Rare country house with royal connections
North Carlton Hall is steeped in history with aristocratic links to a visit from Henry VIII.
As a fine example of a historic elegant English country house, North Carlton Hall, which dates back to the 16th century, has come onto the open market for the first time.
Situated just three miles from Lincoln within magnificent grounds of approximately 15 acres and surrounded by glorious open countryside, this stunning Grade I listed classic Tudor hall features impressive proportions with striking high ceilings throughout its interior.
North Carlton Hall is set within parkland with landscaped grounds which feature a tennis court, heated swimming pool, moat, woodland, pond, stables and a number of useful outbuildings.
Inside, the beautifully proportioned living accommodation includes 10 bedrooms, two dressing rooms, three bathrooms, four principle reception rooms with imposing fireplaces, dining room, sitting room and a breakfast room with a large kitchen adjoining a spacious utility/pantry and a useful cellar below.
Ralph Wyrley-Birch from Mount & Minster perfectly describes this unique property as “an impressive statement home within manageable grounds offering a blank canvas for the new custodians to put their stamp on an exceptional property”.
“Rarely does something so prominent such as this come up for sale so close to Lincoln, as is testament to the fact it has never been offered for sale on the open market since the day it was built in the early 16th century,” he explains.
“Historically, North Carlton Hall is considered to be of significant special architectural and historic interest, so much so it has Grade I listed status, a grade reserved for only the top 2.5% of listed properties in the UK.
“It is therefore of the same listing as Lincoln Castle, Doddington Hall, Belton House and Lincoln Cathedral, making it one of the most important homes not only in Lincolnshire, but also in the UK.
“To acquire such a special home surrounded by its own rural parkland, yet just five minutes from Lincoln, is a rare opportunity.”
According to historical records, the hall is legendary locally as being the house where Henry VIII stayed when visiting Lincoln in 1541. The Monson family, who lived here at the time, were friends of the king and John Monson was knighted on the hall’s doorstep. Both the impressive entrance and doorstep are still in existence today.
Other historical features which are still evident include the undulations of the moat that surrounded the entire property, as well as some parts still accommodating water. There are also fascinating examples of doorways being heightened from the original Tudor elevations – people were much smaller 500 years ago! – as well as some of the finest examples of banker marks on the huge amounts of original masonry that feature throughout this stunning home.
Ralph says his first impressions on approaching this historic home – with glimpses of the eastern gable-end through the trees, teasing visitors to something special beyond the parkland – were memorable.
“The first time I saw the property in the distance over the glorious parkland I thought it very grand and imposing,” says Ralph.
“As you approach the property up the long driveway, you pass a pond and outbuildings, including a former fashion studio, stables, cart sheds and secure garages before being met by the imposing architecture of a residence of this calibre.
“It has that initial look that’s common with similar large manor houses and stately homes, but on closer inspection I soon realised that it’s actually a really nicely proportioned family home that is manageable and has a certain warmth about it that’s very different to the larger country piles.
“Here, you’ll use every room – it’s not for show, it’s to live in and enjoy. This house is the complete package, the quintessential country house with privacy and peace, with the added enjoyment of a tennis court and heated swimming pool – what more could you possibly want or need?
“On entering the property through the hallway and walking directly into the drawing room, one is immediately hit with the ‘wow-factor’, taking in the stunning fireplace, gorgeous mullion windows providing vistas over the formal gardens, and pleasantly high ceilings.
“The drawing room is undoubtedly the most impressive space in the house, however the kitchen is also an absolute treasure. It’s certainly not been touched since the 1960s, but that in itself is quite spectacular. It has fantastic elevation height and a superb chimney breast, which would have once accommodated a Victorian range and is crying out to have a new Aga in its place.
“For me, the house is already stunning from top to bottom, but if I was to put my own stamp on this glorious home, the kitchen would be a lot of fun and my first project.”
Renovations and refurbishments
Since North Carlton Hall was established in the early 16th century, the property has been passed down to, and inherited by, previous generations. The property, which is being sold through probate, has not been lived in for the past three months and is in need of modernisation.
