Farm with 35 dogs, ley line, sa­cred stone cir­cle... and a view

Yorkshire Post - Property - - PROPERTY -

Stearsby Hagg Farm, Stearsby, Brandsby, near York. Price: £950,000. Con­tact: Mudd and Co, tel: 01904 621554,­

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.

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