£2m price tag for hall with a link to Jane Eyre

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A MEDIEVAL Peak District mansion, thought to have inspired the setting for Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre, is on the market with a price tag of more than £2m.

Hathersage Hall – a ten-bedroom, grade II* listed home set in four acres of walled gardens – was once owned by William Eyre, of the local family whose name was given to Brontë’s best-known heroine.

The village is widely accepted to be the model for fictional Morton and the hall, along with nearby North Lees and Moorseats, would have influenced the young author’s descriptions following her three-week stay at Hathersage vicarage in 1845.

Built more than 500 years ago – a stone in the gable end dates the house at 1496 – it boasts many original features including fireplaces, stone flagged floors, stone mullioned leaded windows, medieval cellars and a Jacobean oak staircase.

Owners have included High Sheriff Robert Ashton, Captain William Spencer of the 7th Royal Fusiliers, and the Shuttleworth family; in 1780 James Shuttleworth unearthed a 72cm thigh bone from the grave of the legendary Little John, just beyond the boundary wall.

More recently the property was used as a home for wartime evacuees, as part of the village school and was then restored and once again became a family home.

One recent owner was a member of the Royal Academy who covered the walls with murals of Peak District landmarks.

These have been papered over by Sheffield businessman Mike Harrison, who has lived there for the last eight years.

“It’s a huge, grand place but it’s surprisingly warm and homely,” he said.

“And it’s unique for its size – there’s four acres of walled garden that’s entirely private, yet it’s also in the middle of Hathersage village, which is a good place to live, with restaurants, pubs, shops and banks right on the doorstep.”

It also comes complete with treasure map: “There are some old drawings with arrows pointing to ‘treasure’ in the gardens but I’ve never dug it up to search.”

Mike has enjoyed his tenure of the property but is leaving to move back to Dore.

“It’s too big for just me, it really needs a family. I’m on my own and I don’t need 32 rooms!”

Agents are Saxton Mee.