The name ‘The Diving Duck’ was transferred from a derelict Bleach mill about 100yds downstream from the present house. The bleach mill was a place that locals used to take their homespun material for bleaching and cleaning using fuller’s earth. Apparently whilst collecting the cloth it was normal to have some liquid refreshments so a trade was built up and the mill became known as the Diving Duck, probably because of its proximity next to the river which frequently rose and flooded the valley.

The mill was bought by the Cleveland railway company to allow a railway to run through land adjacent. The mill was left to go into dereliction and the name was transferred to the present building. I am told that the Duck was originally built as the Station Hotel by the owners of the local brickworks to try and save their employees from disappearing over the hill to the nearest pub and usually not returning until the effects had worn off.

About 50 years ago Lord Guisborough, the owner at that time allowed the building, which was all but derelict, to be used by the local scout and cub packs. It is amazing how many people I have encountered who have slept in my house, usually in iron bunks in a long dormitory, which has now been converted into two bedrooms.

The Duckling started life as a pigsty but was allowed to run to dereliction with the roof collapsed and walls beginning deteriorate. We built it up again as a stable block and workshop which existed for about 12 years until my daughter flew the nest. A further transformation then took place with the building being brought up to full building regulation standard with insulation in the floor, roof and walls, under-floor heating and luxury wet room being constructed entirely by Chris and Jean. Our target was to maintain the character of the building with open beams and large trusses but to offer a touch of luxury with modern interventions and a toasty wood burner for those chilly winter evenings.

We have planned the cottage to be fully accessible for wheelchair bound guests but we do not claim full accessibility as we do not include all the rails and aids necessary for this status.