IT IS one of the most famous and recognisable houses in the world. Number 28, Huddersfield Road at Holmfirth is better known as Nora Batty’s cottage and featured in long-running sitcom Last of the Summer Wine.

Today enjoying a new lease of life as a holiday home, the 1850s-built terraced house is still a working film set and people flock from all over the world to make the claim they have called it home for a few days at least.

The cottage’s proud owners are Waterloo-born businessman Neil Worthington and his wife Nicola, who spent months trawling furniture auctions and car boot sales to recreate the home as seen on screen of notorious battleaxe Nora – played by the late Kathy Staff.

The couple, both huge fans of the series, bought the property in 2004 and soon saw a business opportunity.

The house has been used for filming on and off for 30 years, mainly for exterior shots while most indoor scenes were shot in a London studio.

The row of cottages were spotted by former BBC comedy advisor Barry Took, the man who was partly responsible for choosing the location for the Last of the Summer Wine’s exterior shots.

Barry thought that the houses, together with the picturesque village would form the perfect backdrop for the characters’ comedy antics.

Neil explains: “We came to Holmfirth when I moved my business, Worthington Brown Design, there in 1992.

“I owned the house which was next door and as I expanded the business I bought another on the row. I looked at knocking through number 28 and using it as a studio.

“Then I thought about just renting it out but spotted a unique opportunity. There was nowhere else in the country where people could stay on a live film set.

“You can’t stay in the Rovers Return or the Queen Vic so we wanted to give fans the chance to really become part of the whole Last of the Summer Wine experience.”

Keen to ensure guests could get as authentic an experience as possible, the couple spent months meticulously planning their project to transform the former rented property into a home fit to house Nora’s wrinkled stockings.

This involved hours in search of the right furnishings to bedeck their star home and their attention to detail is superb.

“We wanted the house to look authentic so choosing the right furnishings was vital,” said Neil.

“When a lot of people first come through the door they look at all the old furnishings and 1940s and 50s décor and say it’s just like stepping into their grandma’s house with years worth of collected things.

“We were going for that cosy, well-worn feel – just like how Nora would have left it!”

As much of the filming of the inside of the house over the years had been done in front of a studio audience, Neil and Nicola had to do their research to ensure the rooms best captured the film sets.

“We looked at a lot of photos and the show’s researchers at the BBC were fantastic at providing us with information as well as many props from the show to help us create a real look.

“When we were originally thinking of doing up the house as a let the inside was going to be very modern, so it was quite funny that we ended up putting in old fashioned fireplaces and heating.

“At car boot sales we were buying up the things people didn’t want at the end of the day.

“We once did a bonfire with Mirfield Round Table and someone turned up with this lovely walnut cabinet to chuck on – I saved it and took it to Nora’s!

“Our garage was full of junk for ages but we had great fun putting the rooms together.

“Things you don’t really get anymore, like thimble racks, were very difficult to find but we managed it.

“And over the years we’ve kept adding to the house and sometimes guests will leave things – one said there was nothing for shining shoes so went and bought us an antique shoe shining box.

The cottage is a real shrine to the show, filled with hundreds of photographs of cast and crew from over the years, and dozens of scripts and original props.

Neil says: “We’ve got the original famous sweeping brush in the kitchen and Nora’s pinnies – there’s even a life-sized cut out of her which can give people a fright if they wander in there in the middle of the night!

“We’ve got a life-sized Compo in the bathroom and a cap worn by Peter Sallis in the series hanging on one of the coat hooks.

“We’ve also used pictures to help theme the rooms; in the bathroom there’s a picture of Compo and his friends in baths going down hillsides and in the living room there’s one of Thora Hird having a cup of tea and putting the world to rights.”

The self-catering holiday home was officially opened in 2006 by Kathy Staff.

The cottage was under the spotlight again in August last year, when the 31st series of the world’s longest running sitcom was filmed.

And people come from as far as New Zealand and Canada to visit the house,

which during the summer often sees over 100 tourists queuing up outside.

Neil says: “Fans want to have pictures on the steps and see the famous blue door which actually used to be changed for filming.

“We have had to put to gates to stop people taking cuttings from the trees and have had a few instances where people have thought the house was part of the museum and could just wander in.

“We are both really proud to own this one-of-a-kind property and feel we have got it just perfect to give fans of the show an experience they will never forget.

“When Kathy came she signed the visitors’ book: ‘look after my house’ – and we definitely are!”

For more information on Nora Batty’s house visit