The finest house in the village proves to be a real Croft original
“Fortunately, we had a call from a friend who had been in the hairdressers in Easingwold and heard that the Admiral’s House was coming onto the market.
“We came up, and even though we couldn’t see most of the garden for freezing fog, we felt at home in the house, which had such a wonderful friendly atmosphere even though it hadn’t been lived in for three years.”
Securing it was a race against time, as they were in competition with another buyer, but within three weeks, it was theirs.
The Grade II listed house, which estate agent Tim Blenkin says is “the finest house in the village”, was in need of renovation 40 years ago but still retained fabulous period features, including elaborate plasterwork, fireplaces, carved door and window reveals and sash windows.
The main part of the property was built in 1730 with additions at the end of the 18th century. It later belonged to the Croft family, of port and sherry fame, who also owned Stillington Hall (demolished in the 1960s). One of the Croft sons, who became an admiral, lived in the house for many years, raising his 10 children there. The cellar is perfect for keeping wine.
The house now has more than 5,500 sq feet of living space, which includes entrance and staircase halls, sitting room, dining room, drawing room, kitchen, breakfast room, laundry, wc and a cellar.
On the first floor, it has master bedroom with bathroom and dressing room, guest bedroom with en-suite, three further bedrooms, shower room and a playroom. On the second floor, there are attic rooms, an office and storage. Outside is a terrace, car port and walled, south-facing garden stretching to a third of an acre. The Garretts renovated the house, though say some areas are ready for an update.
“It needs someone younger and energised to take it forward,” says John.
The garden is immaculate thanks to hours of maintenance. In the early days, John used to take a bedroom lamp on an extension lead into the garden so he could weed into the night.
John and Janet are building a smaller house nearby.