Michael and Cherie Larkin have taken on the exciting challenge of renovating this old poor house and schoolroom in East Ayton, North Yorkshire. Once the school for famous explorer Captain James Cook, who made such amazing discoveries as discovered Australia and Hawaii and circumnavigated New Zealand, The Poor House Cafe Bar officially opened earlier this month (February 2020).
The historic building was built in 1786 and is one of the oldest buildings in the village. It was originally used as a schoolroom on the second floor and the bottom floor was accommodation for the poor, where they would sleep on straw mattress beds in a communal bedroom and had to supply their own bedding, candles and clothing.
Old images of the poor house have been kept by Michael and Cherie and displayed on the wall of their 40-seater cafe-bar. The Poor House has been renovated for the last 18 months – and is open Wednesday to Sunday, with the new pizza oven available from Easter.
Speaking to the Yorkshire Post about the project Michael said that “It’s been a labour of love and bringing such an historic building back to life in a manner which everyone can share in is really rewarding”.
The cafe bar boasts an outdoor terrace which will be perfect for the summer, and retains many of its original features.
The Poor House serves up homemade dishes such as soups, tray bakes, sandwiches, coffees and beers, with the venue also available to hire for events.