Saturday, January 16, 2021

A Northern Downton

The sale of one of the North of England’s finest Georgian homes


Julian Fellowes’ Downton Abbey has undoubtedly led to a revival in interest in English country houses both in Britain and America and now with the sale of Burrow Hall in the Lune Valley in Lancashire, there is an opportunity to acquire one of the North of England’s finest Georgian residences.


Two miles downstream from Kirkby Lonsdale, a market town in a setting that John Ruskin once described as “one of the loveliest scenes in England”, Burrow Hall stands on the site of the Roman fort of Calacum. The present house was built in 1740 for Robert Fenwick (1688 – 1748), Attorney General and MP for Lancaster to the designs of the architect Westby Gill.


The front elevation of the Grade I listed Burrow Hall
The front elevation of the Grade I listed Burrow Hall

Burrow Hall viewed from its driveway
Burrow Hall viewed from its driveway

Burrow Hall viewed from the lake below
Burrow Hall viewed from the lake below

Of the fine features that remain to this day are Baroque plaster ceilings by Vassalli and Quadri, “outstanding” marble fireplaces, sash windows with shutters, an oak paneled library and window seats and panel doors with detailed architraves and ornate over doors.


The impressive main staircase
The impressive main staircase

One of 6 reception rooms
One of six reception rooms

The plasterwork of Burrow Hall is impressive
The plasterwork of Burrow Hall is impressive

One of many "outstanding" fireplaces
One of many “outstanding” fireplaces

An external detail
An external detail

Burrow Hall remained in the ownership of the Fenwick family until 1945 when it was sold to the 6th Earl Temple of Stowe (1909 – 1966). His widow sold the property in 1974.


Burrow Hall was sold again in 1996 to a manufacturing company director named John R. Halliday and his wife. They completed what Country Life’s Penny Churchill described as an “intensive 10-year restoration programme” including the construction of a modern atrium with full height windows in 2004 that connects the house to its stable block.


The Hallidays owned the estate until 2005 when they placed it on the market for £3,500,000 (for lot one). At the time, it was marketed as two lots with some 205 acres of land in total including the neighbouring let farm, Parkside Farm, which was ultimately sold separately.


The house enjoys eastward views towards Leck Fell
The house enjoys eastward views towards Leck Fell

The gates of Burrow Hall with views to the River Lune beyond
The gates of Burrow Hall with views to the River Lune beyond

The purchasers were a Mr and Mrs Allan Livesey, also company directors, and they have been the custodians of Burrow Hall in the years since. Burrow Hall, currently unoccupied, has just been brought to the market again at a price of £3,500,000. This time, though, the 9-bedroomed house comes with just 48.8 acres and 510 yards of fishing on the River Lune.


The selling agents, Davis and Bowring, state that it represents a “rare opportunity to acquire and refurbish an elegant and historically important Grade I listed Georgian country house”.


Here, indeed, is the perfect chance to live like Lord Grantham (though on a slightly more modest scale).


For more details on Burrow Hall, Burrow Road, Burrow, Carnforth, Lancashire, LA6 2RN contact Jo Bond MRICS of Davis and Bowring on +44 (0) 1524 274 445 or email her at:

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