Since medieval times, the village of Ackworth, eight miles from Wakefield, West Yorkshire, has been the scene of many a historic battle, including, during the Wars of the Roses, the Battle of Wakefield in 1460 and the Battle of Towton the following year. The village was also a hotbed of dissent following the dissolution of the monasteries.
Throughout its history, Grade II*-listed, 16th – century Ackworth Old Hall-once part of the Nostell Priory estate and currently for sale through Carter Jonas (01423 523423) at a guide price of £2m – has been in the thick of the action. In the 17th century, the notorious highwayman John Nevison escaped the law by hiding in a secret chamber over the hall’s north door, only to be caught and hanged at York a year later.
First rescued from ruin by estate owner Lord St Oswald in 1878, the Old Hall has recently undergone another major restoration. This has seen the retention of the building’s most significant period features and the construction of a new west wing using the former stables and farm buildings to create a superb leisure complex and swimming pool, set against the backdrop of the hall’s four acres of immaculate gardens and grounds.
A rejuvenated Ackworth Old Hall has some 7,000sq ft of residential space, including a reception hall, three main reception rooms, a bespoke Mark Wilkinson kitchen, a cinema room, master and guest suites, three further bedrooms and two bathrooms.