This ruined 17th-century home built by Edward Appleby is a dramatic feature of the landscape and has a part-walled garden.
Kirklinton Hall has lived a number of different lives over the years. Country house for a landed family, RAF officers’ mess, flats, a casino and nightclub… Yet even before all of this had begun, the Hall was already deeply rooted in history, having been built in 1680 with stones from the ruins of nearby Levington Castle, owned by the de Boyville family. It was built in a Jacobean style at the request of Edward Appleby, and two more attic storeys were added in 1875, after it had been sold to the trustees of George Graham.
The 20th century brought the most changes for Kirklinton. The estate was sold in 1937, and in 1939, the house was used by RAF officers as a mess. Just seven years later it would become a series of flats for servicemen working at the nearby town of Longtown. When it was let to a Mr. Caine in the 1960s, it became a nightclub and casino and attracted an interesting clientele, including the Kray twins, well-known for their crimes around the East End of London. The nightclub didn’t last long, however, and it was abandoned in 1972. Just two years later it gained its status as a Grade-II listed building, but nobody wanted to buy it until 2005, when a Cornwall-based group wanted it for property development. However, this sale also fell through, and Christopher and Ilona Boyle bought the property at auction in 2012 in the aim of restoring it to its former glory.
Restoration work has now begun on both the house and the gardens. Many of the gardens’ original features, like the 18th-century hot wall and Peach House, were in bad condition after having been neglected for so many years. Current plans aim to recover the spirit of the 17th-century garden, re-establishing the long formal terraces, kitchen garden and orchard. There’s a ‘Faerie Walk’ into the surrounding woods and lots of room to explore the grounds. The Hall hosts an annual Feel Good Festival in June, with wellbeing activities and local entertainment, as well as a weekly farmer’s market.