Charming home with Alice in Wonderland link

When John and Susi Wimpress first set their eyes on Bishopton Grove in 1983, they knew it was the right place to bring up her family and run their business.

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Occupying a significant wing of a former Georgian home in Bishopton, Ripon the five-bedroom house needed a huge amount of renovation but they were up for the challenge.

The couple, who had two young children, spent six months turning it into a charming B&B with three letting rooms.

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“We bought it because it was cheap and it was big and we knew we wanted to do B&B,” says Susi. “But it was an absolute tip so we had to renovate it.”

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Shortly afterwards, the rest of the house was converted into four flats.

The unusual pink colour was controversial at first but painting the house’s exterior was the first thing Susi did. “We painted it pink the first time we came in. Last week we painted it pink again,” she says.

“I consider it to be a Georgian colour. I was told to take it off by the planning committee in Harrogate but I resisted and now they like it.”

The B&B closed at the end of 2019, following John’s death, but Susi has fond memories of almost 40 years of running the business.

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“I loved it. I’m that type of person who loves people and so was my husband,” she says.

The grade-two listed house dates from around 1800. During the early 19th century it operated as a school and it is understood that one of its pupils was the future Dean Henry Liddell of Oxford, father of Alice Liddell, Lewis Carroll’s ‘Alice in Wonderland’.

Bishopton Grove sits at the end of Bishopton Lane with a large lawn, a driveway and double detached garage. The country home has central heating but needs some internal modernisation.

It has a central reception hall leading to an inner hall with an original, delicate, staircase. The lounge, which has a bay window, contains an original fireplace.

Bishopton Grove, Ripon. Contact:

There is a formal dining room, a family kitchen and a utility room. Most of the five bedrooms have en suite bathrooms. There is also a house bathroom.

Bishopton Grove is only three miles from Fountains Abbey, a renowned World Heritage Site owned by the National Trust.

Susi says: “It’s my home and I’m absolutely gutted to be leaving it but it’s too big for me.”