Canadian ranch house in the heart of the Dales
THE heady days before strict planning rules and National Park Authorities gave rise to the good, the bad and the downright unlikely.
Knowles Lodge, a glorious detached home on the edge of the sought-after village of Appletreewick, is certainly one of the latter.
It was inspired by a Canadian ranch house and was built in 1938 in a combination of timber frame, brick, stone and Canadian cedar cladding.
Owner Chris Knowles-Fitton, whose father built the property, says: “My grandfather was in the textile business in Huddersfield and he used to come over to Burnsall a lot and that’s where my father got his love of the area from.
“He bought this plot of land in 1926 and originally put an old railway guards van on it. He called it Sportiville, which in truth was a place he could come to have fun with his friends. He met my mother in 1935 and they replaced Sportiville with this house. My father went to Canada on business a lot and that’s where he got the idea of building in a Canadian style.
“There is absolutely no way that would ever happen now. He would never have got planning permission but back then it was a very different set-up.”
Mr Knowles-Fitton and his wife moved to the property in 1992 and completely renovated it. They replaced the cladding, re-roofed with Canadian cedar shingles and modernised the interior. They now run Knowles Lodge as a successful Michelin rated 5* bed & breakfast and also have a licence to hold civil wedding ceremonies.
“Guests love it because it has wow factor. One of the best bits about the house is the picture windows, which give the most incredible views,” says Mr Knowles-Fitton.
The property, which is set in 15 acres, sits on a natural plateau of meadow and woodland and has frontage and fishing rights on a stretch of the River Wharfe.
It has a reception hall, sitting room, snug, dining room, inner hall, cloakroom, breakfast kitchen, laundry room, pantry and four ground floor bedrooms with en-suites. There is an additional bedroom on the first floor with an en -suite shower room. Outside, there is a garage with adjoining home office and garden store.
Mr and Mrs Knowles-Fitton are selling to downsize. For more details on the B&B visit www. knowleslodge.com.
Knowles Lodge is modelled on a Canadian ranch house and is clad and roofed in Canadian cedar.