This former manse is now a fabulous holiday property on the Broughton Sanctuary estate near Skipton

Inheriting a country estate with 3,000 acres, a large historic house and a number of accompanying cottages and other buildings may sound like jolly good luck but it comes with onerous responsibilities. Chief is keeping it going and making it pay for itself because you don’t want to be the one who has to sell it off.History is littered with stories of the feckless, unfortunate or useless who have lost everything. Fortunately for the Broughton Hall Estate near Skipton, which has been in the same family since 1097, fate played a blinder when the inheritance fell to Roger Tempest, a successful entrepreneur.

Thanks to a series of initiatives, the property is flourishing. He continued work started by his late father, Henry, in converting redundant period buildings, including coach houses, barns and stables, into what is undoubtedly one of the most attractive business parks in the country.

Its profits were poured back into the Grade I listed Broughton Hall, a magnificent Palladian house with 15 bedrooms, that has been restored and sensitively updated so it too can earn its keep. It is available for hire for private house stays, corporate hospitality, retreats and special events.

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Meanwhile, architect Michael Hopkins was commissioned to design Utopia, a glass and timber events venue and estate cottages were turned into holiday lets.

The Manse in summerThe Manse in summer
The Manse in summer

In recent years, there has been a huge focus on wellbeing, something Roger Tempest and his partner, Paris Ackrill, are interested in and want to facilitate for others. So there has been a rename and the estate is now known as Broughton Sanctuary.

To this end, the couple created Avalon, a state-of-the-art wellbeing centre offering a pool, yoga, meditation and other spiritual, healing and life-enhancing practices.

They say: “We aspire to be an oasis of peace, joy and celebration, a sanctuary where everyone who comes can connect with their deepest self and be an incubator of creativity and passion to serve the world.”

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Existing holiday lets on the estate have been updated and others converted to serve those looking to stay and to make use of Avalon and/or simply enjoy being in nature in the estate’s meadows, ancient woodland and moorland.

The dining/meeting room with light above the table by Marcel Wanders and the carved stone artwork on the wall by Gary Breeze.The dining/meeting room with light above the table by Marcel Wanders and the carved stone artwork on the wall by Gary Breeze.
The dining/meeting room with light above the table by Marcel Wanders and the carved stone artwork on the wall by Gary Breeze.

The latest property to be modernised is The Manse, the former home of a Catholic priest. It has four bedrooms and four bathrooms and is in a prime position with great views overlooking a productive vegetable garden and a new food forest plantation for foraging, which is part of the estate’s commitment to nature recovery.

The interior redesign was a collaboration between Roger Tempest, Georgie Pridden, the Interiors Project Manager, and Kelly Hollick,the Nature Recovery Project Manager at Broughton.

The estate’s maintenance team also played a big part in renovating the building, which now has a large orangerie, perfect for workshops, entertaining or for simply relaxing in while drinking in the views over the walled kitchen garden and the countryside beyond.

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No expense has been spared on the house and its fit-out, though Roger is also keen on using what he has, including furniture and accessories from way back when that are kept in storage in case they “come in”.

The sitting room with a mix of mid century, antique and new furniture.The sitting room with a mix of mid century, antique and new furniture.
The sitting room with a mix of mid century, antique and new furniture.

This approach yielded some interesting and quirky finds that money cannot buy, including the antique church offering box, which sits on the landing, alongside a stand holding a supersize book of David Bailey portraits published by Taschen.

Georgie Pridden enjoyed delving into the estate’s hoard and scoured auctions. including Hartley’s in Ilkley, Wombells in York and Keighley Auction House.

In the dining room, the large oval table came from The English Polisher and is accompanied by Wishbone-style chairs, while the mid century sideboard was from an auction,

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“I love mid-century furniture, as does Roger, and it can work well with contemporary and antique pieces. We are also very keen on repurposing furniture and we use a local upholstery company, Woodcliffe in Earby,” says Georgie, who loves and collects textiles.

The new kitchen is contemporaryThe new kitchen is contemporary
The new kitchen is contemporary

These have been used to great effect in the bedrooms, where the bespoke headboards feature Pierre Frey fabrics plus others she has sourced. They add vibrancy, as does the multi-coloured stair runner from Off The Loom.

The walls are painted in eco-friendly colours from Edward Bulmer and Little Greene, including Bulmer’s pea green in the kitchen and boot room, while the bedrooms are in Rose Tinted White, Celadon, Fine White, and Little Greene’s Stone Pale Warm.

The original artwork too brings interest and colour, while the quote by Rumi, carved in stone above the fireplace in the dining room, which reads “Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, there is a field. I will meet you there”, was made by designer and sculptor Gary Breeze, the estate’s artist in residence.

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New buys include the sofa from Andrew Martin and many of the cushions were made by Georgie. The contemporary kitchen was an investment item, as is the lighting scheme, designed by Studio ZNA.

The upstairs bedrooms feature pendants from Copenhagen based Muutu and floor lamps from Foscarini.The sensational light over the dining table is Skygarden 1 designed by Marcel Wanders.

This mix of antiques, mid-century, contemporary elements and art all works wonderfully thanks to careful curation and the overall feel of the building is tranquil.

The bedrooms are all light and brightThe bedrooms are all light and bright
The bedrooms are all light and bright

Outside, the garden was designed by Richard Preston, garden and landscape designer, along with Broughton Sanctuary head gardener Richard Toothill and Jane Bradley from Brook & Earl, a floral design studio based on the estate.

Georgie says: “The Manse is full of character and it feels very relaxed and that is what matters.”


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