TV presenter Sarah Beeny opens up on selling popular wedding venue Rise Hall

By Hull Daily Mail | Posted: 9 May 2019

TV property guru Sarah Beeny says the stately home she saved from dereliction, in a “totally magical” part of Holderness, is in safe hands with new owners.

The TV star and her husband Graham Swift have returned to Rise Hall to congratulate the buyers of the property they rescued from crumbling.

Hear what Sarah Beeny has to say to Rise Hall's new owners

They say Rise Hall is safe in the hands of hospitality entrepreneurs Daniel and Helen Gill, who helped them launch Rise Hall as a luxury wedding and events venue in 2010.

Sarah says: “Graham and I are really excited that Daniel and Helen are taking over Rise Hall, the house is in safe hands.

“We always thought they should own Rise, it’s perfect.  It was very important it would go to someone who would look after it.

Dan and Helen Gill, left, have taken over Rise Hall from Sarah Beeny and Graham Swift (Image: Peter Harbour)

“It has ended up being with people with the same vision.

“We were approached by people who wanted it but who had a different vision and we struggled with that.”

Read more: The popular wedding venue owned by TV presenter Sarah Beeny is being sold

The property expert and her artist husband bought Rise Hall, near Skirlaugh, in 2001.

Millions of viewers followed the renovation of the Georgian listed building on the Channel 4 TV series, Sarah Beeny’s Restoration Nightmare.  She says: “There’s something fascinating about buildings at risk and how you give them a new lease of life.

Graham Swift and Sarah Beeny at Rise Hall, which they saved from crumbling into dereliction (Image: Peter Harbour)

“It had not been lived in for 10 years but it was quite sound and stable.

“We met the previous owners, the Bethells, and we kind of fell in love with the people up here.

“We loved the house and fell in love with the people. It’s a secret part of the country that is totally magical.

“We were so lucky and were so welcomed.”

Rise Hall is recorded in the Domesday Book and the estate was once owned by Richard III (Image: Joel Skingle Photography)

Some friends thought taking on the former convent school was “a mad thing to do” and warned them it would never become a venue.  Graham says: “We had one friend who said ‘you will not do it because you will see sense.’

“To Sarah especially that was a red rag.

“We always knew it had heaps of potential.”

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After making it their family home for eight years, the couple transformed Rise Hall into a luxury wedding and events venue.

They linked up with the Gills, who run Leeds-based hospitality business Dine, in 2010 to launch it as a luxury venue after being “amazed” by the catering at a friend’s wedding reception.

Sarah and Graham are reassured Rise Hall is in good hands.  “If you put so much work into something, you want to hand it over to someone who would make a success of it,” says Graham.

Dan and Helen Gill at Rise Hall (Image: Peter Harbour)

Dan and Helen Gill, who operate at luxury venues throughout the UK, are excited to be the new owners of Rise Hall.

Dan says: “We are not doing it primarily as a business, our interest has always been how do you look after these houses, what is the history.

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“It’s quite exciting to be able to work in it.

“We get a buzz out of these buildings.

“The other thing that fascinates me is how you manage them in a way that looks after the fabric of the place.

“How do you develop a revenue stream that doesn’t have a detrimental impact.”

Rise Hall, which is in a secluded countryside location near Skirlaugh (Image: Peter Harbour)

Dan believes Rise Hall is the largest stately home in Yorkshire that can be hired privately, with 30 bedrooms and 97 rooms in total.  He says: “It’s a substantial house.

“You walk into a place like this and when you leave you feel ‘wow’.

“You don’t get that in a normal venue.”

Graham Swift insists Rise Hall is a “cool” place.  “It’s exquisite. It’s the best place in the world for a party.

“A friend of ours said, without a shadow of a doubt, it’s the best view in Holderness.”

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