Hall once known to great and good goes up for sale

If the walls of Gryce Hall could talk their words would fill several hundred pages of Hello magazine.

The grand home near Huddersfield belonged to the late Lord Savile, who entertained the great and the good from sports personalities to top politicians and landed gentry.

Even royalty, including Princess Margaret, popped in when visiting Yorkshire certain of a warm welcome from George Halifax Lumley-Savile, the third Baron Savile of Rufford,

The quintessential English gentleman, he was one of Britain's best-loved aristocrats and the home, where he lived for over 50 years, reflects his personality.

"It is charming and has a lovely cosy atmosphere and it doesn't feel uncomfortably grand," said managing agent Lizzie Cox, of Carter Jonas.

The hall and Lord Savile's shooting lodge at Walshaw, near Hebden Bridge, are now for sale following his death a year ago aged 89.

The sale of the hall and lodge has been prompted by death duties and by the new Lord Savile whose main home is in Cornwall.

John Anthony Thornhill Lumley-Savile, the previous Lord's nephew and heir, said: "The executors are being forced to sell Walshaw to raise inheritance tax, which is a great shame, but I am hoping that other members of the family might club together to buy it.

"Gryce Hall was my personal inheritance and I have very happy memories of visiting my uncle there, but I am selling because I live in Cornwall and can't afford the overheads of running a large property that I would use only a few eight or nine times a year."

Their main homes here will go, but the Savile's will retain their strong connection with Yorkshire. The family trust still owns 6,000 acres around Thornhill, Emley, Batley and Hebden Bridge along with a portfolio of tenanted properties.

They have owned land in Yorkshire from the 1370's but for many years they lived at Rufford Abbey near Nottingham.

The late lord, who inherited his title in 1931, was forced to sell the family seat in 1938.

"My dear uncle was forced to sell Rufford Abbey by his adviser and his mother Esme, who was a very powerful woman," said the new Lord Savile.

"I think the feeling was that war was coming and if the Germans won then the house might fall into their hands.

"The family lived in a series of hotels during the war."

The late Lord Savile was an army captain in the Second World War and served in Burma. When he returned he set about finding a new family home and settled on Gryce Hall in 1946.

He often used Walshaw Lodge, which had long been frequented by his family who travelled up there for grouse shooting every summer in a charabanc from Rufford Abbey bringing a butler, a cook and maids with them.

The late Lord Savile was an enthusiastic member of the House of Lords until hereditary peers were abolished and he was also president of the Country Landowners Association.

He had a great love of cricket and travel and regularly flew on Concorde and sailed on all the Queen ships including the Queen Mary and the QE2. But his main passion was the church and he was a devout Anglican.

"It's a sad time because it's the first anniversary of his death and I miss him greatly" said the new Lord Savile.

"But I will retain the connection with Yorkshire. I visit regularly for meetings and I know all our tenants. My love for the place is boundless, as was my uncle's. It was his favourite place."

Gryce Hall and Walshaw Lodge are for sale with Carter Jonas, Huddersfield. Call 01484 842105 www.carterjonas.co.uk

Elizabethan style in 45 acres of land

The Elizabethan style Gryce Hall in Kirkburton is set in 45 acres is for sale at 2m. It has seven bedrooms and a guest apartment and boasts a vast atrium and many period features including some from the Arts and Crafts era.

It also comes with a three- bedroom butler's cottage, outbuildings and two tenanated cottages.

Walshaw Lodge has nine bedrooms and a cottage and is on the market for 1m. It boasts views of Hardcastle Crags, which the Saviles gifted to the National Trust in 1950. In 1866 they sold Skircoat Moor for a nominal sum to Halifax Corporation and it was named Savile Park in their honour.