The former home of two famous Lake District poets on sale for £1.25m

Take a look at Greta Hall, a £1.25 million Grade 1 listed country house, nestled in the heart of the Lake District and previously owned by two famous Lake poets.

The 11 bed house, has six bathrooms, period features, parking for more than 10 cars and grounds surrounded by awe-inspiring views.

The spectacular Greta Hall sits on a small hill in the Keswick valley, yet is only a five minute walk from Keswick’s Market Square, and just a 10 minute walk to the bottom of Latrigg/Skiddaw and Derwentwater.

The property is currently run as a guest house with self-catering holiday accommodation, and a look at the property and grounds, shows a site oozing with potential.

History of Greta Hall

Greta Hall is the former home of Lake poets Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and Robert Southey, between 1800-1843.

Two slate plaques either side of the pillared double front door commemorate Greta Hall’s famous residents.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge, a friend of William Wordsworth, and a founder of the Romantic Movement in England, lived in the property from 1800 to 1803.

Robert Southey, also a romantic poet and friends with Wordsworth and Coleridge, lived in the property from 1803 to 1843.

The house has an internationally recognised literary history, and is on sale for only the second time in 100 years.

Historic image of Greta Hall
(Image: Zoopla)

Property experts say the current owners have lovingly restored the property and made every effort to thoughtfully preserve the architectural and historical importance of the building.

A number of original features have been carefully maintained, including period fireplaces, cornice work, high ceilings, original pitch pine floor boards, doors, slate floors and sash-windows.

The description reads: “Greta Hall offers its new owners a truly rare opportunity: Stewardship of a magnificent eleven bedroomed, historic home in the heart of the English Lake District.

“Handsome, well-proportioned rooms throughout, original features and spectacular, elevated views over Keswick towards Catbells, Grisdale Pike, Walla Crag, Latrigg and Skiddaw combine to make this a truly unique detached Lake District home.”

The grounds of Greta Hall

The Grade 1 building is approached from Main Street, through double wrought-iron gates leading to a circular drive and parking area, for seven plus cars, with grounds to either side.

The south facing garden at Greta Hall is described as “a true delight,” with unrivalled views to Walla Crag and up the Borrowdale Valley.

The garden has a little woodland with a ‘fairy circle, ‘ well established hedges, mature shrubs and trees, that offer a high level of privacy to the front and sides of the property.

To the rear of the house, a newly established hedge will soon offer more privacy from the neighbouring property.

The gravelled area catches the morning sun and would make a lovely terraced area, with views of the neighbouring woodland in the summer, and Latrigg in the winter.

Experts say the home offers “truly unexpected seclusion and views of the surrounding Lakeland Fells right in the heart of this Lakeland town.”

Within the grounds there is also a “very useful” insulated workshop, a wood store and parking for eight plus cars.

The Lake District is a UNESCO world heritage site
(Image: Zoopla)

Inside Greta Hall

The double front door opens onto a hallway with original Victorian encaustic tiles and arched cornicing, original doors on either side of the hallway open into two south-facing living rooms.

Coleridge’s Parlour is south-facing with deep window seats and shutters, high ceilings, inset bookcases, original pitch pine floorboards, simple cornicing and an open fire.

Sitting room number two is Southey’s Parlour, where the triple Palladian windows face south and south-east, and over look the garden with views to Walla Crag.

The room offers high ceilings, corncing, deep window seats and an open fire with carved oak fire-surround, which was designed by the poet’s wife, Edith Southey, made in Keswick and based on the Lewis chess pieces.

The fireplace is in the Historic England listing, and the room has its’ original pitch pine floor boards.

The inner hallway leads to the dining room, kitchen, study, ground floor annex, and two flights of stairs to the first floor.

The property boasts two kitchens, the first described as a large traditional Cumbrian kitchen with views towards Latrigg.

Greta Hall has two kitchens, one is described as a ‘large traditional Cumbrian kitchen’
(Image: Zoopla)

The kitchen retains its’ original local slate, flagstone floor, exposed beam and a handmade ‘unfitted’ kitchen crafted in solid American oak by Lakeland Kitchens of Kendal, and slate workshops by Lakeland Slate. From the kitchen, a door leads through to the rear entrance hall and back door. Outside a gravel area makes the most of the morning sunshine, and adjacent are the utility room and ground floor shower room.

There is also access to dining room and smaller kitchen, and stairs from the kitchen lead down to large cellar.

The smaller, yet fully-fitted kitchen, features a curved perimeter with window seat and original shutters.

This room also has access to the front of the property, so would make an additional boot room or, perhaps a home office with its own entrance.

The current utility/boot room has wall-mounted coat racks, plumbing for a washing machine and tumble dryer, as well as storage area for a vacuum cleaner.

The downstairs shower/toilet room is fitted with walk-in shower, hand basin and toilet.

Greta Hall has six bathrooms
(Image: Zoopla)

The dining room is large enough to seat 20 plus guests and features a late 1800’s Lakeland cast iron range, bread oven, and houses a large combi boiler, situated within a purpose built cupboard. The dining room has also kept the original local slate flag flooring, and provides access to a second large cellar and ground floor annex, called The Old Wash House.

This home also boasts a study, with a curved wall, deep window seats, double sash windows with original shutters, a curved hardwood curtain rail and stunning views to Walla Crag and the Borrowdale Valley.

The period property also retains its’ two original staircases at either end of the house, that lead to the first floor.

