Skelton Manor, Skelton, near York
This charming grade two star listed house is full of important historical features, including oak panelling, spectacular friezes and carvings, which tell a fascinating story thanks to detective work by the property’s owners.
They have researched the history of their home, which dates from the mid-1500s and whose inhabitants included a merchant adventurer who became Lord Mayor of York.
The original timber framed house was encased in brick following the siege of York during the civil war when all new buildings had to be constructed of brick to reduce the risk of fire. It then lay largely untouched until a Victorian owner added a porch and a castellated west wing. The current owners have preserved the property while restoring and updating it to create a beautiful family home, which could be altered to create a separate cottage, if required.
Rhona and John McMeekin bought the house 40 years ago after they relocated from London to work in Yorkshire.
“We had been looking for something for six months when an estate agent suggested that John look at this house, which hadn’t made its reserve price at auction. It was in a state but he walked in, saw the big windows that bathed the rooms in sunlight and agreed to pay the asking price.
“I was in London at that point but, fortunately, I loved it as much as he did, though it needed a lot of work,” says Mrs McMeekin.
The couple have restored and sensitively updated the property to create a beautiful family home that could be altered to create a separate cottage.
The house has a hall, sitting room and dining room, drawing room with panelled walls, friezes and window seats and a kitchen with inglenook and Aga. Also on the ground floor is a sun room, a rear hall, larder, secondary staircase, rear courtyard, cellar, utility and cloakroom. In the cottage wing there is a study, garden room, family room and stairs to the first floor.
Upstairs, there is a library with a plaster frieze of mermaids, mermen and dolphins, six bedrooms and four bathrooms. Outside, there is parking, a garage with hayloft, fuel store and boiler room. There are walled gardens and a rented paddock.
The McMeekins are selling to downsize. “It’s been the most wonderful family home but it’s now time for us to move to something smaller,” says Mrs McMeekin. “We will be broken-hearted when we leave but we hope to stay in the area because we love the village.”
Skelton is four miles from York city centre. Contact: Jackson Stops and Staff, tel: 01904 625033, www.jackson-stops.co.uk