The Courtyard Cheshire is set in a cobbled courtyard dating back to 1807. The farmhouse, Rake House, is a Georgian Grade II Listed property that was built for Elizabeth Lewis Haspell, the widowed wife of Richard Haspell who died in 1802, and daughter of one of the two large local farming families. The first outbuildings were built in 1826.

Elizabeth Haspell’s grandson, Thomas Lewis Haspell, is featured in an oil painting produced in the late 1850s, possibly to establish his right of inheritance as he was born out of wedlock. Thomas’s son, John, took over the farm until the house was sold to Frederick Thornley in or around 1872. Frederick’s wife, Hannah, was the granddaughter of Samuel Burgess, Elizabeth Haspell’s brother and so the house remained connected to the original family until the 1960s.

In the late 1870s the house was extended to form a “Cheshire front to back house”. This was typical of some farm properties in Cheshire in that they were extended as the families became wealthier and, in this case, what was the front entrance became the rear entrance as a newer, more grand Victorian frontage was built. By the early 1960s the property was divided into flats and during the 1970s the property became derelict following a fire.

In 1980, the house and farm was purchased by a local builder who separated the Victorian part of the house away from the Georgian part and converted the barns into separate properties. Roger and Jill Maher bought Rake House in 2003 and set about refurbishing it to restore its stylish charm.

In January 2006, Rake House appeared in Cheshire Life as part of the feature on the village of Helsby. A watercolour of the house was painted by local Cheshire artist, Gordon Wilkinson. As a result of this feature a copy of the magazine was sent by somebody from Chester out to their cousin, Patsy Armour, in New Zealand who contacted Roger and Jill. Patsy is the great, great, great, great, granddaughter of Elizabeth Haspell and both she and her mother, Eleanor, who used to stay at Rake House during the 1930s have provided Roger and Jill with this history.

In June 2007, Roger and Jill set about refurbishing the cottages and launched the business to enable other people to come and stay and enjoy the experience of spending time in these beautiful properties making it the perfect holiday accommodation or place to stay for business whilst in Cheshire.

After taking some time out from the business in early 2017 they set about refurbishing The Carriage Barn later that year and relaunched offering luxury room only accommodation.

The Courtyard Cheshire

Location map

The Courtyard Cheshire
Rake House
Lower Rake Lane
Helsby, Frodsham
Cheshire. UK - WA6 0AL
Tel: +44 (0) 1928 723222