WHEN Sir Roger de Lascelles sought permission from Edward I to build a castle at Kirby Knowle – and began its construction in the latter part of the 13th century – he almost certainly hoped that it would see and be seen from its position on an elevated plateaux of land on the south western edge of the Hambleton Hills which offered views over the Vale of Mowbray towards the Vale of York.

What he could not have foreseen, however, was the path the castle's history would follow and what it would become thanks to a lovingly carried out renovation by its 21st century owners.

Part of the castle was destroyed by fire in 1568 and was left in a dilapidated state until it, and the surrounding estate, were bought by James Danby in 1653 who repaired the ruins using stone from the adjoining castle at Upsall, adding the south (front) and west wings.

His work was continued by Sir Thomas Rokeby who was patronised by King William III and Mary Queen of Scots – in fact it's believed Mary visited the castle on several occasions. Joseph Rokeby Esq inherited the castle in 1741 and extended and improved the mansion, then the final phase of alterations and additions took place in 1875 under the guidance of Charles Elsley, who is documented to have rebuilt and remodelled ‘the mansion’ and ancillary buildings resulting in the present façade.

And so to today when the classic castle on the hill which has enjoyed what must be one of the best views of rural Yorkshire for over 700 years stands proudly at its grandest once again thanks to a programme of works by the current owners – with guidance from English Heritage – which has included the renovation or replacement of all damaged architectural stonework and window openings together with re-roofing, rewiring and the installation of a commercial capacity biomass heating system.

The Northern Echo: Kirby Knowle Castle - Thirsk - Knight Frank

To create a stylish and comfortable family home the interior has been reinvented too, with exceptional design, beautiful decorations, the highest quality fitments, bespoke joinery and artisan plasterwork and a reorganisation which has seen the original staircase removed and a three-story open staircase installed to allow natural light in and take advantage of the exceptional views.

Set over four floors, the vast accommodation includes a cinema room, games room, boot room and wine cellar on the lower ground floor; a stylish entrance hall, secondary hall, two cloakrooms, a library, sitting room, formal drawing room and stunning kitchen/ dining room on the ground floor and the living accommodation spread over the two upper floors. This comprises a laundry room and four bedrooms – all en-suite and with the master also benefitting from a spacious dressing room – on the first floor, and two further bedrooms with a shared bathroom, a storage room/single bedroom plus a gym with steam room and shower room on the second floor.

The Northern Echo: Kirby Knowle Castle - Thirsk - Knight Frank

The exterior of grade II listed Kirby Knowle Castle certainly does not play second fiddle to the interior.

Rredesigned garden areas to the front south elevation are home to an ornamental fountain, stone flagged areas and a barbecue kitchen which together provide excellent entertaining space.

The Northern Echo: Kirby Knowle Castle - Thirsk - Knight Frank

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There is also two ponds, a purpose-built car storage facility, outbuildings, a fully refurbished detached two-bedroom cottage which could be used for guests or as staff quarters, greenhouse, paddocks and woodland – all set in about 65.56 acres. You really could not ask for more!

Kirby Knowle Castle, near Thirsk, is on the market at £6.95m.

For more information or to arrange a viewing, please contact the York office of Knight Frank on 01904 948449.