Ralph Wyrley-Birch believes that although the house can be lived in in its current state, the buyers will need to update the property which would benefit from a new kitchen, bathrooms, rewiring and new plumbing with some attention to windows, although he says, “the roof is in much better condition which will be welcome news to the successful buyer”.
“It’s hard to gauge the extent of works that will be carried out as essentially, up until three months ago, it was lived in,” explains Ralph. “Therefore, it would be fair to say that one could move in tomorrow without needing to do anything. However, realistically one is going to spend a bit of money bringing small areas into the 21st century. Beyond that, the new owners could create something very special indeed, particularly with the outbuildings which have so much scope for conversion and additional revenue.”
According to Ralph, renovating a Grade I listed home is perfectly doable and buyers shouldn’t be put off.
“Obviously you’re going to need to involve and liaise with the conservation officer to agree how best to balance protecting the history attached to such a significant home for another 500 years, while at the same time bringing it into the 21st century,” he says. “However, the beauty is that all the important features that will need to be retained are what make it attractive in the first place.
“The new owners are not going to want to change anything that’s considered important as it’s these very features that make the house stand out from anything else out there.
“There’s a reason it’s considered one of the most important homes in the UK. True, it’s going to be more onerous than other properties, but my God it’s worth it, just look at it!”
Gardens and grounds
The gardens at North Carlton Hall are also ripe for re-landscaping, although the brochure photos were taken just after Christmas, so the grounds look very different in the warmer and greener months.
“The tennis court needs resurfacing and the kitchen garden could do with being re-established,” explains Ralph. “The driveway has recently been re-gravelled, but what’s existing will have been used for deliveries and staff. A longer main driveway would have been existent through the parkland and I imagine the buyers will want to restore this with some impressive gates.
“The outbuildings are extensive and lend themselves to a range of different uses. Over the years they’ve been used to accommodate horses, carts, cars, party paraphernalia, even a tweed fashion studio.
“Looking to the future, they could be converted to offices, holiday lets or even back to stables to complement the grazing land included with the house.”
Location and amenities
There are excellent transport links to major A roads with direct trains to London’s Kings Cross from both Lincoln and Newark stations, as well as frequent trains to Nottingham. Private planes may land at nearby RAF Scampton and helicopters have previously landed in the parkland.
There are also plenty of good schools in the local area, including one of Lincolnshire’s top-ranked primaries, St Faith and St Martin CofE, which is close to the city centre, as well as Westgate Academy and St Peter-in-Eastgate CofE, rated as outstanding by Ofsted.
Lincoln Minster School is an all-through independent and extremely popular for those seeking private education.
Ralph says: “North Carlton provides the best of both worlds and anyone with a love for the outdoors is going to love living in this village. It’s very quiet since the Red Arrows started their permanent move to RAF Waddington, and the country walks and bridleways are an absolute pleasure. Indeed, this is rural living at its finest.
“The Dambusters Inn is just a short walk away in Scampton as well, a very well-known local pub and micro-brewery with some very interesting World War II memorabilia. Yet, jump in the car, and you’re just five minutes from a city with award-winning beauty, culture and shopping.”
Sought after property
According to Ralph, initial enquiries have already come from a wide range of different buyers with their own ideas as to how to make the most if this unique opportunity.
“Some are looking at it as a second home out of London, others are already local and are looking to upsize and invest in a property for future generations to inherit.
“We’ve seen a huge amount of people from further away who are attracted to the local travel links and suitably impressed at the value of property in Lincolnshire so are getting in now as prices are rising fast as we ease out of lockdown, with more and more people getting used to working from home and justifying a pad further outside of London.
“A handful of entrepreneurs are considering it as a country hotel and/or wedding venue. Suffice to say, many weddings have been held here over the years (one of which I was personally privileged to be invited to and enjoyed immensely) and indeed it could easily facilitate all these different uses and more.
“Obviously, this is an important home and the fact that it has never before been offered on the open market in its entire history is going to increase the appetite for potential buyers.
“I think the beauty of this particular home is the fact that it’s impressive, yet of manageable proportions. Some larger stately homes require significant expense to keep them running. The scale of this residence is sensible and therefore it’s going to be far more attractive for the discerning buyer who wants to strike a balance between grandeur and keeping the bank manager happy!”