Horse racing history bound to set buyers galloping to idyllic location
The inside story
POPLAR HOUSE, DUNKESWICK £1.7M
THIS STUNNING home sits in an idyllic rural spot near Harewood and boasts an impressive horse racing history.
For many years, it was home to the Dickinson family, who were champion National Hunt trainers. The dynasty comprised the late Tony and Monica Dickinson and their son, Michael.
At the height of their success at the Poplar House yard, Michael saddled the first five home in the 1983 Cheltenham Gold Cup. It was an astonishing achievement that has yet to be repeated. The list of top steeplechasers trained at Poplar House included Badsworth Boy, Bregawn, Gay Spartan, I’m a Driver, Rathgorman, Silver Buck and Wayward Lad.
The property has since been modernised and is now the home of John and Alison Kitson. The couple, who have three children, bought it 16 years ago, after relocating from Hertfordshire back to their native Yorkshire.
Poplar House was in the ideal location and had plenty of land for their daughter’s horse and Shetland pony. The racing stables had long gone so the couple had new stables erected.
“Part of the reason for buying was the land and the fact you can ride out from here,” says Alison, who adds: “We bought the house from an architect and so it was quite contemporary but in 2015 we modernised it again.”
An extension was added and a new kitchen and master bedroom suite were installed. Outside, they created a large terrace and made a water feature from an old mill stone that was found in the grounds. The décor was updated with help from interior designer Elaine Jackson of Boston Spa.
The property has a hall, family room, a study with builtin furniture, a cloakroom, and a large, open plan breakfast kitchen with dining area and sitting area. This space boasts an atrium and bi-fold doors leading onto a south-facing patio and garden. The kitchen has an Aga, wine fridge and a centre island with a pop-up television. The ground floor also has a utility room and a bedroom with ensuite. On the first floor, there is a master bedroom suite with separate his and her dressing rooms, en-suite shower room and a balcony with views towards Otley Chevin. There is a guest bedroom with a dressing area and en-suite plus two further double bedrooms, a bathroom and a shower room.
Outside, there is a parking area, double garage with a firstfloor gym, orchard, gardens and summer house. Beyond this is a fenced paddock, two stables and a garden store. In all, there are six acres.
The Kitsons are selling to downsize.
Contact: Strutt and Parker, tel: 01423 561274. www. struttandparker.com
Part of the reason for buying was the fact you can ride out. Alison Kitson on a house once owned by champion racehorse trainers.
CHAMPION HOME: Polar House was once a first-class racing stable. Now it is a luxurious home in one of Yorkshire’s most sought-after locations.