English-born American emigrant Chris Rochford is the new leaseholder of the White Lion hotel, a 17th-century coaching inn that overlooks Hebden Water in West Yorkshire.
Built in 1657, it is the oldest inn in the stone town of Hebden Bridge in Calderdale, near Brontë Country. The White Lion started life as the King's Farm hostelry serving the river crossing and became an important coaching inn on the Halifax to Rochdale stagecoach route during the 18th and 19th centuries.
The riverside inn retains a number of period details, such as exposed beams, mullion windows, and stone fireplace with a carved spiral on either side,
Facilities include 10 en-suite bedrooms (six in the main building and four in a converted coach house) with a four-star inn rating, along with a three-bedroom owners' flat and a separate one-bedroom flat.
There is seating for more than 100 customers across the bar, snug and dining areas, a first-floor function room to accommodate 50 guests, a beer garden overlooking Hebden Water with eight tables, and a car park that backs onto the weir.
The Leeds office of Christie + Co sold the Enterprise Inns' leasehold (which runs to September 2013) off a guide price of £135,000 on behalf of Lesley Clarkson. Annual rent is £63,250.
By Angela Frewin