House-proud in Yorkshire
Residents might prefer that only they know about these three historic houses, but the secret’s out
of which it was once a part. Arthington was built in 1854 for an engineer working on the Leeds and Thirsk railway—but in the Georgian rather than the Victorian vernacular —and had been rented out for many years when its current owners, John and Jill Springall, bought it in 1972.
Although tired, the house had retained much of its original interior, including beautiful mouldings, fireplaces and original folding window shutters, although inappropriate Victorian plate-glass windows were swiftly replaced by smaller Georgianstyle panes.
Other original Georgian features sourced by the owners included wrought-iron balustrades saved from a house in Harrogate, large stone balls recovered during the demolition of a church in Leeds, which were used to top the gateposts, and flagstones used to pave the front terrace that were salvaged when the pavements of Otley were replaced with tarmac.
The Springalls’ passion for the family home that they will be desperately sad to leave is reflected in the cheerfully flamboyant decor of the interior. As in all the best Georgian houses, the main rooms are exceptionally light, elegant and wellproportioned and, at Arthington, have compelling views of the garden, park or central courtyard. They include impressive entrance and staircase halls, three main reception rooms,
Fig 2 left: The Old Rectory at Oswaldkirk is on the border of the North York Moors National Park and the Howardian Hills AONB. £3.95m