Low Fold has long been admired as one of the most beautiful and best preserved 17th century manor houses in Yorkshire.
But when Christopher and Hazel Wooler bought it in 1987, it was so dilapidated that most would-be buyers were terrified of taking it on.
“It was in a dreadful state and there was fungi on the walls. We heard one couple say: ‘nobody in their right mind would buy such a wreck’ but I could see the potential,” says Mr Wooler.
The property, which had been split into three dwellings on what was a working farm, had found its saviour. Mr Wooler was a craftsman builder with a love of history and he relished the challenge of restoring the grade II* listed building and and making it his family home.
He began by stripping back the property while salvaging whatever he could. It yielded architectural treasures, including original panelling hidden behind plasterboard walls and discarded panelling stored in an outbuilding.
He also reinstated what had been lost, including mullions, leaded windows and a fireplace with a pointed arch. Research at the local library helped him work out the original layout
“It was a labour of love,” he says.
He and Hazel have ensured that the decor and furnishings reflected the property’s roots and have sourced original 17th century and replica furniture. They also commissioned an artist to stencil some of the walls, which was fashionable in the Age of Enlightenment.
The house, which is thought to date from 1660, has an entrance hall, dining kitchen with pantry, a utility room and wine cellar, a dining hall with original beams, mullion windows, panelling and an Elizabethan fireplace, a sitting room and a drawing room. An oak staircase leads to the first floor, which has a large landing and linen cupboard. The master bedroom has a cathedral ceiling, feature fireplace and en-suite bathroom. There is also a guest bedroom and four additional bedrooms plus a house bathroom.
The property has an attached garage with wood store and an outbuilding that could possibly be converted to extra accommodation, subject to planning. A further outbuilding has a work room with a cloakroom to the rear and also holds potential for conversion. Outside, the property has a courtyard and gardens overlooking fields to the rear.
Mr and Mrs Wooler are selling to downsize and hope the house sells to someone who loves the historic features as much as they do.
For details contact Yorkshire’s Finest, tel: 01484 432773, www.yorkshiresfinest.org