Country houses for sale

A beautiful Yorkshire lodge set in 20 acres of woods and farmland in the heart of Swaledale

Thiernswood Hall, a former hunting lodge in North Yorkshire, stands against the beautiful backdrop of Swaledale.

With little sign of any levelling off of demand for secluded country houses in picturesque rural locations, the North of England has been a happy hunting ground for buyers from outside the region in the first half of the year.

To further whet the appetite, hot off the press comes Thiernswood Hall, a mid-Victorian former hunting lodge set in 20 acres of woods and farmland on the fringe of the hamlet of Healaugh, in the heart of Swaledale, a mile from the village of Reeth and 13 miles west of Richmond, for which Savills is quoting a guide price of £2.5 million.

Thiernswood Hall

Once home to renowned agriculturalist, farmer and outstanding shot the late Sir Joseph Nickerson, the 10-bedroom house was built in 1855 and named after the surrounding woodland, which rises steeply to the north before gradually giving way to open moorland.

Infrastructure, including wiring and central heating, was replaced or renewed and, more recently, the kitchen and several bathrooms have been updated. Thus, today, modern touches combined with period features in the 5,867sq ft main house, which, in addition to the 10 bedrooms features a grand drawing room, a separate sitting room, a formal dining room and a panoramic conservatory, as well as a kitchen and dining area and an office.

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Thiernswood Hall

Three more bedrooms are available in the bothy and cottage, which have been converted to two self-contained holiday/guest cottages.

A former coach house and gun room is now used as a store, and, across the courtyard, a newly built triple garage is fitted with 16 solar panels that generate an income of some £1,350 a year.

Thiernswood Hall

But Thiernswood Hall’s most charming feature is the idyllic setting. The River Swale runs eastwards from a ridge on the Yorkshire-Cumbria border to the historic market town of Richmond, through a pastoral landscape of moorland streams, high mountains, dry-stone walls and stone barns and houses.

Sandwiched between Arkengarthdale (‘James Herriot country’) to the north and Wensleydale to the south, Swaledale was once described as ‘a little country in itself… Once there, shut in by barriers of hills, the rest of the world seems unimportant and unreal. One gets this feeling in all the Yorkshire dales, but it is strongest in Swaledale. This valley is unlike anywhere else in England’.

Thiernswood Hall

The grounds include two six-acre fields bounded by dry-stone walls, one of which houses an underground reservoir that feeds the house with an endless supply of spring water.


Below the hall to the south-west is another five-acre field bounded by a dry-stone wall and the entrance drive to the west.

Thiernswood Hall is for sale at 2.5 million via Savills — see more pictures or enquire with the agent for further details.

Healaugh: What you need to know

  • Location: The village is one mile from Reeth and 13 from Richmond
  • Atmosphere:A quiet rural village, Healaugh is within easy reach of Reeth’sshops and pubs, doctor’s surgery, weekly market and vet
  • Things to do: This is gorgeous countryside with plenty of glorious walks (try the Swale trail). The Swaledale museum is worth a visit and the area has an annual agricultural show and the Swaledale festival of music and arts. Richmond offers further cultural and entertaining options
  • Schools: Reeth Community primary school is rated good by OfstedFind more properties in the area.

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