The gentleman’s residence that helped to spawn a global gaming sensation
WITH its roots in the Roaring Twenties, this stunning gentleman’s residence was built with money made in a woollen textiles mill.
The success of the Sykes family, who finished the house in 1930, is evident in the fabric, fixtures and fittings and they would be thrilled to know that their efforts have helped inspire an even greater achievement.
Liam Bowmer drew inspiration from his surroundings to create an online game that helped spawn the global phenomenon Angry Birds.
Castle Clout is credited as the forerunner of the addictive mobile app that has captivated millions, including Prime Minister David Cameron.
Liam devised it when he was a law student still living at home and says elements of Knoll Top can be seen in the game, which involved hurling medieval ammunition at an enemy castle.
“The stonework in the castle is the same colour as the house and the green fields and view as a backdrop are similar.
“It must have been subliminal as I spent a lot of time planning the game at home,” he says.
The money he made from licensing Castle Clout was nowhere near the £5 billion Angry Birds has generated, but it did allow him to put a deposit down on a house.
He has also launched his own IT business, The Business Depot, and is planning to develop some of his latest game ideas.
Now he and his siblings have flown the nest, his parents John and Julie are downsizing. The couple bought the property in the beautiful hamlet of Krumlin, near Ripponden, in 2004 after being captivated by the stunning location.
“The unique positioning with the Pennine backdrop meant we fell for Knoll Top instantly,” says Julie.
“The proximity to Ripponden also offered a delightful village environment inclusive of the excellent independent school, Rishworth, which our three children attended.”
She adds: “John and I are both in business, so it was paramount that we had a beautiful rural setting to escape to, while being able to access the motorway from the house within 10 minutes.
“We can be in Leeds or Manchester city centre within 40 minutes from here.”
The couple have renovated and developed the house, which has a host of period features, including mullion windows, oak panelled walls, original fireplaces and impressive domed ceilings to two of the bedrooms.
The majority of the Art Deco woodwork, doors and handles have been restored to complement the Bowmer’s sensitive modernisation.
Knoll Top, which also comes with a two bedroom bungalow, now has an entrance hall, three reception rooms, a kitchen, utility, cloakroom, five bedrooms, three en-suites and a house bathroom.
Outside, there is parking, garage, gardens, 5.5 acres of land and a stable block.