The village of West Heslerton, near Scarborough, has been in the ownership of one family for 150 years. Its 84-year old owner, Eve Dawnay, died five years ago but she left no single heir, leaving her beneficiaries no option but to sell.
The lively community comprises 43 houses, 21-bedroom West Heslerton Hall, a pub, sports pavilion, primary school, petrol station, more than 100 acres of woodland and over 2,000 acres of farmland.
Ms Dawnay lived in the now disused Hall until 30 years ago, when she had a new four-bedroom home built. She was an eccentric lady who had been educated at Oxford.
Ms Dawnay’s sister, Verena Elliott, said: “It would be very hard to find a village with more loyal and lovely people living in it. There is a real sense of community which is hard to find these days.”
Mrs Elliott’s daughter, Bridget, who still lives in the village said: “Times have changed, especially when it comes to farming, and it will be lovely to see new life breathed into the estate.”
West Heslerton has been sold to Albanwise Ltd, which has interests in rural estates, residential assets and farming in Norfolk and Yorkshire.
Managing Director, Tom Dye, has assured residents of the company’s ‘positive intentions’ regarding the village’s ‘olde worlde’ character. While the actual sale price has not been disclosed, it is thought to be in the region of £20 million. The estate agent which handled the sale advised that the current rental and subsidy income was in the region of £388k per annum.
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