TIS the Memories at Christmas, so it should have at least a slightly seasonal feel. Therefore, we lay Christmas House before you…

Christmas House is in Newbiggin in Richmond. It has a plaque on it saying that on June 14, 1774, John Wesley preached on steps near it on his second visit to the town, although Christmas House itself was probably built two or three decades after the visit for Dr James Burchall.

It was built as one impressive house, and its Grade II listing notes that it “has a good painted stone doorcase with "Tower of the Winds" type columns”.

The Tower of the Winds is the world’s first municipal timepiece, built in Athens a century or so before the birth of Christ. It has a windvane on its roof and eight sundials on its octagonal sides while inside was a hydraulic clock that was powered by water draining from the nearby Acropolis. And, yes, its main door and windows to this day have some pretty impressive columns down their sides.

The listed buildings schedule, though, refers to the property by its house number, 11-13 Newbiggin, rather than by its name. In fact, there are very few mentions of “Christmas House” anywhere – even online, if you google “Christmas House, Richmond”, all you get are pictures of a house that is so renowned for its over-the-top decorations that it is known as Christmas House, and it is in Richmond, Virginia, rather than Richmond, North Yorkshire.

In fact, the only reference to the Newbiggin property being called Christmas House is the neat plaque on the building itself beside the Tower of the Winds doorcase.

So Christmas House is a Christmas mystery – unless you can explain. Please email chris.lloyd@nne.co.uk if you can.