Castle fit for a Queen commands spectacular countryside views
ago from a Chilean countess. “My partner Alisa and I had gone to view another house and she wasn’t keen on it. The agent mentioned that this was about to come on the market, we came to look and that was it. Alisa fell in love with it immediately.”
Richard was captivated by the spectacular views over Sutton Bank and the Vale of York and by the potential. He runs dental laboratories in Leeds and York but has a passion for property and design.
“It had been empty for 15 years when I bought it. The countess had married a Yorkshireman but after he died, she used this as a holiday home. It needed work, but that’s something I enjoy doing,” he says.
The property has been remodelled a number of times over the past 700 years and its medieval proportions have been replaced with spacious rooms filled with natural light.
“When you say you live in a castle people imagine very dark rooms, but most of the house is Georgian in style and so the rooms are large and really well proportioned,” says Richard, who project managed a huge programme of work starting with re-wiring, plastering, sandblasting then repointing the historic walls.
The property, which has a priesthole, hidden staircase and subterranean passageway, was treated to new kitchens and bathrooms and a stunning interior décor
Kirby Knowle Castle now has an entrance hall, garden room, drawing room, sitting room, vaulted dining room, two kitchens, each with a four oven Aga, study, five first-floor bedrooms with en-suites and three second floor bedrooms plus a large anteroom, games room and several other rooms. The basement has been converted into a self-contained apartment with a kitchen, bathroom, sitting room and bedroom. There is also a garage and a large cellar complex. A staff cottage has a kitchen, three reception rooms, three bedrooms, two bathrooms and a conservatory. The gardens, parkland and grounds stretch to 37 acres.
Richard is selling to buy a farm, where Alisa can run an animal sanctuary, and the sale has yielded a pleasant surprise.
“When I bought it I was told it had 12,000 sq ft of space but it turns out that there is 14,000sq ft,” he says. PERSIMMON Homes is recruiting for 225 young people to join the company.
The jobs will be spread across Persimmon’s 24 regional businesses in England, Wales and Scotland and includes 125 bricklaying and joinery apprentices, 50 trainee sales advisors and 50 graduate/trainee technical staff.
Chief executive, Jeff Fairburn, 47, began his own career at the age of 17 on a Youth Training Scheme in the construction industry and many of the directors in the business also began their careers straight from school.
Jeff says: “You never know, one of these young people may be our future chief executive in years to come.”
For more information visit www. persimmonhomes.com/jobs. AVERAGE asking prices across England and Wales are now at their highest point since July 2008, according to Home.co.uk
A further 0.6% rise in the last month has pushed annual house price inflation to 4.0%, the highest annualised increase since March 2008.
All areas of the UK recorded price rises in the last month, save for Yorkshire and Scotland. Overall, the number of properties entering the market is down -4.4% on last year.
London prices continue to soar at more than twice the rate of any other region and the worst performer over the last 12 months is the North West which experienced a price fall of 0.2%.