13th Century Kirby Knowle Castle on 65 Acres in North Yorkshire, England
£6,950,000 | 6-7 Beds | 5 Baths | 65.56 Acres
Kirby Knowle, Thirsk, North Yorkshire
A classic castle on the hill which has enjoyed what must be one of the best views of rural Yorkshire for over 700 years. The robust architecture and style has been retained but following a significant overhaul by the present owners which includes the renovation or replacement of all damaged architectural stonework and window openings together with re-roofing, rewiring and installation of a commercial capacity biomass heating system, this is now comfortable and warm family home. The present owners with guidance from English Heritage have reinvented the interior, with exceptional design, beautiful decorations and the highest quality fitments, bespoke joinery and artisan plasterwork.
The internal accommodation has been completely reorganised, the original staircase has been removed and a three-story open staircase installed to allow in natural light and take advantage of the exceptional views. There is a fully refurbished detached cottage, which could be used for guest or staff quarters. The redesigned garden areas to the front south elevation with an ornamental fountain, stone flagged private areas and barbecue kitchen provides excellent entertaining space.
It was Sir Roger de Lascelles who sought permission from Edward I to build a castle at Kirby Knowle. Construction began in the latter part of the 13th century on an elevated plateaux of land on the south western edge of the Hambleton Hills, providing the property with exceptional views over the Vale of Mowbray towards the Vale of York. Part of the castle was destroyed by fire in 1568, whilst in the ownership of St John Constable and the castle was left in a dilapidated state until it, and the surrounding estate, were bought by James Danby in 1653. He who repaired the ruins using stone from the adjoining castle at Upsall, adding the south (front) and west wings.
His work was continued by Sir Thomas Rokeby (a knight and one of the justices of the king’s Bench). During his lifetime Sir Thomas ‘Judge’ Rokeby was patronised by King William III and Mary Queen of Scots and it is believed that Mary visited the castle on several occasions. Joseph Rokeby Esq inherited the castle in 1741 and he extended and improved the mansion, bringing to it many of the fashionable features of the period whilst retaining original features where possible including a priest hole in one of the thick walls. The final phase of alterations and additions took place in 1875 under the guidance of Charles Elsley who is documented to have rebuilt and remodelled ‘the mansion’ and ancillary buildings resulting in the present façade.