Tiny 350-year-old cottage in Cheshire keeps up with the times

When Lydia Coser, a former air hostess, bought her family home in Cranage in 2017, the grounds included Hawthorne Cottage, a tiny, dilapidated 350-year-old example of Cheshire’s architectural heritage.

Being grade II listed meant Lydia had to support it structurally, but when lockdown began a full restoration became “the perfect lockdown project”, she said.

Then, after her mother started telling local walkers that Hawthorne Cottage was available as a holiday rental, a whole new chapter in her life began, including an appearance on the silver screen.

Chester and District Standard: actor Patrick O'Donnell on the set of Guy Brown's new short horror filmActor Patrick O’Donnell on the set of Guy Brown’s new short horror film (Image: Lydia Koser)

Lydia said: “When we finished the restoration it was the height of lockdown and my mum was living alone in a flat in Lymm.

“We thought we could ask her to come and stay there until things get back to normal, just so she wouldn’t be alone.

“But our access road has a public footpath which was then very busy with people walking to and from Goostrie.

“While my mom was talking to literally everyone, passers-by kept asking her if we had rented it out, which we hadn’t really thought about.

“But she decided to tell them we did it, and that’s how it all started.

“We had guests from all over the world: French couples, Dutch couples and a lot of Americans.

“They say it reminds them of a cottage in Holiday with Jude Law and Cameron Diaz.

Chester and County Standard: The 17th century cottage is now popular with production companies as a filming location.The 17th century cottage is now popular with production companies as a filming location. (Image: Lydia Koser)

“It is so romantic. People see it online and want to feel how beautiful it is and all the history behind it.”

It’s no surprise that Hawthorn Cottage has attracted the attention of filmmakers this year.

Chester and District Standard: Film director Guy Brown (left) with actor Patrick O'Donnell and film crewDirector Guy Brown (left) with actor Patrick O’Donnell and crew. (Image: Lydia Koser)

“We had two production companies at our dacha,” said Lydia.

“Guy Brown is the writer and director of the film. A Warning to the Wiseshort independent horror film based on the novel by Nick Brown. Scandleby.

“It’s about an 18th-century cleric whose faith is tested when he threatens to unearth an ancient evil in his newly appointed parish.

“This place was just perfect for it.”

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