Douthwaite Hall, a stunning country house on the outskirts of one of Britain’s most beautiful villages, is looking for a new owner


Douthwaite Hall is a large and beautiful house nestled in an idyllic North Yorkshire setting, as Penny Churchill explains.

You’d think it wouldn’t be easy to lose a 9,410 square foot stone country house with ten bedrooms and 33 acres in the North York Moors National Park. Yet, according to Christine O’Neill, owner of the beloved family home for 29 years, “many locals don’t even know we’re here.”

Anyone who dreams of getting away from it all will be eager to find this home, however, set in the hills – or rather the Dales – of North Yorkshire. York-based Blenkin & Co is selling the handsome Grade II listed Douthwaite Hall with an indicative price of ‘an additional £ 4million’.

Despite its location three miles from Kirkbymoorside and a short walk from the quaint village of Hutton-le-Hole – described by Arthur Mee as “a lovely little place to be found in a leafy hollow of the moors … stream meandering through houses scattered here and there ‘- Douthwaite Hall enjoys complete seclusion in Douthwaite Dale, a rugged wooded valley carved by the dove through limestone hills that has no public footpaths or rights of way.

In medieval times, the surrounding land was a medieval park and hunting preserve for the mighty Stutevilles and Nevilles of Kirkbymoorside.

According to their Historical List of England, the Shepherd family continuously occupied the site of Douthwaite Hall from around 1500 to 1886. They must have built the original Elizabethan farmhouse, whose wooden crutches were used to support the roof. from the main Georgian house, built in 1760.

A large wing was added in 1814 to replace a demolished section, with further modifications made during the Edwardian era.

Period features abound throughout the house. In addition to a sculpted trumeau dating from 1659 and a fireplace from 1666, there are magnificent fireplaces, old slabs and oak floors, 16-paned sash windows, a beautiful spiral staircase with polished handrail. , and a remarkable 18th century window on the half-landing, with its original pane showing volutes made by the glassblower.

A former owner, Admiral Sir Cyril Fuller, a distinguished naval officer who owned Douthwaite Hall in the early 20th century, is said to have added the portholes and brought back from World War I the impressive wrought iron gates that open to the paved courtyard. Born on the Isle of Wight, he joined Britannia Royal Naval College as an Officer Cadet in 1887 and quickly rose through the ranks to become Second Sea Lord and Chief of Naval Per-sonnel from 1930 to 1932. During the Second World War, he was Area Commander for the North Riding of Yorkshire Home Guard.

During their tenure, the O’Neill family combined a sporting life in the countryside with the successful operation of an international business dealing with remote outposts of the oil and gas industry, thanks to excellent broadband at broadband.

The main house, which includes six reception rooms, a kitchen / breakfast room, 10 bedrooms, eight bathrooms and a sitting area on the top floor, offers plenty of room to maneuver, with additional accommodation in the Cedar Lodge of 760 square feet. The property also has a stable for six horses and an exceptionally fine range of outbuildings and traditional barns with significant development potential.

Douthwaite Hall stands on elevated grounds overlooking its 33 acres of mature parkland, separated by a ha-ha of the beautifully planted French-style landscaped gardens which have been Ms O’Neill’s area of ​​particular interest.

A series of central stone steps descend gently through lawns and herbaceous borders, past a clipped yew hedge and a disused tennis court.

An established lake with a small jetty is nestled in the valley under the shelter of a summer lake house – an idyllic setting for barbecues and parties, even in the middle of winter.

Douthwaite Hall is for sale for £ 4million via Bleknkin & Co – see more photos and details.

Hutton-le-Hole: what you need to know

Site: In the southern parts of the North York Moors National Park, seven miles north of Pickering and three miles from Kikbymoorside, which is on the A170 main road from Scarborough to Ripon. The agents selling the house are based in York, but the city center is 30 miles, or about an hour’s drive.

Atmosphere: “Sheep roam the streets at will” is an invaluable line in the first paragraph of the Hutton-le-Hole Wikipedia entry, which gives you the measure of the place. It is an ancient village mentioned in the Domesday Book (as Hoton) The village is regularly described as perhaps the most picturesque place in Yorkshire, and has even been named one of the 20 most beautiful villages in the UK … and although it is a fairly high bar, it is certainly extremely pretty and unspoiled with its expanse of old stone houses on either side of the large expanse of greenery that forms the center of the village, through which a stream, Hutton Beck, flows here and there.

Things to do: The village is full of the kinds of things you’d love to do on a day out here: there’s the Ryedale Folk Museum, a tea room, a bakery, a village pub, and apparently even a chocolate factory – you couldn’t do it. . And if your dog jumps into the creek and gets dirty enough to mess up your Instagram photos, there’s even a grooming salon.

Further afield, the walks in the North York Moors are rightly famous – this is perhaps the grandest and most spectacular of wild England. There is the North York Moors Heritage Railway nearby in Pickering, Castle Howard is only a short drive away, and not much further are the equally breathtaking Robin Hood’s Bay and Scarborough beaches ( in a totally different way).

Schools: There is no primary school in the village, but the Gillamoor C of E school is not far away and is rated “Good” by Ofsted. For non-university education, the Ryedale School of Music is also nearby, in Kirkbymoorside. In the same village is Welburn Hall High School – also rated ‘Good’ – while the famous Ampleforth is just 10 miles away.

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