Cas­tle fit for a Queen com­mands spec­tac­u­lar coun­try­side views

Yorkshire Post - Property - - PROPERTY -

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. per­sim­mon­ AVER­AGE ask­ing prices across Eng­land and Wales are now at their high­est point since July 2008, ac­cord­ing to

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%.

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