See how GORGEOUS this 16th century house is, for sale for £1.35m
PUBLISHED: 08:17 02 November 2018 | UPDATED: 08:34 02 November 2018
This Grade II listed house, which dates in part as far back as the early 1500s, is architecturally exceptional but it has been given a complete make-over by the current vendors who have improved it and dressed it with the most beautiful interiors. Property editor Caroline Culot enjoyed a visit to see Knapton Old Hall, for sale for £1.35 million.
Knapton Old Hall was once a manor/hall house dating to 1500-1530 and belonged to a Thomas Greene. It was then subdivided into parts owned by different members of the same family so the property was known as the Knapton Greenes. It then enjoyed some significant remodelling and an extension was added in the early 1600s. In one of the receptions, a substantial ceiling beam is thought to be one of the very oldest parts of the house and there would have originally been just two rooms. In 1637 it was sold to a Bernard Hale, master of Peterhouse College, Cambridge - he left the house in his will to the college and incredibly, it owned it for the next 258 years.
In that time it was added to with a whole new wing created in the 19th century and in the early 20th century saw its biggest change when it was redesigned in the Arts and Crafts style. You can see this reflected in some of the many fireplaces built to a simplistic design and with trefoils carved into the wooden mantles, very distinctive of this period.
In the late 1950s the farm was leased to David Cargill who subsequently bought it and in 1980 the hall was bought by his son Alan who made it his home until selling it in 2013 to the current vendors.
Knapton Old Hall excels architecturally; you only have to look at its crow stepped gables, brick mullion windows and an original 17th century staircase to see why.
So this is a house which has been lovingly restored and improved over pretty much every century and five years ago it underwent its latest series of improvements when the current owners re-roofed it, updated the plumbing, put in a new boiler, three bathrooms and most significantly, had the original Tudor chimneys restored and put in a gorgeous custom built kitchen by Bryan Turner.
As Louis de Soissons from selling agents Savills, says, it offers a perfect fusion between period and contemporary; you can enjoy the formal front hall reception which has a slightly lower ceiling, beams and dark panelling but then also live life in the most fabulous open plan kitchen with a marble topped central unit which is one of the biggest I have seen - and there is no join in that marble!
What makes the rooms so special for me are the mullion leaded windows, which are Victorian, not Tudor, but just so intricately made with beautiful handles and the tiniest of locks for what must be the world’s smallest keys. However, you have this real architectural mix; intricate windows, but very simplistic brick Arts and Crafts fireplaces. In all you have four good reception rooms off a hall with an original Arts and Crafts wooden floor with a mosaic pattern running down the centre and literally put together like a jigsaw puzzle.
One of the most stunning rooms is the formal dining room with ‘Amazonian’ wallpaper in dark green and black from Witch and Watchman which creates a very atmospheric room, dark and mysterious. A really clever idea used to great effect is that the vendors have put up big gilt frames on the walls - which are actually empty but show the wallpaper inside.
Upstairs, there are five principal bedrooms and three bath/shower rooms and these are designed to be very luxurious. I absolutely loved the way these rooms were presented, again with some fabulous and colourful wallpaper; in one of the bedrooms there is a paper by Kit Miles and his fabric was used on a wonderful chaise longue in front of the window. In another corner is a teal velvet chair positioned next to a bookcase and beneath a painting which just looks so beautiful. The vendors fell in love with Kit Miles’ wallpaper after seeing some of it in the Groucho club in Soho. Spot another of his designs used halfway up in the hall. I loved the ‘Birds in Chains’ wallpaper in the master bedroom and in the blue bedroom, the walls are covered with a paper called Camelia, also from Kit Miles.
When I visited, it was raining so I didn’t get to have a proper walk around the gardens which are also a real feature of this house. The kitchen leads into a contemporary garden room, converted from an original structure, and you can see right through to what is known locally as the ‘Knapton Henge, a series of rather unusual stones. Established beech, copper beech, cedar and ornamental Persian iron wood, mulberry and quince adorn the gardens and there is also a hard tennis court and a pergola-lined walk with honeysuckle, rose and wisteria with the grounds extending in all to around 3.2 acres.
Knapton Old Hall is for sale for £1.35 million with Savills on 01603 229229.