Fit for a Duke and Duchess: the best house on the Bolton Abbey estate
THE Duke and Duchess of Devonshire may now be ensconced in opulent grandeur at Chatsworth House but their previous home on the Bolton Abbey estate will always hold a special place in their hearts.
They lived at Beamsley Hall for 25 years and their children grew up at the property, which is up for let for the first time in decades. Evidence of its aristocratic inhabitants is to be found on the edge of the master bedroom door, where the heights and names of their children and grandchildren have been marked in Biro. It is also emblazoned on the hall and stairs carpet, which features a coiled serpent, part of the Cavendish emblem.
“They loved this place, of course,” says Ben Heyes, who manages the family’s Bolton Abbey estate. “They brought their children up here and so there are a lot of great memories tied up in it.”
The Duke, Peregrine “Stoker” Cavendish, and the Duchess, Amanda Cavendish, moved to the hall in 1981 when he was still a Marquess. The former annexe to Bolton Priory was extended in the early 1800s and has been part of the family property portfolio for 268 years.
They modernised before they moved in and the work included the addition of more bathrooms, many of which are hidden behind secret doors in the bedrooms, though there is a bath on display under one bedroom window, which makes the most of the property’s privacy and its breath taking views towards Ilkley Moor. They also installed windows in the south wall, added garages, a billiard room and a stunning new conservatory.
The Duchess, well-known for her interior design skills, commissioned a modern bespoke kitchen and stylish drapes that sit against walls painted in fashionable neutral colours. The property boasts an entrance hall, reception hall, drawing room, dining room, library, a bar, conservatory, living kitchen and playroom and a basement housing stores, a wine cellar and laundry room. Upstairs, there are nine bedrooms, most with ensuite bathrooms.
Outside, the Duke’s love of gardens is evident. He transformed three acres into formal, kitchen, orchard and arboretum. The grounds also include an office suite, barn, stables and tack room with a snooker room above. The property comes with 9.3 acres and is ideal for someone who enjoys country pursuits and entertaining on a grand scale.
There is a gun cabinet, kennels, a boot room, flower room and a felt lined cupboard for the silverware, The kitchen also sports two dishwashers, a double Aga and a walk-in fridge freezer complete with panic button in case you get locked in.
Jo Speight, of Dacre, Son and Hartley, says: “It’s a beautiful house with amazing views and it’s incredibly private.”