Charles I’s visit proves that luxury B&B has rooms really fit for a king
Porch House, High Street, Northallerton Price: £575,000 Contact: Robin Jessop, tel: 01677 425950 , www. robinjessop.co.uk THOUGHT to be the oldest house in Northallerton, this Elizabethan property has an impressive claim to fame.
In 1647, Charles I was reputedly held prisoner there under open arrest by the Scots for nine days.
His release through the porch door signalled the end of the absolute monarchy and heralded the beginning of the constitutional monarchy.
The King was executed for treason two years later after his defeat in the Civil War.
Built in 1584 by Richard Metcalfe, the house remained in his family until 1988 and the present owners bought it in 2010. Glyn Williams and Joanna Umpleby were keen to turn it into a first class B&B.
“It had belonged to my parents and I wanted to live there,” says Joanna.
“It’s a big house and it had been run as a B&B once before so the facilities were there.”
She and Glynn have since renovated the six bedroom property, re-decorating the rooms and updating the bathrooms.
Their efforts have won the business five-star gold status and plenty of satisfied guests.
The history and the original features have also impressed visitors, who are able to sleep in the room that King Charles 1 stayed in.
The property still has a wattle and daub internal wall, original Elizabethan staircase and beams with carvings, alongside Georgian fireplaces, ranges and sash windows.
The 3,000 sq ft of space includes a wing for the guests and one for the owners.
Guests also have their own front door.
On the ground floor, there is a reception hall, drawing room, inner hall, a bedroom with ensuite bathroom, a morning room with RP Reay & Co Range, back stairs, an office, galley kitchen with range oven, a dining hall with beams and feature stone fireplace, living room, a breakfast kitchen with Aga and a utility room.
On the first floor, there is a master bedroom suite, four further bedrooms with en-suites and a laundry room.
Outside, there is a walled rear garden with lawn and borders, car parking and other outbuildings.
Glyn Williams, a photographer, and Joanna Umpleby, an accessories designer, are selling to downsize.
Joanna said that she also wants to spend more time developing the handbag business that she runs with her sister and cousin.
“Umpie” creates bags that are designed and manufactured in Yorkshire.
“We had never run a B&B before this and we have really enjoyed it,” says Joanna.
“You get to meet some really interesting people.”