The historic joy of living in the past

Bishop's Palace, Ripon - �695,000 with Beadnall & Copley, 01765 698100.

Bishop's Palace, Ripon - �695,000 with Beadnall & Copley, 01765 698100.

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There’s nothing like sensing your own place in history – by living in your very own piece of it.

Historic homes with tales to tell are not just interesting – they are important.

The Coach House, Plompton - �595,000 with Knight Frank, 01423 530088.

The Coach House, Plompton - �595,000 with Knight Frank, 01423 530088.

Their accumulated history “outweighs” any time we may own them for, so we become their guardians and stewards – and with that comes great privilege, and great pleasure.

The following four properties are all of historical interest, and are all looking for new owners.

The Coach House at Plompton is one of six homes created from a grade II*-listed Georgian coach-house complex and arranged around a central courtyard.

It was built in the 1750s for Daniel Lascelles, whose family later became the earls of Harewood. The architect was John Carr, who also designed Harewood House for Daniel’s brother, Edwin. Its pedigree is immediately apparent in its tall, arched carriage entrance, which is topped by an octagonal cupola.

College House, 9 College Lane, Masham - �675,000 with Buchanan Mitchell, 01423 360055.

College House, 9 College Lane, Masham - �675,000 with Buchanan Mitchell, 01423 360055.

It has four bedrooms, a boot room, gardens, private parking and a useful store.

Our other three properties have less worldly pasts. Potterton Grange, just north of Barwick-in-Elmet, for example, looks fairly secular, but has a 16th-century Cistercian kiln and pottery withing its grounds.

This is an ancient farmstead, dating back over 500 years; there was a medieval village nearby, whose foundations and field outlines can still be seen to this day.

The four-bedroom property comprises a significant period farmhouse and part barn conversion, and there’s plenty of potential for further conversion. The utility room, for example, has a staircase leading up to a storage loft area with exposed beams and trusses, providing just under 500 sq feet of potential additional accommodation.

Potterton Grange, Potterton Lane, Potterton - �1 million with Renton & Parr, 01937 582731.

Potterton Grange, Potterton Lane, Potterton - �1 million with Renton & Parr, 01937 582731.

There are gardens and parking, paddock and fields (8 acres), a foldyard and a range of outbuildings, including loose boxes, stables and workshop/garaging – all potentially convertible.

In Ripon, the grade II-listed Bishop’s Palace Chapel has been converted to a fantastic three-bedroom house.

Built in 1846 by William Railton, who also designed Nelson’s Column, it is a magnificent, battlemented piece of Victorian gothic fantasy. All stone and stunning stained-glass, living here would surely be a daily treat for the eyes.

Finally, the grade II-listed College House in Masham was once the manor hall of the church’s holdings in the area.

Built, amazingly, in the 12th century, it was raised to two storeys in the 13th, probably to accommodate a courtroom on the upper floor.

The hall was visited during the late Middle Ages by important church dignitaries, including Cardinal Wolsey, who were wined, dined and lodged here on progresses around the North. At the reformation, Masham church and its lands were granted by Henry VIII to Trinity College Cambridge – hence the house’s name.

The current owners have restored the four-bedroom house, taking great care to retain its surviving original features, to (re-)create one of Masham’s most interesting properties.