This ‘fascinating’ £3m Peak District former hunting lodge has a ‘spectacular’ medieval great hall and connections to Agatha Christie
You really could live like a lord or lady at this country house nestled on the side of Kinder Scout and ‘in the middle’ of six thousand acres of National Trust land.
Upper House has a “fascinating history” with a medieval great hall and famous guests, and could now be yours as it goes in the market for £3.2m.
Its origins can be traced back to the 14th century and one of its most well-known owners was James Watts, who was the Mayor of Manchester and also the father-in-law to Agatha Christie.
An array of illustrious guests were entertained in the house over the years, including Benjamin Disraeli and Prince Albert, who would visit Kinder Scout for society shoots.
At Upper House, James’ daughter-in-law, Agatha Christie, enjoyed the peace and seclusion here for much of her life, and based many novels and characters on her experience of the area.
The current owner of the house on Kinder Road, Hayfield, said: “We bought Upper House 20 years ago when it was an absolute wreck; previous owners had given it a complete 1960’s makeover, with concrete floors, a Formica kitchen… it was all so inappropriate. It needed a huge amount of work, but it has such a magnificent past and rich history that we decided it deserved a new lease of life, and so we embarked upon what was to become a 15-year labour of love to breathe new life into it… but it was a joy for us to do.
“We always intended it to be our family home, and for our four children it was an absolute dream; living in their own ‘castle’ in the middle of 6,000 acres of National Trust land… It really couldn’t be more idyllic.”
The owners have "beautifully and very sensitively” renovated and refurbished the entire house, creating 12 sumptuous bedrooms, five beautiful lounges, 10 stylish bathrooms and five stunning bespoke kitchens from the likes of Mark Wilkinson and David Lisle.
The current owner added: “We went to great lengths to get it just right, enlisting the help of a master blacksmith who did all of the ironwork, and we were lucky enough to discover carpenter Ben Naylor of Jack Badger right at the beginning of his career who has beautifully handcrafted all of the woodwork in the house. It’s now a really beautiful home, but I’d say we’ve struck the ideal balance between old and new.
“We loved living here, it’s such a stunning home, but it simply became too big for our family.
"We didn’t want to sell and because it’s such a great party house we came up with the idea of hosting events here. It was a hunting lodge so it was always intended to be a place where people would gather together and enjoy themselves, and with its great hall, the little pub and sumptuous bedrooms, and all set within this magical environment we decided to turn it into a business.
"We’ve only ever done 12 big events a year, be that weddings, retreats or workshops, but it works so well and we’ve enjoyed the business side of things, and our guests have had a wonderful time too.
“The house sits so beautifully within 30 acres of stunning grounds and we enjoy shooting rights, fishing rights as well as access rights over Kinder. It’s a very special place; once you drive through those gates you enter another world. You can’t see anything or anyone, not a light, not another house, it’s totally idyllic so it’s often hard to believe that it is only 25 miles to Manchester.”
The house is being marketed by Fine & Country. Call 01298 605210 for details.