We meet Stephen and Andrew for a deep dive into their lives at the beautiful Holmeleigh in Netherthong. We even explore how they get natural spring water to their taps!
Currently utilised to run their own luxury B & B as well as living on the top floor, our team were blown away by the quality and consideration of the interiors and layout. We couldn’t wait to ask Stephen, Andrew and their two dogs more about their lives in this unique home and setting.
When did you move to Homeleigh and why are you now moving?
We bought Holmleigh Manor just under 3.5 years ago. We’ve loved our time here but have made a big life decision to move to Spain.
What were the main draws to this home and location and do you know anything about the history of the property?
We have aspired to live in Holmfirth for a long time and wanted a place that would not only be a beautiful home but we could also share with others as a hospitality business. We looked at numerous properties but there were always compromises; either there were rooms that were too small to provide luxurious guest accommodation, or we would have to make sacrifices on our own living space. When Holmleigh Manor came on the market we knew it was the one, though currently used as a large family home, we could see the potential the property had to create a luxurious B&B.
The property had beautiful bones which would enable us to create four gorgeous ensuite guest rooms plus have our own self-contained ‘weaving room’ which feels like we’re living in a New York loft. We also loved the history of the property, with previous owners including wealthy landowners and later mill owners.
The previous owners did a great deal of research on the property, and the village, and we love sharing this story with our guests, i.e. the historic owners donated some of their land so the church over the road could be built, and they didn’t have to travel to the nearest church in Almondbury, but insisted on having their own private entrance from their drive, which can still be seen now directly opposite our drive.
Do you have any favourite areas of your home and why?
This is a difficult one! Every room has its own charm, from the Art deco inspired lounge with its 1930’s fireplace, original Minton tile floor in the hall, to the vast 2nd floor weaving room with exposed beams. We love that every room has a view; from the uninterrupted vistas across the Holme valley to the front, to the rooftops of Netherthong conservation area and onward to Castle hill, to the rear.
Another added bonus is that we have our own Spring well, which is filtered and pumped into the kitchen. We both enjoy the vast kitchen immensely due to our love of cooking and being able to contribute jointly without getting under each other’s feet.
What will you miss the most about the house when the property sells?
We feel so honoured to have been custodians of such a beautiful and grand property and we will certainly miss the amount of space and light that Holmleigh offers, saying that the house still feels welcoming and homely – no pun intended! But maybe more importantly we will miss the community. In the relatively short space of time we have been here we have been made to feel very welcome, popping to the shop or the pubs you will always bump into someone you know for a chat. People really look out for each other in Netherthong.
If you have done works to your house over the years, what was the biggest and toughest job?
Historic buildings always have their challenges and Holmleigh Manor was no different. We did hours of research to find craftsmen and materials that would be sympathetic to the Georgian property. At the same time, we wanted Holmleigh to be a comfortable and modern home that didn’t feel like a museum – creating rooms that added to the story of the property and not just being a Georgian pastiche.
Do you manage to get any time to enjoy your beautiful garden?
We are so lucky to have such beautiful, social garden with uninterrupted views across the Holme valley, you really feel you are part of nature we often see bats, deer, birds, squirrels, and owls. There’s nothing better than sitting out on the terrace with a gin and tonic and being South East facing we get the sun all day. Friends from the village have enjoyed many a social barbeque when the weather permits, which is a pleasure to host. We also have our own fruit trees, perfect for making jams, crumbles and pies, along with fresh herbs that we regularly use in the kitchen.
For the full property description, including floor plan and video tour visit our website: Church Street, Holmfirth, 7 bedroom applegateproperties.co.uk