- DISCOVERING THE PAST -
As Highfield House’s latest owners, we see ourselves as custodians of this beautiful period property with its rich heritage.
In order to appropriately define the next stage of its history, we have devoted ourselves to finding out as much as possible about its past.
- A VARIED HISTORY -
CALL OR EMAIL THE FRIENDS OF HIGHFIELD FOR MORE HISTORY INFORMATION AND OUR ARCHIVES,
- THE LAMPARD FAMILY STORY -
Not many people would fix on a dream and find themselves buying a run-down stately home on a whim.
Yet that’s exactly what happened to Andy and his wife Lindsey.
Both successful design consultants, they have worked on the interiors of some of the world’s most iconic buildings, including the Mandarin Oriental hotels in Barcelona, Moscow and Dubai, and London’s Oslo bar.
Having moved to London to find work when they graduated, they had become very much part of the city scene, right down to their always-on, hectic lifestyle; surrogate urban family and pokey one-bedroom flat in Peckham.
The couple met at work, in one of the most renowned London design houses, United Designs, deciding to get married after collaborating professionally for years, and set up their own design house, Zopsigog, a decade ago.
When they decided to start a family, they knew they’d need to move out of London for more greenery and a better work/life balance.
“We couldn’t keep up the pace with our full-on, very expensive London lifestyle, and wanted to settle somewhere more laid back, with a wider family network around us.
“At that point, we decided we would move out of London within the next three years.”
Little did they know...
“When you’ve been living in London and all of your friends and social circle are there, it’s a major decision to decide to leave it behind, but we knew it was what we wanted to do,” continued Lindsey.
“It’s an especially big deal to remove yourself from the ‘in’ circuit when you’re a designer, but we knew we were prepared to take the risk.
“We got to my dad’s house in the countryside near Pocklington and stood in a field and thought ‘this is living’.”
Fortunately for Lindsey and Andy, Peckham had become ‘quite gentrified’ in the years since they’d bought their humble, one-bedroom flat there – in a way that can only happen in London. Far from the old ‘Del Boy’ connotations, their property had risen dramatically in price.
“This gave us the opportunity to move up North and buy something really decent, like a farm with outbuildings,” added Andy.
A rough diamond...
What they didn’t bargain for, was that that ‘something’ would be a stately home with a history all its own, Highfield House in Driffield.
“I didn’t take Andy seriously when he first showed me the house,” said Lindsey, because it seemed far too grand for us.
“But, as often happens in our relationship, he just kept flipping going on about it! Then he booked a viewing for us to go and see it that New Year.
“I remember us getting dressed up to the nines in our best gear to go and see the house, because we thought the owners wouldn’t entertain us buying it if we didn’t look like we had the means!
“When we got to the house, though, we realised that it wasn’t at all like that. The couple who lived here were quite elderly and it was clear that the house needed some real TLC.”
Andy added: “We instantly loved the house and its architecture, and what was also immediately apparent was that the property would enjoy having people in it.
“We were preparing to have a family and could see that the gardens would be an amazing place for our kids to grow up in. But we could also see that it would be at its best with 70 or 80 people making full use of its beautiful spaces.
“At the same time, we could see that there was an awful lot of work to be done and that shouldn’t be taken lightly.”
Meant to be...
The couple then decided to walk away, judging the project too big for their limited budget, until a chance inheritance, coupled with an offer from Andy’s mum and dad Phyl and Stan to co-invest and move with them to East Yorkshire, changed their minds.
Together, they have undertaken a process of painstaking renovation, in which the dedicated couple – closely supported by ‘Phyl’ and Stan, and other family members, immersed themselves in understanding the character and hidden charm of the property, and carrying out a respectful restoration which is both true to the house’s original period and purpose, but adds an attractive modern twist.
They peeled back chipboard panelling to reveal original, ornate coving, repainted throughout, restored and added wood panelling, travelled the length and breadth of the country to source beautiful fabric to make curtains, lifted carpets and sanded and varnished the original staircase and floor-boarding, as well as working with local craftsmen to create beautiful finishing touches like the wrought iron Yorkshire rose-shaped candelabras in the Drawing Room, and the spectacular brass bar.
All of the wallpaper on the main staircase, and in the bridal suite, is specially-designed by a member of their interior design team, Chloe Wray, to represent details of the flora and fauna of the garden, including butterflies, artichokes and ladybirds, and has been specially-manufactured for Highfield.
“It reflects the ‘Arts and Crafts’ style of the house’,” said Andy.
“Our two boys love standing and studying the wallpaper every morning when they come down the stairs.”
Lindsey and Andy’s mum ‘Phyl’ have painstakingly hand-crafted all the curtains and soft furnishings around the house.
“I just love tassels,” said Lindsey, “and a lot of our style is influenced from watching films like Anna Karenina and visiting stately homes, looking underneath the table cloths to see how they did it! There’s a story behind every piece of decoration and furniture and we’ve stuck the details on the back to that people can read about it and know.
“At the same time, we’ve tried to give everything a modern twist and there are lots of details here that you wouldn’t expect to find in a house like this. It’s not a stale old house, but represents history re-imagined. We’re bringing our own, new craft to it and there’s a little flourish in every room – Arts and Crafts but in the here and now.”
Every detail of this venue has been lovingly thought through to create an experience like no other, from the art work in the library to the stuffed animals throughout the house, each of which has a name, and the curios in every room that have either been specially sourced or represent a family heirloom, each with its own individual story.
- GRAND DESIGNS IN ACTION -
THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO HAVE BEEN A PART OF OUR STORY SO FAR...
It has been an amazing journey so far and we have achieved so much.
Out of season we are always doing more, we have plans to develop the house much further - increasing the accommodation, adding facilities and increasing capacities.
We will always remain a family company and keep the family feel of Highfield - after all we do live here and home is where the heart is.
It you would like to be a part of any of our future developments do let us know.
We have volunteer schemes starting with the Friends of Highfield and we are always on the look out for great craftsmen and women and dedicated enthusiastic staff.
Email Ollie or Phyllis for more information.
WINDMILL HILL, DRIFFIELD
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