Georgian green house fit for a princess
Rudby Hall, Hutton Rudby, near Stokesley. Price: £3.5m. Contact: Strutt and Parker, Harrogate: 01423 561274 or Carter Jonas: 01423 523423. THIS beautiful Grade II listed country house looks fit for a princess, and William IV certainly thought so too.
It was built for his illegitimate daughter, Amelia Fitzclarence, and her husband, Lucius Cary, 10th Viscount Falkland.
Amelia was William IV’s child by his long-standing mistress, the actress, Dorothea Jordan, and the Sailor King made sure she was well looked after.
Her husband was made Lord of the Belchamber, Baron Hunsdon of Skutterskelfe and later became Governor of Nova Scotia and then Bombay.
The house, completed in the 1830s by architect Anthony Salvin, was technologically advanced for its time and became one of the first green houses in the country. The river Leven, which it overlooks, was diverted and brought closer to the house, allowing the original owners to harness their own hydroelectric power.
It also had an underground ice house buried deep in the garden.
By the turn of the 20th century, the Rudby Hall estate had passed into the hands of Sir Robert Ropner, shipping baron and an MP for Stockton.
The 10-bedroom house was used as an officers’ barracks during the Second World War before the estate was broken up and sold off as individual freeholds.
The house was separated into seven flats and was falling into dereliction when help arrived in the form of specialty chemical company MTM which bought the apartments and converted them back into a single property.
The firm restored the house to an extremely high standard, renewing almost everything inside, from the heating and electricity systems, effectively turning it into a new Georgian house.
Martin Johnson and his business partner, Peter Broom, bought it eight years ago with the intention of buying back old estate properties to create a profitable concern.
Now the Courtyard House, The Garden House, The Cottage and Garden Apartment, which are included in the sale, provide an excellent rental income.
The house, whose architectural features include a three-bay porch with Tuscan columns, Rococo plasterwork, marble fireplaces, panelled dado rails and a carved oak bookcase, also has 10-acre grounds, with a helicopter landing space.
Rudby Hall has been home to Martin’s family since his company, Python Properties, bought it.
He says: “It is a beautiful house in a beautiful location and the idea behind buying the additional properties was to create an income for the property for years to come.
“We have really enjoyed living there but my children are at the local school and we have decided to move closer to the village.”
MOD CONS: Rudby Hall had its own hydroelectric power supply by diverting the river Leven, and an underground ice house.