ONE of Ilkley’s most renowned heritage properties has gone on the market with a price tag of almost £3 million.

A rare Northern example of the work of celebrated architect Sir Edwin Lutyens, the Grade II* listed mansion of Heathcote, on King’s Road, has today gone up for sale with a guide price of £2.95 million.

Lutyens is considered by many to be the finest British architect of his age, responsible for designing many elegant country houses such as Castle Drogo in Devon, as well as a large part of the centre of New Delhi, and the India Gate, a memorial to Indian soldiers of the First World War.

Heathcote was built in 1906 as a family home, and stands within its own 2.88 acre grounds, complete with ornamental gardens and ancillary buildings.

It has only been occupied by two families – the original owner, and later another family, before it become offices in the 1950s It is believed the house could return to its original use as a family home – and the property is expected to attract much regional and national interest from buyers.

The building has been owned by Ilkley-based firm NG Bailey since 1958. The Gazette recently revealed that the company had moved out of Heathcote, leaving the gates to the stately house and its grounds firmly padlocked.

NG Bailey is based at another of Wharfedale’s significant historic prop-erties, Denton Hall.

Speculation began in the community about the future of the historic property. Although Heathcote was not open to the public, the building and its gardens can be viewed from its gates, and it a regular stop on the visitor route for people interested in the area’s architectural highlights.

Estate agent Dace, Son and Hartley, is marketing the property.

Patrick McCutcheon, of Dacre, Son and Hartley, said: “Whilst Heathcote is unquestionably a magnificent building, the property and its annexed cottages are simply not suitable for the office requirements of a modern business organisation, thus NG Bailey have consolidated their operations to Denton Hall and are offering Heathcote to the market based upon a price guide of NG Bailey.

“I am expecting considerable interest in the property in part because, subject to planning, it offers a very rare opportunity for a family to re-establish a magnificent home within the town.”

Heathcote would not be the first heritage landmark in Ilkley to be returned to its original purpose as a residence. Myddelton Lodge, once the residence of local gentry, was returned to use as a family home after it was sold by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Leeds, which used it as a religious retreat centre.

Dacre, Son and Hartley expects some of the interest in Heathcote to be the result of the property’s heritage, as one of only a handful of Lutyens-designed houses in the North of England.