Country estate with 'the best house in the world'

Elleron Lodge estate, Newton-on-RawcliffePrice: £3.5m

Elleron Lodge, near Pickering, part of a small country estate.
Elleron Lodge, near Pickering, part of a small country estate.

A keen countryman, Charles Chafer set his heart on Elleron Lodge. So when the idyllic rural estate came up for sale in 1974, he bought it, even though he faced a 150 mile round trip to and from his agricultural business in Doncaster.

Coming home to the former Victorian shooting lodge set in 228 acres of parkland on the edge of the North York Moors made it all worthwhile.

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The late Mr Chafer’s daughter, Sally Ewart, says: “My father always said that if it ever came up for sale he would buy it and he did. It is a wonderful place with the most incredible setting and it has its own microclimate, which makes it a gardener’s’ paradise.”

Elleron Lodge

It was also heaven for grandchildren and great-grandchildren, who enjoyed a “Swallows and Amazons” style existence when they visited. “Elleron was very dear to all of us but especially the children. They would climb trees and boat on the lake. When my sisters and I were getting the house ready for sale we found Post-it notes from them for the next owner, saying ‘Elleron is the best house in the world,’ ” says Mrs Ewart.

The estate is just over five miles from Pickering, and the main house is approached through ornate gates with the private driveway leading past the lake and through a secluded dale. Beyond Elleron Lodge, there are two further estate properties, Cawthorne Cottage, which has two bedrooms, and the four-bedroom Thornsby House, both occupying south-facing positions

The lodge, which has seven bedrooms and its own ballroom, is in need of updating but has over 7,000 sq.ft of space. The principal rooms face south and east over the garden towards the formal water garden and lake. There is also over 13,000 sq ft of ancillary accommodation, including stables, a swimming pool, two flats and garaging.

There is also an agricultural building with a shelter and stables. The land is farmed on a licence agreement with the owners claiming the subsidy under the Basic Payment Scheme and the sporting rights are also included in the sale. There are numerous high bird shoots close by and grouse shooting on the North York Moors.

Elleron Lodge

Sally Ewart says: “We really hope that it will sold to a family who loves it as much as we have.”

*Contact Savills, York, tel: 01904 617800, and Rounthwaite and Woodhead, tel: 01653 600747,