Farm with 35 dogs, ley line, sacred stone circle... and a view
Stearsby Hagg Farm, Stearsby, Brandsby, near York. Price: £950,000. Contact: Mudd and Co, tel: 01904 621554, www.tjmudd.com
WHEN Annabel Holt bought Stearsby Hagg Farm 25 years ago, it coincided with an epiphany for the woman who describes her former self as “very establishment”.
Ms Holt was brought up in the country and and regularly hunted, riding out four horses a week while married to her now former husband, but her growing passion for animals and saving the planet prompted her to turn her back on her previous existence.
She bought the farm and dedicated her life to helping the animal kingdom and campaigning on green issues. Locals may remember her best for anti-hunt protests.
Her farmhouse, outbuildings and 30 acres of land have become a sanctuary for all creatures great and small including swans and her favourite animal of all: the dog.
She cares for 35 dogs, including 12 Jack Russells.
Her interest in the alternative has also brought a raft of interesting experiences including crystal skull hunting in Peru and an animal communication course in the Netherlands, while her home has seen many unusual visitors including a shaman and a native American with 13 wives.
The house has also been feng shuied and now has its own sacred stone circle, pond and an abundance of trees, which Ms Holt has planted.
The substantial house boasts an entrance hall, utility room, kitchen, drawing room, sitting room and garden room. Stairs to the first floor lead to three double bedrooms and two bathrooms and the second floor attic room could house two further bedrooms.
Outside there are barns, a feed store, tack room, four loose boxes, a double height barn and a Dutch barn.
There’s also another added extra, “a leyline from Iona to Mecca,” says Ms Holt, who has been described as “eccentric”.
“I’ve done some weirdo stuff, but it’s all about my adoration of the planet and I always quote the saying, ‘I’m not mad, I just think differently’,” she says.
Almost 70, she is selling her home to downsize to a smaller property or to move to sunnier climes.
“I’d love to live in Costa Rica, because I hate the cold. I want to go where there are humming birds and parrots,” she says.
“I’d also love to see this place used as some sort of animal healing centre or by some religious organisation.
“It would also make a lovely family home.
“Whatever happens, I don’t want people shooting or lamping on the land.”
There is a healthy interest in the Howardian Hills property, which boasts magnificent views over the Vale of York and beyond.
Agent Tim Mudd says: “ It offers an opportunity to refurbish and further develop the most fabulous residence. There is also potential for a business element including home office or holiday cottage lettings, subject to consents.
“The views are the best in Yorkshire. They are incredible and the property is full of potential.
“There is capacity here to create a home valued in excess of £2m.”
ELEVATED: Stearsby Hagg Farm’s front elevation, the view across the Vale of York and outbuildings suitable for conversion.