The main staircase features the original hardwood handrail and newel posts, and leads to a galleried landing, via a half landing with views on to Latrigg.

Annex – The Old Wash House

Originally called the ‘Clog and mangle rooms’ by Coleridge, The Old Wash House consists of a slated entrance hall accessed via its own front door, at the rear of the main house.

The annex has a shower room, living/kitchen/dining room and plumbing for a washing machine. The shower room has shower cubicle, WC, wash hand basin and heated towel rail. The living space has a galley kitchen, woodburner, window overlooking the garden, and a door with internal access to the main house.

The annex also has a “lovely sized double bedroom” with a southeast facing window with views over the garden to Walla Crag.

Experts say the Old Wash House offers wonderful flexibility either as a totally separate one bedroom flat, an additional guest bedroom or a home office.

The annex, named the Old Wash House, offers a number of opportunities and uses
(Image: Zoopla)

First Floor

On the first floor is, as described by the experts, is “the most impressive room in Greta Hall”, Southey’s study.

The study has an “extraordinarily” high ceiling, original Victorian marble fireplace surround, and almost floor to ceiling Palladian windows, “which flood the room with light and frame the continually changing, wonderful views of Clough Head, Walla Crag, Catbells and Grisdale Pike.”

Adjacent to Southey’s study, the south facing Coleridge’s study, located at the front of Greta Hall, is another bedroom, currently used as a double bedroom, which features a Chinese opium bed. The room boasts high ceilings, Adams style cast iron fireplace, a striking Palladian window frame and the awe-inspiring view of Skiddaw.

At the rear of Greta Hall, opposite Coleridge’s study, sits Aunt Lovell’s bedroom, described as a “lovely double bedroom [with] wonderful views of Latrigg, which are even better in the winter.” The room features a sash window and cast iron fireplace.

Coleridge’s study, currently used as a double bedroom, features a Chinese opium bed
(Image: Zoopla)

Another twin room, named Jackson’s bedroom, offers a curved wall, original shutters and deep window seat.

Another room, Southey’s bedroom, is described as a “strikingly large double bedroom” with double aspect high windows, that offer “wonderful views of Latrigg”. The room has a window seat, Adams style cast iron fire place and an original, built-in Victorian cupboard.

Edith and Bertha’s bedroom is a favourite of the current owners, a mirror version of Jackson’s bedroom, this double room “has stunning all year round views of Walla Crag, Catbells and up the Borrowdale Valley towards Scafell.” It comes with high windows, a curved wall, working original shutters, Adams style cast iron fireplace and deep window seat.

There are two bathrooms on the first floor. The Coleridge Wing bathroom is one of the oldest parts of Greta Hall and features a walk-in shower, slipper bath, sink and toilet.

Adjacent to Coleridge’s bathroom is a little loo with original cast iron overhead cistern and hand basin.

The Southey Wing bathroom is a “very generous” family bathroom with cast iron freestanding double-ended bath, walk-in shower, wash handbasin and toilet. This bathroom is described as having “wonderful views over the garden and Keswick towards Walla Crag.”

Staircases at either end of the house lead up to the second floor.

The property’s bedrooms are currently divided into twin and double rooms
(Image: Zoopla)

Second Floor

The maid’s room is the smallest double room, but offers “unrestricted, incredible sunset views over Skiddaw and also has a perfect en-suite shower room.” The en-suite shower room has a large shower, wash hand basin and toilet, all with original floor boards.

Another large family shower room on the second floor is described as, “a lovely light filled shower room with original floor boards, walk-in shower, wash hand-basin and loo.”

A double bedroom, Kate and Isobel’s room, offers dual aspect windows, with window seats that offer far-reaching views of the surrounding Fells to the both the south and east. The room has its’ original pitch pine boards, wash-hand basin, original Victorian cast iron fire place and a high, built-in cupboard.

The third room of the second floor is called “The Nursery,” a double bedroom with “uninterrupted views” to Catbells and Grisdale Pike. The room has a window seat, sink and cast iron fireplace.

The second floor of Greta Hall also houses the “Apple Room,” a double bedroom with a “huge” window that offers incredible views of Latrigg and Skiddaw.

Alongside that sits the Cottonian Library, currently used as a large twin room, with duel aspect windows to the south and west, the room offers incredible views of Skiddaw and Newlands Valley. The room comes intact with pitch pine floor boards, cast iron fireplace and a sink.

Slate plaques either side of the pillared double front door commemorate Greta Hall’s famous residents: Samuel Taylor Coleridge from 1800 to 1803 and Robert Southey from 1803 to 1843
(Image: Zoopla)

Attic

Stairs lead to the main attic which is currently used for storage, but the original full staircase allows for easy access.

Business prospects

The country house is currently run as a popular guest house/self-catering holiday accommodation, with “extensive income throughout the year.”

It’s stated that the “popular residence” is booked for 38 to 40 weeks/weekends of the year, but experts say this could be extended to the 52 weeks of the year, if the new owners would prefer.

The property is described as an “ideal investment opportunity, either to operate personally or via one of the many very experienced letting agencies in Keswick.”

According to the experts, the property currently achieves between £73,000 – £87,000 per annum. They say whether you are planning to enjoy this property as a family home in The Lakes, or as a new work/life opportunity, this historic home won’t fail to impress.

Viewings of the extensive building and grounds is highly recommended, you can find more information here.

Lancs Live – Cumbria