Home from home for cricket fans and lovers of lit­er­a­ture

This his­toric house comes with its own cricket field and some im­pres­sive lit­er­ary claims to fame. Sharon Dale re­ports.

Yorkshire Post - Property - - PROPERTY -

THE sound of leather on wil­low and the sight of newly-pressed whites on a pris­tine green field is a de­light for many sports fans.

Now imag­ine the added plea­sure of own­ing your very own cricket ground right next door to your house.

Diane and Gra­ham Al­lan have en­joyed that rare feel­ing for the past 40 sum­mers af­ter buy­ing an his­toric house that came with own­er­ship of the War­ley vil­lage cricket ground, near Hal­i­fax.

“It is un­usual but it has been with the house for years, at least since the late 1800s and we have en­joyed it. It’s beau­ti­fully kept and there’s a gate from the gar­den that leads onto the field. Gra­ham has watched quite a few matches over the years,” says Mrs Al­lan, who grew up in War­ley.

She and her hus­band are hop­ing that the per­son who buys their beau­ti­ful 17th cen­tury home will feel the same way and will continue leas­ing the land to the lo­cal cricket club, which has built a pavilion and tea hut to serve play­ers and vis­i­tors.

“When we bought the house we were told we might be able to build on the field, which was classed as brown­field land, but we wouldn’t have dreamt of do­ing that. It would have spoilt the out­look for the house and it just wouldn’t have been right for the vil­lage.

“We be­lieve that the house and the cricket field should stay to­gether. For­tu­nately, the land has now been re­clas­si­fied for leisure use so hope­fully that will of­fer some pro­tec­tion.”

If cricket is of no in­ter­est to the new owner, they may be more im­pressed with The Grange’s im­pres­sive lit­er­ary con­nec­tions.

It is said to have been home to the Rev Patrick Brontë for a short time and the writer Phyl­lis Bent­ley rented the prop­erty un­til the early 70s, writ­ing part of her In­her­i­tance tril­ogy there. The books, set in the West Rid­ing’s textile in­dus­try, be­came a TV se­ries star­ring John Thaw and James Bo­lam. She also wrote bi­ogra­phies of the Bron­tës.

Patrick Brontë would still recog­nise many of the prop­erty’s pe­riod fea­tures. Built in 1630 for a yeo­man cloth­ier, it still has its mul­lion win­dows. It also boasts an im­pres­sive stone fire­place in the din­ing room, which was put in by a pre­vi­ous owner, the Rev. Isaac Wilkin­son, in 1711 and bears his ini­tials.

The Al­lans, who have two grown-up chil­dren, have added their own touches since buy­ing the house in 1972, in­clud­ing a stun­ning kitchen in what was a re­cep­tion room.

The grade two listed Grange now has an en­trance hall, two re­cep­tion rooms, a study, cloak­room, kitchen with Aga, util­ity, a gal­leried land­ing, four bed­rooms, a dress­ing room and two bath­rooms. Out­side, there is park­ing and gar­dens along with graz­ing land avail­able by ne­go­ti­a­tion.

The prop­erty also has a great deal of po­ten­tial, af­forded by the sep­a­rate coach house that comes with plan­ning per­mis­sion for con­ver­sion into a four-bed­room home.

All of its ex­tras add up to an ex­tra­or­di­nary of­fer­ing, ac­cord­ing to es­tate agent Ste­wart Charnock­Bates, who is mar­ket­ing the house for £1m.

“Very rarely does such an op­por­tu­nity present it­self. The Grange is a fo­cal point in the vil­lage of War­ley and al­lows an in­di­vid­ual to pur­chase a sub­stan­tial de­tached home to­gether with the own­er­ship of the ad­join­ing vil­lage cricket ground.

“It is a truly unique con­cept. The prop­erty is also of great his­toric im­por­tance, with pre­vi­ous oc­cu­pants in­clud­ing Patrick Brontë and the es­teemed nov­el­ist Phyl­lis Eleanor Bent­ley.”

Mr and Mrs Al­lan will cer­tainly be sad to leave it all be­hind when they down­size.

“It has been a lovely fam­ily home and we have a lot of happy mem­o­ries. It looks like an old, dark stone house from one side but walk through it and there is lots of light from the south-fac­ing win­dows and it opens out onto the gar­den and cricket ground be­yond. It’s a won­der­ful oa­sis,” says Mrs Al­lan.

“We hope that an­other fam­ily will buy it and be as happy as we have been here.”

The Grange is on the mar­ket for £1m with Charnock Bates, tel: 01422 380100, www.charnock­bates.co.uk

The Grange, owned by Diane and Gra­ham Al­lan, top, is full of pe­riod fea­tures and comes with own­er­ship of the ad­join­ing vil­lage cricket field. It has four bed­rooms, two bath­rooms and also has a coach house with plan­ning per­mis­sion for con­ver­sion into a four-bed­room home.

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