Drinks cans; Magazines; Food tins; Cardboard.

There is a container for glass underneath the balcony over the barbecue area (ie outside the downstairs bathroom window).

Everything else goes into the black bin liner in the plastic swing top bin.


Please comply with the notices on the toilets and use the bins that are provided in all three bathrooms. The consequences for us, should people disregard them just don’t bear thinking about! Private refuse can be thrown into the Rayburn for incineration if so desired (and if the Rayburn is lit). Hygienic wipes are strictly TABOO. They never biodegrade!


Our delicious water has been enjoyed for generations by people living here; it is now treated with ultra-violet light, just to be on the safe side. It was actually sold from Tyas House in Victorian times by Merrydale Dick for medicinal purposes! “Merrydale Dick” was locally famous for winning a court case brought against him by the Royal College of Physicians because he styled himself Richard Horsfall MD. His defence was that the MD stood for Merrydale Dick. His grave can be found in Pole Moor cemetery, with just MD engraved on his headstone.


Please use the specially made metal gate (in the master bedroom cupboard) and the canvas “corset” to
prevent children from falling through the stair banisters, or down the stairs.  It can be used either at the top or the bottom of the stairs. The removable pintles are in a plastic bag on the floor on the bottom right of the cupboard. The ‘corset’ is in the top right drawer of the living room chest of drawers. The smaller canvas is to prevent particularly active children from climbing through the railings at the bottom of the stairs. Please let us know if you’d like us to erect them for you. Another danger is that apparently, if a cold tap is turned on while someone is in the shower, this causes the water to heat up and could therefore cause scalding. After complaints that the water wasn’t hot enough, we’ve turned it up but this means that scalding is possible so please take particular care when bathing children.

In case your child is at risk of bed wetting, there is a waterproof in the bottom drawer of the hall linen press. Should you wish to prevent animals or children going up the steps in the private patio, there is a board that slots into the metal channels at the bottom of the steps. This is kept in the little room under the terrace. The first aid kit, fire extinguisher, torches and fire blanket are in the cupboard opposite the kitchen door. The nearest hospital with a casualty department, Huddersfield Royal Infirmary, is 10 minutes away. Take the A640 to Huddersfield. About halfway down New Hey Rd (that links the M62 to Huddersfield) you will see signs directing you to your left. Should the weather turns icy, there are grips to fit onto your shoes in the kitchen cupboard behind the door into the hall for you to borrow.


If you would like the house cleaned during your stay, we can arrange this for you. If you are staying for more than one week, please ask for fresh bedding and towels, should you want them.


When you signed the booking form you agreed that you will pay for all breakages. Should you break or chip any of the following smaller items, please leave the cash on the marble next to the kitchen sink:

  • Mugs £8
  • Beer glasses £2.50
  • Large plates £12
  • Wine glasses £2
  • Small plates £8
  • Tumblers £2.50
  • Small bowls £8

For larger items, or ones not listed above, please let us know so we can decide how best to proceed.


The booking conditions state that “The Client agrees to be a considerate tenant, to take good care of the Property and to leave it in as clean a condition at the end of the rental period as it was found to be on arrival.” Given that it will have been spotless on your arrival, this is a bit unrealistic and we don’t ask you to do the
laundry, floors and windows or to unpack the dishwasher (but please do run it)!

If you would like to leave later than 10.00am on your departure day, please let us know. If we don’t have a consecutive booking and our cleaner can come later, you may not need to leave so early.

Please don’t strip the beds because this makes it more difficult to find stains for pre-treating. However it is helpful if you can make it obvious which towels and bedding have been used.


We are delighted when our guests share the pleasures of Merrydale and entertain from here, but we don’t allow more than 10 guests at any one time (ie 16 including your party). However, if guests stay the night and you have benefited from a small party reduction, we would expect you to refund this to us.


There are a huge number of easily reached tourist attractions (see leaflets on the top drawer of the linen press in the hall, our website, or ask us) and there are also beautiful walks in the locality.

A favourite short walk is up to Cupwith Reservoir, (see p 48 of the Colne Valley Circular Walk booklet).  Being in a hollow in the moors, it isn’t visible from any roads and sometimes has interesting bird life.  It is also occasionally used for wild swimming.

For the more serious walker, the Colne Valley Circular Walk actually passes through Merrydale. The Colne Valley Trust Office in Slaithwaite is worth a visit if you want leaflets about walks in the district, as well as up to date advice about what is on. It is open from 9-5. Mon – Friday and 9-12.30 on Saturdays.

For the luxury lover, Titanic Mill (first traffic lights after leaving Slaithwaite to drive to Huddersfield) offers an enormous range of massages, beauty treatments, saunas and therapies.  The Pennine Way is nearby and from Slaithwaite station (free parking) the main trans-Pennine line links Liverpool to Newcastle with Manchester, Leeds, and York on route.  Public transport services are good and frequent and most nearby towns and villages can be readily accessed.


The Handmade Bakery serves breakfasts on Thursday to Sunday mornings. It is on the Marsden end of the Canal in ‘Slawit’.  We have enjoyed The Riverhead in Marsden – not just for its real ale, but the food is very stylish, delicious and served in a pleasant setting.  The Rose and Crown pub and restaurant is a short (steep) walk from Tyas Cottage (through the woods) but offers much more standard fare. Pie night is on Wednesdays and for about £10 you get an enormous serving from a wide range of pies including a pint of delicious locally brewed beer.  I find that a child’s portion of pie is more than enough for me.

You may notice some most ornamental long-horned cattle that graze on the slopes of Merrydale.  Their relatives can be eaten at a tiny new restaurant in Slaithwaite that is called Rumpus. As a vegetarian, I can’t comment other than to say that several of my friends have raved about it. However on TripAdviser it is only rated No 3 out of 11 restaurants in Slaithwaite.

The Olive Branch, on the main road midway between Slaithwaite and Marsden is well thought of and has an AA Rosette award, but is expensive.  There are several delightful tea rooms in Slaithwaite and “Acorn and Pip” has a spacious play area for children and also sells toys and books.


Please don’t go into the field behind Tyas Cottage as it does not belong to us. Otherwise feel free and welcome to explore and relax in Tyas House garden at any time, as well as in the woods and down the Merrydale Clough valley.

More information can be found on the Local Area section

Finally, we hope that you will enjoy your visit and please don’t hesitate to ask should you require any help or information.