Folly at The Hol­lies adds a sense of his­tory to fam­ily’s Ge­or­gian gem

Yorkshire Post - Property - - PROPERTY - Sharon Dale The Hol­lies, Hamp­sth­waite, near Har­ro­gate. Price: £1.1m. Con­tact: Buchanan Mitchell, tel: 01423 360055. www. buchanan­

THE ruin in Michael and Ca­role John­son’s gar­den is a won­der­ful fea­ture and its weath­ered stone and ec­cle­si­as­ti­cal arches prompt the ob­vi­ous ques­tion “how old?”

The an­swer “21st cen­tury” is al­ways a sur­prise for guests, who as­sumed it was once a me­dieval monastery.

“I came up with idea af­ter go­ing to the Chelsea Flower Show and see­ing them there,” says Ca­role. “I wanted a feel­ing of en­clo­sure in the gar­den and the ru­ins were per­fect. I bought them from Red­wood Stone and they’ve weath­ered re­ally well, so much so that they do fool peo­ple who can’t be­lieve they’re only a few years old.”

The folly, now known as The Abbey, also fea­tures a built-in fire and a bar­be­cue and is one of the high­lights of the stun­ning out­side space cre­ated by keen gar­dener Ca­role.

The half acre grounds in­clude a stream, a foun­tain, pond, herba­ceous bor­ders, lawns, sev­eral gar­den “rooms” with seat­ing and a host of ma­ture trees that were bought in from Wyke­ham Ma­ture Plants, near Scarborough.

“It’s big but pretty easy to main­tain be­cause it’s mainly shrubs and lawns,” says Ca­role, who adds that the beau­ti­ful wis­te­ria cov­er­ing the front of the house helped per­suade her to buy the prop­erty.

She and Michael, who founded the UK branch of chil­dren’s bed spe­cial­ists Stompa, bought the house seven years ago.

It is a se­ries of Ge­or­gian cot­tages joined to­gether by the Vic­to­ri­ans to cre­ate a five-bed­room house and a one-bed­room an­nexe.

“We lived out in the coun­try be­fore and I was re­luc­tant to leave but when we came to view this I loved the wis­te­ria and the house had a lovely warm feel to it, so we moved here and I’ve never re­gret­ted it,” says Ca­role.

The house needed up­dat­ing and Michael and Ca­role spared no ex­pense fit­ting new cen­tral heat­ing, new kitchens, new bath­rooms and re­dec­o­rat­ing. They also put in dou­ble doors that lead out onto a out­door break­fast area, which is shel­tered by a over­hang from a bed­room above.

The prop­erty now has a re­cep­tion hall, draw­ing room, din­ing room, fam­ily room, study, break­fast kitchen, util­ity room and cloak­room. Up­stairs, there is a mas­ter bed­room with en-suite, guest bed­room with en-suite, two fur­ther bed­rooms with en-suites, a fifth bed­room and a fam­ily bath­room.

The an­nexe, which brings in a rental in­come, has an open plan kitchen/liv­ing room and a bed­room with en-suite shower room. Out­side, there is a pri­vate drive, park­ing and garag­ing.

The cou­ple are mov­ing to down­size, but plan to stay in the vil­lage.

“Our chil­dren have flown the nest and our grand­chil­dren are grow­ing up so we are buy­ing some­where smaller,” says Ca­role. “But we are stay­ing in the vil­lage. It’s a won­der­ful place.”

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