Gris Ref NY 806139
Take two feuding brothers, add in a small fortune, stir vigorously, allow to simmer and you get a folly castle. Augill was built in 1841 by John Bagot Pearson from Kirkby Lonsdale in a bid to outdo his younger sibling. He succeeded in some style, commissioning the Victorian folly castle as a weekend fantasy retreat in which to entertain his friends.
It is a triumph of vanity over common sense: turrets, mullioned windows, castellated towers, wonderfully ornate lattice windows – the usual castle fare. It is also a tromp-d’œil of sorts – the house is mostly one room deep.
Augill Castle is sunk in the rolling hill country where Yorkshire and Cumbria meet near Brough, with the Pennines rising majestically beyond.
In 1997 it was a run-down mess, but was bought by Simon and Wendy Bennett, who have since dedicated their lives to creating a place that’s grand in design and conception (Jacobean oak panelling, huge fires, a gorgeous embossed dining room), but easy and informal in atmosphere.
“A fine example of early Victorian castle building” – Nikolaus Pevsner.
Aerial photos by Simon Ledingham.
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