Raymond Twiddle’s life story is a remarkable one. He grew up in the Wolds village of Kilham and passed away in March last year, a legend and one of Yorkshire’s most successful entrepreneurs with an OBE for his efforts.
At the age of 12, he began selling vegetables from a wheelbarrow and keeping hens before buying 11 turkey eggs from which he hatched seven poults, rearing them for Christmas.
He’d found his metier and in 1956, he launched the hugely successful business, Twydale Turkeys.
He and his friend and rival Bernard Matthews went on to transform what was predominantly a Christmas market into year-round sales. Fortunes were made and Mr Twiddle was also awarded an OBE.
His present to himself was Knapton Hall, a beautiful country house with land and outbuildings near Malton, which is now for sale for offers over £2m
His son David says: “He bought it in 1971 when he was 37 and at that time it had 1,000 acres. Part of its appeal was that he always wanted to be a farmer and he bred prize-winning flocks of pedigree Suffolk and Texel sheep there, which gave him great pleasure.”
David adds: “He was absolutely passionate about the place. It meant everything to him and typical of my father, everything had to be done properly so we didn’t move in for two years until it had been renovated. He did a top notch job and he only bought the best.”
Mr Twiddle, also one of the leading figures in the Yorkshire Agricultural Society having led the transformation of its events venue into a multi-million pound business, enjoyed entertaining at Knapton Hall and those who visited left in no doubt of his passion for the birds he built his success on.
There was an enormous fibreglass turkey on the lawn and inside were 172 pieces of turkey memorabilia from paintings and cheese boards to salt and pepper pots. His love of sheep was also evident.
“I have wonderful memories of growing up at Knapton Hall and the whole family adores it. It’s such a warm, welcoming place but it’s time to let it go to another family,” says David.
The idyllic property sits in parkland with far-reaching views to the Yorkshire Wolds and has an extensive range of traditional buildings. There is also an historic church, acquired by Raymond Twiddle as a Cultural Monument, which can be used for private functions.
The house has more than 7,800 sq ft of space including an attached annexe. There is also a cottage, summer house, lake and walled garden. The property is set in 99.27 acres and is available as a whole or in lots.
Contact: Blenkin and Co., tel: 01904 671672, www.blenkinandco.com or www.knightfrank.co.uk