Fit for a future queen, this house boasts royal ties
THE Duchess of Cambridge may have been labelled “middle class” and a “commoner” before her marriage to Prince William, but her Yorkshire ancestors were wealthy and well-connected, and this beautiful house is part of their legacy.
It was built for a member of the Lupton family in 1930 in a sensational location close to the River Wharfe.
The Luptons, relatives on her father Michael’s side, were a rich and successful manufacturing family based in Leeds. They mixed with the upper classes and rubbed shoulders with royalty.
Her great great grandfather Francis Martineau Lupton and her great great uncle Sir Charles Lupton were both at Cambridge and Sir Charles founded the law firm DLA Piper. Michael Middleton’s great grandfather was brought up at Beechwood, a Georgian mansion in Roundhay, Leeds, and his great uncle Hugh was Lord Mayor of Leeds.
Shirley Lawrenson, who bought Hard Gap 13 years ago, says: “The house was built for a member of the Lupton family but, sadly, he died in a riding accident before he could move in and so it was kept by the Lupton’s but let for many years.”
The property also boasts another royal connection. Princess Margaret once stayed there when visiting former Lord Lieutenant of West Yorkshire, the late John Lyles.
“He showed her the garden and she asked him the name of a particular rose. He told her it was named after the Queen Mother,” says Shirley, who bought the property after being captivated by the stunning, south-facing garden.
Shirley and her husband, who are keen gardeners, also added a kitchen extension, an Aga and removed the back staircase, while taking care to preserve the many period features.
The house has a reception hall, cloakroom, drawing room, dining room, music room, snug, garden room, conservatory, breakfast kitchen, utility room, gym and storage cellars. Upstairs, there is a master bedroom with his and hers dressing rooms and an en-suite bathroom, four double bedrooms and a house bathroom. Outside, there is an attached double garage, workshop, gardens and woodland along with two acres that slope down to the River Wharfe, with fishing and boating rights.
Mr and Mrs Lawrenson are selling to downsize.
Hard Gap is a beautiful 1930s property, connected to the Duchess of Cambridge, pictured with Prince William and Prince George.