As a rule, old places tend to have grown organically and so are rather higgle-piggledy in layout, while new places tend to be structured along more regular lines. Compare York’s medieval labyrinth with New York’s grid system and you’ll get the idea.
But the rule breaks down in Ripley. The village, on a kink in the road between Harrogate and Ripon, is truly ancient – its name, which means ‘clearing of the Hrype’, commemorates an Anglian tribe from well over 1,000 years ago – yet its houses have visibly been built to a plan.
That’s because the whole village was torn down in the 1850s by the then lord of the manor, William Amcotts Ingilby, and rebuilt in the style he had come to love while visiting Alsace. As a result, the houses are uniform in style and even match the village amenities, like the pub and the Hôtel de Ville, or village hall.
The Boar’s Head pub, incidentally, takes its name from the animal on the coat of arms of the Ingilby family, whose ancestor, Thomas Ingilby, saved King Edward III from a boar while hunting in 1357 and was knighted as a reward.
The Ingilby family have now lived at Ripley Castle for 710 years and the current baronet, Sir Thomas, represents its 28th generation.
Aside from the castle, the village has a 14th-century church, butcher, general store and ice cream shop, as well as tea rooms and gift shop within the castle precincts. There’s a village cricket team, regular car-boot sales during the summer (the last of 2019 was on Sunday), and outdoor events in the castle grounds.
As if all that weren’t enough, it’s just a few minutes’ drive into Harrogate and the Nidderdale countryside is right on the doorstep. No wonder The Times named Ripley in 2017 as one of the 20 Best Villages in Britain to live in.
If you want your own little piece of Yorkshire ‘Alsace’, one of the following three properties might be the one for you.
Broxholme occupies part of Ripley Castle’s original Dower House, and has recently been updated but still has many of its original features, including mullioned windows, ornate cornicing and cast-iron radiators. There’s an entrance hall and study, and at the heart of the house is a magnificent double-height dining hall with minstrel’s gallery and lantern roof, which leads to the sitting room, rear hall, butler’s pantry and kitchen.
Upstairs there are five bedrooms and three bathrooms, and in the cellars are a laundry room, wine store, coal store and door to the rear courtyard.
Outside, it has a 3.2-acre paddock, as well as access to six acres of shared woodland, plus a detached double garage and summerhouse.
Wath House is a Grade II listed property in the heart of the village, and has four bedrooms, two bathrooms, three reception rooms, a utility room and a long, light-filled dining kitchen extension. To the rear there is a garden and single garage, and to the front are two parking spaces.
Finally, two Grade II listed estate cottages will be up for sale at auction at 3pm on Tuesday (October 1). They both have one bedroom, bathroom, kitchen and sitting room, and one of them has a utility room and garden shed. In both cases, planning and listed building consents have been approved to extend the ground floor.