It’s a wrap for the film supremo Amanda and her dream home

Her house has been a haven for fam­ily and film hotshots, which is why Amanda Nevill is sell­ing with re­gret. Sharon Dale re­ports

Yorkshire Post - Property - - PROPERTY -

THE longer you’ve worked in es­tate agency, the more that quote from Ham­let rings true: “There are more things in heaven and earth, Ho­ra­tio, than is dreamt of in your phi­los­o­phy.”

Amanda Nevill’s ex­pe­ri­ence cer­tainly seems to sug­gest that forces were at work to pro­pel her to­wards Prospect House.

“I had been liv­ing in Ilk­ley and the deal with my two daugh­ters was that when they could drive we could move into the coun­try so I could have a proper gar­den.

“We sold quickly but then I couldn’t find the right house. I nearly bought one but the of­fer was turned down and then, for ab­so­lutely no rea­son, I re­mem­bered the de­tails of a house in Keigh­ley I’d con­sid­ered many months pre­vi­ously.

“I’d dis­missed it be­cause it was out of my price bracket. I’m not sure why but I rang the agents and they said the house had sold but the sale had fallen through that morn­ing. They were just about to re-of­fer it to the mar­ket.”

Amanda, who is di­rec­tor of the British Film In­sti­tute, jumped back in her car and drove to see it im­me­di­ately.

“I’d only viewed the down­stairs and it was out of my league fi­nan­cially, but I knew im­me­di­ately it was the one. The lo­ca­tion is amaz­ing. It’s right on the edge of Keigh­ley with in­cred­i­ble views right down the val­ley and on a clear day you can even see the sky­scrapers in Leeds.

“It’s also in­cred­i­bly light be­cause of the big win­dows and it has a feel­ing of ut­ter peace and tran­quil­lity. It was my dream home. I told the agent there and then that I’d pay the ask­ing price.”

That was 12 years ago and whether it was fate or co­in­ci­dence, owner and house have been a match made in heaven.

Amanda has re-pointed the prop­erty and mod­ernised, pre­serv­ing the pe­riod fea­tures that bowled her over on her visit. They in­clude orig­i­nal fire­places and doors, or­nate ceil­ings and enor­mously high skirt­ing boards.

The house, which has five bed­rooms and four re­cep­tion rooms, was built around 1800 but also boasts Arts and Crafts el­e­ments, in­clud­ing the oak stair­case and stained glass win­dow, thanks to a later ex­ten­sion.

She also put in three bath­rooms, treated the kitchen to some free-stand­ing fur­ni­ture and dec­o­rated throughout.

The scheme is largely neu­tral but colour and in­ter­est comes from favourite paint­ings by Scar­bor­ough artist Adam King and her trea­sured col­lec­tion of pho­to­graphs.

Most of the fur­ni­ture came from her for­mer home, though she has added sale­room finds and junk shop bar­gains.

“It was more of a preser­va­tion as there is so much glo­ri­ous crafts­man­ship in the house and it is fan­tas­ti­cally well-built. It’s the best sur­vey I’ve ever had on a house it is that solid. So I mod­ernised but with­out los­ing or eclips­ing its knock out fea­tures,” she says.

The gar­den has also been a labour of love, and a chal­lenge, as it sits on high, ex­posed ground.

She has re-de­signed the space and has in­tro­duced a rich and hardy va­ri­ety of plants and flow­ers. There’s also a pond, a veg­etable gar­den and she loves grow­ing sweet peas.

Most of her gar­den­ing is done at week­ends and in hol­i­days thanks to a ca­reer change. Al­though Amanda was work­ing locally as di­rec­tor of the Na­tional Mu­seum of Pho­tog­ra­phy, Film and Tele­vi­sion in Brad­ford when she bought the house, two years later she landed the role of di­rec­tor of the British Film In­sti­tute.

Her role there has been a big suc­cess and she still has lots more plans to put into ac­tion, in­clud­ing a film club for ev­ery school to broaden young hori­zons and teach them that there’s more to movies than Dis­ney.

This week­end she is busy with the 56th Lon­don Film Fes­ti­val.

“I have a lit­tle flat in Lon­don but I still think of Prospect House as my main home and I have trav­elled back al­most ev­ery week­end to spend time there.

“It is a won­der­ful fam­ily house. My daugh­ters and their hus­bands use it too and I of­ten have friends to stay,” she says.

She has also en­ter­tained well­known ac­tors, di­rec­tors and com­posers there and, like her, they have been en­chanted dur­ing their stay.

“It has been a get­away for many, in­clud­ing some very sur­pris­ing guests from the film world keen for a quiet, confidential week­end away from the eyes of the pub­lic and press.

“They’ve en­joyed long walks on the moors and af­ter a din­ner cooked on the Aga, or “such a cute range” as the Amer­i­can guests say, an evening round the log fires.

“It never ceases to amuse me when they ask if they can go get the logs from the cel­lar. They love it.”

Amanda is fi­nally sell­ing now that both her daugh­ters are based in the South and she has her first grand­child.

“Peo­ple thought I was bonkers keep­ing the house when I got the job in Lon­don but I don’t re­gret it. I’ve loved it. The only rea­son I am sell­ing is to buy some­where closer to my grand­child be­cause I want to be a hands-on grand­mother, but I will miss the house. In fact, it took me 18 months to put it on the mar­ket and I live in ter­ror of hav­ing made the wrong de­ci­sion.

“To this day I wake up there and love the peace and quiet, the spec­tac­u­lar views down the val­ley with the clouds rolling down, the sound of the curlew. It is a mag­i­cal place in sum­mer and win­ter.”

ON SHOW: Prospect House is on the mar­ket for £499,950 and be­longs to British Film In­sti­tute di­rec­tor Amanda Nevill. The prop­erty has five bed­rooms, three bath­rooms and stun­ning panoramic views down the val­ley to­wards Leeds. “It is a mag­i­cal place in sum­mer and win­ter,” says Amanda, who is sell­ing to move closer to her first grand­child.

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