The owner of this much-loved former rectory describes the 17th century property as a “time capsule”.
Little has changed since Julian Kirk-Alton’s grandparents bought the seven-bedroom country home in the 1950s and that is all part of its immense charm.
“My grandparents emigrated from Yorkshire to Canada and returned after 20 years to buy this house. It was semi-derelict so they renovated it and very little has changed since then. That is the last time it was modernised,” he says.
When his grandparents passed away, his aunt continued to live there and took great care to keep the interiors just as they had always been. After inheriting the Grade II property and its 2.82 acres five years ago, Mr Kirk-Alton has been its custodian but is reluctantly selling due to work commitments that are taking him elsewhere.
“It breaks my heart to let the house go. This place is like paradise. There is something very magical about it. I have kept it this long because I wanted my children to remember the house and have the kind of happy memories of it that I have. My late brother and I spent a lot of time here when we were young. My grandfather would tell us stories of his pioneer lifestyle in Canada where wolfs would follow his plough and we loved playing in the woods and building campfires.”
The 5,894 sq ft home, near Leyburn, is in need of renovation and holds great potential thanks to its attached cottage, former school room and laundry. The buildings are suitable for conversion to holiday lets or ancillary accommodation, subject to planning consent.
The enormous windows are among the striking period features, along with the fireplaces, doors, and the staircase, which winds up four floors. The new owner might also want to retain the wallpaper on the stairs. It looks as fresh and fashionable now as it did when it was first pasted on.
Approached by double wrought iron gates to the front, there is a circular driveway with off-street parking. A second driveway leads from the village main street to a courtyard area with Victorian stables and outbuildings.
There are gardens, a kitchen garden, paddock, a ha-ha and a woodland with wildflowers and a stream, providing a picturesque haven rich in wildlife.
Manor House, Finghall, near Leyburn,
Offers over £850,000. Contact: Dacre, Son and |Hartley, tel: 01765 605151, dacres.co.uk