Yorkshire village sold one year after it went on the market for £20m

Peter J Walker
West Heslerton Estate, near Scarborough, North Yorkshire, was owned by the Dawnay family for 150 years. Photograph: LNP/Rex/Shutterstock

An entire English village has been bought one year after it went on the market for £20m.

Albanwise Ltd, a Norfolk-based real estate and farming investment firm, said on Wednesday it had purchased West Heslerton Estate near Scarborough in North Yorkshire.

The sprawling and quintessentially British hamlet includes a 21-bedroom mansion, 43 houses, a pub and more than 2,000 acres of farmland.

“Albanwise Ltd is due to become the new owner of West Heslerton Estate and looks forward to incorporating this within our North Yorkshire Estate,” said a spokesman, who said it was bought for an “undisclosed fee”. It is believed to be in the region of £20m.

The village has been owned by the Dawnay family for 150 years and the last owner, Eve Dawnay, who inherited the estate in 1964, died five years ago at the age of 84.

Dawnay moved out of West Heslerton Hall, the village’s centrepiece, 30 years ago, and did not live there again.

The hall includes Dawnay’s purpose-built four-bedroom home, the village petrol station and more than 100 acres of woodland. Her management of West Heslerton has meant very little has changed among the rented cottages for half a century for the village’s estimated 375 residents.

Cundalls, the estate agents who handled the sale, put the current rental and subsidy income at about £388,000 per year.

The village’s Rightmove listing said: “A once-in-a-generation opportunity to purchase a 2,116-acre mixed agricultural, residential and commercial estate with vast development and sporting potential, situated within a beautiful area of North Yorkshire.”

Albanwise Ltd expects an official handover on Friday.

Dawnay’s sister, Verena Elliott, previously said: “We all loved it and 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.”

Elliott’s daughter Bridget, who still lives in the village and has been the shepherd on the estate, also said: “It will be strange to return and not be able to just wander around like I always have; that it will belong to somebody else.

“But times have changed, especially when it comes to farming, and it will be lovely to see new life breathed into the estate.”

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