From Royal Court to pub to a luxury home
Price: £795,000. Contact: Carter Jonas, Harrogate, tel 01423 523423 www.carterjonas.co.uk
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.