They’re big, they’re beautiful and nowadays you don’t need to be born into the landed gentry to live in one.
Not much more need be said about halls and manor houses, so we’ll let the following four properties, which are all currently on the market in our area, speak for themselves.
Thornton Manor (middle pic), near Helperby, was built in 1805, replacing a much more ancient structure. In fact, discarded oyster shells suggest it may have been settled as far back as Roman times.
The new manor house incorporated a number of older features, and in 1830 a servants’ wing was built, which has since become a kitchen/breakfast room and a secondary kitchen/rear hall with staircase and laundry room.
Although much of the original character remains, the house has been comprehensively refurbished in the last few years. It has seven bedrooms, extensive lawned gardens with paddock, three stables, tack room, outbuildings set around a courtyard including a garage and several stores, all in about 4.4 acres.
The grade II-listed Wharfedale Hall (bottom pic) on Boston Spa’s High Street was built in the mid-19th century, not originally as a residence, but as a hotel, baths and assembly rooms over a natural spring. It later became a boys’ school called Wharfedale College – hence its current name.
Elegant and Italianate, some of its period features are hard to match, not least its minstrels’ gallery and 39-foot ballroom. Despite its size, it currently has just four bedrooms, but there is listed building consent and planning permission to extend the second-floor, creating a home with six bedrooms and four bathrooms.
The house sits in around an acre of gardens, which lead down to the River Wharfe.
Dougill Hall (main pic, above) near Summerbridge is an imposing grade II-listed house dating from 1722.
The seven-bedroom property’s period features include original pine panelling in the drawing room, a fireplace built from an outbuilding door lintel dated 1612, and a huge stone fireplace arch in the kitchen.
Outside, an annexe dated 1696 provides store-rooms with a self-contained flat above; a range of outbuildings around a courtyard includes eight stables; and there are beautiful gardens.
You could also buy the three additional lots for sale: 3.77 acres of fields behind the house; 32.94 acres of grassland and woodland; and 77.81 acres of further grazing and woodland, with beck and stone barn.
Finally, if it’s luxury not land your after, you may be tempted by Swinsty Hall (top pic), near Fewston. Built around 1570, it’s one of only a handful of grade I-listed properties that remain as a private house.
Period features include a grand hall with baronial fireplace, wood-panelled drawing room, exposed beams and Elizabethan-style gardens.
Major restoration by the present owners has also seen the six-bedroom house tastefully updated, complete with cinema room.
Outside, there’s also a detached two-bed cottage and a large stone barn, currently unused but with potential, and it’s all set in 4.5 acres.