Typically, they would live in cottages belonging to – and rented from – the lord, and groups of these often formed the nucleus of an estate village. Sometimes, these villages were built from scratch, and such properties tend to share a uniform appearance shaped by the landowner’s vision.
A prime example can be found between Harrogate and Ripon. Ripley is an ancient place, but in the mid-19th century it was completely levelled by the incumbent lord, William Amcotts-Ingilby (1783-1854), and rebuilt in the style of the villages of Alsace-Lorraine in France that he had seen while travelling.
Many estate villages have been sold off, some at once, others piecemeal, and as a result today’s residents usually own their properties, rather than renting them.
Estate villages are often in truly beautiful locations – partly because the gentry of old really knew how to pick a nice spot for the family seat, and partly because they were in the habit of reserving acres of countryside as parkland which is usually preserved as such to this day. The following three properties are all in former estate villages and all are currently on the market.
Chantry House is one of Ripley’s most prominent properties. Built on the site of the village’s original chantry, the historic building would have housed the local priests who at one time provided education for the surrounding community. The majority of the current property dates from the 1830s, when Ripley was rebuilt as a model estate village, but some aspects, such as a medieval window, pre-date this. For sale for only the second time in nearly 200 years, it has six bedrooms, two bathrooms, breakfast kitchen, utility room, three reception rooms, Victorian conservatory and cellars. Outside, there are two courtyard gardens, a double garage and stores.
Near Knaresborough, Goldsborough Grange dates to 1858 and is a historic landmark in Goldsborough. The village used to be owned by the Lascelles family, better known as the Earls of Harewood, but they sold it in 1953 to pay off crippling death duties.
The house has six bedrooms, three bathrooms, kitchen, breakfast room, utility room, pantry, wine cellars and three reception rooms. Outside, there’s a two-storey coach house with garaging and workshops, plus a bothy, pavilion, garden stores, greenhouse and kennels. The grounds include a walled garden, orchard, copse and secret garden with tennis court, which needs to be restored.
Finally, High Grantley was the estate village of Grantley Hall, near Ripon, but was sold by the Aykroyd family in 1948 to pay death duties. The Cottage is a compact stone-built house now in need of renovation, with two bedrooms, a bathroom, kitchen, two reception rooms and an adjoining outdoor store.