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Particulars of Sale

Kirby Knowle Castle

Kirby Knowle | Thirsk | North Yorkshire | YO7 2JD


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. There is a fully refurbished detached cottage, which could be used for guest or staff quarters.

Thirsk 5 miles, York 29.5 miles, Harrogate 33 miles (Distances and time approximate)

Kirby Knowle Castle is situated in a particularly picturesque stretch of undulating North Yorkshire countryside; the chalk escarpment of Sutton Bank, the Yorkshire Dales and North Yorkshire Moors National Parks all being in view. Despite its peaceful rural surroundings, the property is conveniently close to the A19 which provides direct access to the nearby market towns of Thirsk and Northallerton, also linking to the A1(M) leading to Harrogate and Leeds to the south. The area is home to some excellent public houses and restaurants and there are several noteworthy schools within easy reach including Aysgarth, Ripon Grammar, Cundall Manor, Ampleforth College and Queen Ethelburga’s.
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.

Summary of accommodation;

Ground floor: Entrance porch | Entrance hall | Drawing room | Sitting room | Library | Main staircase hallway | Side hallways | Two cloakrooms | Kitchen/dining room

Secondary staircase
Lower ground floor: Cinema room | Boot room | Snooker/games room | Wine cellar | Log store | Plant room | External access

First floor: Principal bedroom suite | Three further bedroom suites | Laundry room

Second floor: Three bedrooms | Bathroom | Gym | Steam room | Shower room

Sitting room | Kitchen | Two bedrooms | Bathroom | Utility room | Boiler room

Car barn | Gardeners’ barn

Garden and Grounds
Extensive lawns | Water features | Greenhouse | Patio areas | Ample parking | Woodland | Paddocks | Pond

In all about 65.50 acres

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.

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.

The property is approached from the public highway along a sweeping tarmac driveway to the rear and side of the property.

Approached from the main drive, the front of the property has car parking at the main entrance. A driveway leads to the rear of the property through an electric security gate to a large cobbled parking area servicing the castle and the cottage.

To the back of the side is a newly constructed steel portal garage with space for several vehicles.

Garden machinery
Off a spur of the main drive is a large barn currently used for garden machinery storage.

Directions (YO7 2JD)
From the A19, heading north, follow signs to Knayton and Borrowby, taking the first right once exiting the dual carriageway towards Knayton. Continue through the village and onto a crossroads turning right towards Upsall. At the T-junction turn left and proceed for approximately half a mile, at which point the entrance to Kirby Knowle Castle will be on the left.

Property information
Services: Mains electricity, Private sewerage system, Private water supply, Biomass boiler, supplying domestic hot water and central heating via underfloor and radiators.

Fixtures and Fittings: All items known as fixtures and fittings are specifically excluded from the sale but may be available by separate negotiation.

Rights of Way: There is a footpath on the furthest boundary from the property – see boundary plan.

Listing: The property is Grade II listed.

Strictly by prior appointment with joint agents Knight Frank and MSW Hewetsons.

Please Note: MSW Hewetsons, their clients and any joint agents give notice that; They are not authorised to make or give any representations or warranties in relation to the property either here or elsewhere, either on their own behalf or on behalf of their client or otherwise. They assume no responsibility for any statement that may be made in these particulars. These particulars do not form part of any offer or contract and must not be relied upon as statements or representations of fact.

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Last Updated : 7th Feb 2024

Misrepresentation ACT 1967 - Notice

MSW Hewetsons for themselves, and for the vendors of this property whose agents they are, give notice that:

  • (1) These particulars do not constitute, nor constitute any part of, an offer or contract.
  • (2) All statements contained in these particulars as to this property are made without responsibility on the part of MSW Hewetsons, Skiptonweb or the vendor.
  • (3) None of the statements contained in these particulars as to this property are to be relied on as statements or representations of fact.
  • (4) Any intending purchaser must satisfy himself by inspection or otherwise as to the correctness of each of the statements contained in these particulars .
  • (5) The vendor does not make or give, and neither do MSW Hewetsons nor any person in their employment has any authority to make or give, any representation or warranty whatever in relation to this property.

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