This handsome, Grade II-listed five-bedroom detached house is found in the village of Gate Helmsley, near York. Unfolding over 4,500 sq ft, the house has been immaculately restored by the current owners, who have celebrated its original features and incredible proportions while making it suitable for modern living. Once a working farm, the outbuildings have been linked to the house through the addition of a sculptural glass ceiling over the yard, providing an additional room that can be used all year round. A separate one-bedroom annexe can be found in the garden, perfect for guests or for renting out. The house, which is relatively rural – and has a decked viewing platform over the Yorkshire Wolds – is a short journey from York’s station, where trains to London run in less than two hours.
Setting the Scene
The village of Gate Helmsley lies about seven miles to the east of historic York. The village was mentioned in the Domesday Book as ‘Hamelsec’, and as a possession of the Archbishop of York. York has a rich and varied history, first established in 71 AD when a Roman military fortress was constructed on flat ground above the River Ouse. This fortress, later rebuilt in stone, covered an area of 50 acres and was inhabited by 6,000 soldiers. The York City Walls remain to this today, although they have been rebuilt over the years, and are now used as an elevated circular walking route around the city centre. York is also home to the Shambles, a street with exceptionally well-preserved medieval buildings, some dating back as far as the 14th century. Timber-framed buildings with jettied floors line the narrow street.
This Georgian house – built circa 1759 – has been lovingly renovated by the current owners and has been featured in many popular publications, a testament to the beautifully composed interior.
The Grand Tour
A side entrance opens into a hallway lined with black and white checkerboard tiles from Ca’Pietra. To one side is the kitchen, a lovely space with yellow-painted cabinetry topped with Caesar stone worktops and splashback. Smart, engineered oak floors are found underfoot, which compliment the central island; a beautiful vintage freestanding French shop counter sourced and adapted by The French House. Lovely Bert & May tiles line a splashback behind the stove, which in turn is framed by open shelves, perfect for displaying ceramics and glassware. A small staircase from the kitchen leads upstairs to a tucked away area; currently used as a delightful study with its own bathroom, it could also be a fifth bedroom. Downstairs, on the other side of the corridor, lies a utility room, decorated with patterned wallpaper by Poodle and Blonde and open shelves. It is also complete with a useful pantry cupboard. A guest WC sits next door.
From here, double doors lead from the corridor into the orangery. Once a yard, the owners cleverly added a glazed roof and lined the floor with beautiful reclaimed terracotta tiles sourced from Bert & May. The result is a wonderful, airy and sunny space, with many refined touches such as J. Adams wall lights. To the front of the house sit three exceptional living spaces. In the Georgian part of the house are two rooms that share many lovely features, such as their high ceilings and tall sash windows framed by original shutters. In one sitting room, the original floorboards have been sanded and stained. There is also a stylish Jotul woodburner here within a fireplace with its original brick lintel. In the other room, the fireplace has an elegant marble surround. A 1920s extension now houses an open-plan dining and bar area. From here Crittall-style doors open onto a terrace with a barbecue area. There is also an office and a gym/studio on this floor, as well as a cellar below, providing additional storage.
A grand staircase with original handrail and spindles leads upstairs, lit from above by lights which the current owner sourced from a church. The principal bedroom is decorated with striking wallpaper, ‘Broadwick Street‘ by Little Greene, and carries through into a smart dressing area. Here, scaffolding poles have been cleverly used as hanging space. Behind the bedroom is another dressing room, and an en suite bathroom. A large sash window frames far-reaching views over the surrounding fields. There are three more bedrooms on this floor, all of which share a luxurious family bathroom.
Across the gravelled driveway is a garage and a self-contained one-bedroom cottage. This would make an ideal holiday let or a great guest space. Downstairs is a wide entrance hall with colourful terrazzo tiles by Ca’Pietra. Behind is an amazing shower room, lined with orange square tiles. Stairs ascend to a living space with a kitchenette, warmed by a wood-burning stove. Tucked behind Crittall-style doors is a double bedroom.
The Great Outdoors
The house is set behind a lawned front garden with tall beech hedges and feels wonderfully private as a result. The owner has cleverly designed varied entertaining spaces, including an outdoor kitchen area, and another seating area tucked around the corner, all covered for use year-round. Beautifully planted borders, stocked with hydrangeas, roses wisteria and eucalyptus, line the garden walls. There is parking for multiple cars, as well as an electric car charging point and garage. The annexe also enjoys parking, and a terraced area perfect for a table and chairs. There is also a lean-to shed with log store.
Out and About
York is a beautiful walled city founded by the Romans. It has a huge 13th-century Gothic cathedral, York Minster, which still has medieval stained glass and two functioning bell towers. It is also replete with independent shops, restaurants and pubs. Micklegate is home to restaurant/café/arts space Partisan, as well as the Bib Gourmand-awarded Skosh. In nearby Marygate is the Michelin-starred restaurant Roots. The popular Star Inn the City is an all-day brasserie with a terrace overlooking the river. Spark – an outdoor community space – is home to exciting food, retail, arts and social enterprise start-ups. York is also home to a magical Christmas market, as well as the year-round Shambles Market.
There are also numerous good schools nearby; state primary and secondary schools locally have a brilliant reputation, including Huntington School, a top-rated secondary school. Private schools include the popular St Peter’s School and Bootham School. There is also a Steiner school.
A little further afield, the beautiful market town of Helmsley is a short drive away for extra amenities. It has a variety of independent shops, restaurants, tea rooms, and a medieval castle, as well as a weekly market on Fridays. Additionally, Malton, known as Yorkshire’s food capital, is a 20-minute drive away. It has artisan food shops and highly regarded restaurants, making it a haven for foodies. Notably, The Black Swan in Oldstead is a Michelin-starred restaurant and inn located near the beautiful ruins of Byland Abbey.
Locally, the bucolic walking routes of the Yorkshire Wolds Way are a rambler’s paradise, while Leeds and the pretty market town of Beverly, as well as arteries to the rest of the UK, are all very close by. Trains go directly from York Station to King’s Cross in an hour and 50 minutes.
Council Tax Band: G
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