From Royal Court to pub to a lux­ury home

Price: £795,000. Con­tact: Carter Jonas, Har­ro­gate, tel 01423 523423 www.carter­

Yorkshire Post - Property - - PROPERTY -

WHEN Jonathan and Emma Warner-Reed first viewed the Old Courthouse, in Ripon, they dis­cov­ered a whole floor full of fresh po­ten­tial.

“It was listed as a three­bed­room prop­erty, but the ground floor was a shop and stor­age area with the ac­com­mo­da­tion above.

“We re­alised that if we turned it into liv­ing space, we would have more than enough room,” says Jonathan, who bought the prop­erty four years ago.

Sit­ting in a quiet spot close to the Cathe­dral, it is one of the old­est build­ings in the his­toric town and dates back to the 13th cen­tury.

It was the Canoncy court and later be­came a Royal Court with a debtors’ prison in the at­tic, but there is also ev­i­dence that part of the build­ing was a pub in Tudor times.

There is a sign on an arch­way that reads “Cross Keys pub for weary cler­gy­men”.

“The down­stairs loo, which has wat­tle-and-daub walls, was the en­trance to the pub and the din­ing room was the bar,” says Jonathan.

The prop­erty was sold by the Church of Eng­land in the 1950s, when it was con­verted into a dwelling, and it still boasts a host of un­usual and orig­i­nal fea­tures from its days of ad­min­is­ter­ing jus­tice. These in­clude the old cell doors and metal ceil­ings, which the Warner-Reeds re­tained when they car­ried a ma­jor ren­o­va­tion.

The cou­ple con­verted the ground-floor shop area into a kitchen, din­ing room, snug, cloak­room, util­ity and study

On the first floor, the old court room is now a mas­ter bed­room with en-suite and there is also a sit­ting room, three more bed­rooms, a house bath­room, plus po­ten­tial to con­vert the at­tics. Out­side, there is a cob­bled court­yard, garage and three walled gar­dens, in­clud­ing a veg­etable gar­den and lawns.

“It took us three years to ren­o­vate but, for­tu­nately, I en­joy DIY, ”says Jonathan, a lawyer. “We’ve kept the char­ac­ter in­side, which was one of the things we loved about the house. We have the big iron doors that lead into the study and the kitchen, that are prob­a­bly Vic­to­rian, and there are a lot of orig­i­nal beams and arch­ways.”

The cou­ple are leav­ing to take on an­other project.

“We wouldn’t have sold this but a house we viewed that was then taken off the mar­ket is now for sale again and the owner asked if we wanted it. We couldn’t say no, so we are sell­ing this one. We will miss it. It’s been called the pret­ti­est house in Ripon and it is a real haven with shops, restau­rants and the Cathe­dral on the doorstep.”

LIV­ING HIS­TORY: The Old Courthouse, and, be­low, from left, one of the bed­rooms, the kitchen and the bath­room.

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