Agent cites Downton Abbey effect for upsurge in renting a piece of Yorkshire history

markington hall

THE popularity of TV dramas such as 'Downton Abbey' has triggered an upsurge in interest among people wanting to rent a piece of Yorkshire history.

Residential letting specialists Linley & Simpson have properties on eight ancestral estates of Yorkshire's rich and famous on their books, as more and more people seek an insight into living life as Lords - or Ladies - of the Manor.

Its property portfolio includes homes with links to anti-slavery MP William Wilberforce and Parliament gunpowder plotter Guy Fawkes.

Markington Hall

"The Yorkshire rental market is buoyed by the 'Downton Abbey' effect," said Linley & Simpson director, Will Linley. "The resurgence of period dramas such as this and 'Upstairs, Downstairs' has sparked an upsurge of interest in properties from a bygone age.

"Many of these properties have been modernised and tastefully renovated and, as a result, there is no shortage of tenants wanting to step back in time and follow in the historical footsteps of the people who lived in the properties hundreds of years ago."

Linley & Simpson has been appointed to handle the rental of homes in some of the country's most prestigious halls and manor houses.

Instructions include:

Markington Hall, between Ripon and Harrogate, owned by descendents of anti-slave trade campaigner William Wilberforce. Parts of the hall, which is set in eight acres of sprawling grounds, date back to the 14th Century and during the Second World War, plans for the allied invasion of Sicily were reputed to have been drawn up within its walls.

Farnley Hall, a grade 1 listed manor house near Otley, which was owned by MP Walker Fawkes a relative of Guy Fawkes in the 1800s. Among the many visitors attracted to the property in the past are John Ruskin, the Victorian artist and philosopher, who was taken with the collection of paintings by J.M.W. Turner, a friends of the then owner; and John Carr, who designed Harewood House. There have also been Royal visitors.

Eshton Hall, in the Yorkshire Dales near Gargrave, a stately home designed in the neo-Jacobean style in the 1820s, and the former seat of Sir Matthew Wilson MP

Ingmanthorpe Hall, a grade II listed mansion near Wetherby racecourse once owned by Andrew Montagu in the late 1800s. He was the owner of over twenty-seven thousand acres of land in five counties, bringing him a gross income of £53,000 a year. He used part of his wealth), to help to ease the financial problems of the Conservative leader, Benjamin Disraeli.

Steeton Hall, near South Milford, home to a striking and well-preserved 14th Century manorial gateway classed as an ancient monument and protected by English Heritage.

Allerton Castle, a Grade 1 listed Gothic house by the A1 near Harrogate, with links to the nursery rhyme 'The Grand Old Duke of York and his 10,000 men'. It was also featured in the 1993 film 'The Secret Garden'.

The letting specialists also has on its books Spofforth Hall, a renovated Georgian mansion between Harrogate and Wetherby, Heath Manor, a listed building near Wakefield; as well as something slightly more offbeat for history lovers the former Victorian fire station at Sandal, near Wakefield. It also has the grade II listed, 3-bedroom detached house the Old Dovecote, which used to belong to the former Vicar of Darrington, near Pontefract, and dates to the 17th Century. The building's oak doors and oak-framed leaded windows were fitted by craftsmen who worked on York Minster.

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