Lady Bomanji’s opulent family home acquired in multi-million sale

One of Yorkshire’s most historic private homes, the former residence of wealthy, internationally-known benefactors, the Bomanji family, has been acquired in a multi-million pound private sale through a local law firm.

MIDAS TOUCH:  Shipping magnate, Sir Dhunjibhoy Bomanji, had his initials displayed in various forms around the house including in gold leaf on the ornate walls of the property
MIDAS TOUCH: Shipping magnate, Sir Dhunjibhoy Bomanji, had his initials displayed in various forms around the house including in gold leaf on the ornate walls of the property

The 12-bedroom Pineheath, Cornwall Road, with its distinctive minaret, which until, World War II, was covered in gold leaf, and 1.3-acre grounds was the home of Bombay shipping magnate, Sir Dhunjibhoy, who was knighted in 1922 for his services to Britain, and his wife, Lady Frainy Bomanji, friends of the Royal Family and well-known benefactors and supporters of local charities.



Pineheath, which still has the original gold-plated taps, ornate carved ceilings, decorated with gold leaf; upstairs ballroom and balcony, observation tower and garages with central heating for Rolls Royces, was sold following the death of the occupier, Sir Dhunjibhoy and Lady Bomanji’s daughter, Mrs Mehroo Jehangir, in 2012. She was believed to be in her 90s.

YOU RANG? Almost 70 years after his death, the antiquated internal phone system still carries a button for Sir Dhunjibhoy’s bedroom
YOU RANG? Almost 70 years after his death, the antiquated internal phone system still carries a button for Sir Dhunjibhoy’s bedroom

The 17,000 sq ft, 40-room, three-storey Pineheath, which became the Bomanji family home in 1927, has additional three-bedroom chauffeurs’ accommodation and gardeners’ cottages. The house has been acquired by local businessman, Jason Shaw, in a deal handled by two firms within the Newtons Solicitors Group, which exchanged contracts in seven hours.

The property also housed a Steinway grand piano which once belonged to a German Kaiser and will be offered by London auctioneers, Christies, later this year. Other features include gold leaf monogrammed wall paper and numerous paintings and China featuring the Queen and other members of the Royal Family

Mrs Jehangir, who took over Lady Bomanji’s good works after her death in 1986, left Pineheath little changed from its heyday in British pre-World War II high society including a 1920s internal telephone system with a number still listed for the room of Sir Dhunjiboy, who died in 1937.

After continuing Sir Dhunjibhoy’s good works, Lady Bomanji was given an Honorary Freemanshjip of The Borough by Harrogate Council in 1984.

PAST AND PRESENT: Harrogate businessman, Jason Shaw, new owner of Pineheath in front of a portrait of wealthy industrialist and benefactor, Sir Dhunjibhoy Bomaji, who lived there with his family from 1927 and a photograph of his daughter, Mrs Mehroo Jehangir, whose death last year led to the multi-million pound sale of the former family home. She was believed to be in her 90s and had left little changed since the 1920s
PAST AND PRESENT: Harrogate businessman, Jason Shaw, new owner of Pineheath in front of a portrait of wealthy industrialist and benefactor, Sir Dhunjibhoy Bomaji, who lived there with his family from 1927 and a photograph of his daughter, Mrs Mehroo Jehangir, whose death last year led to the multi-million pound sale of the former family home. She was believed to be in her 90s and had left little changed since the 1920s

Jason Shaw, who plans to upgrade the site as a luxury family home, said:

My parents taught me the value of working hard to achieve your dreams. Owning property is most people’s dream and my aspirations have hit a high in buying Pineheath. It is hard to imagine anyone could build a home like this today. I’ve never been handed two suitcases filled with door keys on acquiring a property before.

Sadly, it is in a poor state of repair and we will not be able to achieve the opulence of Sir Dhunjibhoy’s time. He was a billionaire in today’s terms. The family divided their time between homes in Windsor, Poona, near Mumbai and Harrogate all of which had full-time staff.

What is fascinating is that so little has been done to update the property which is like an mid 20th century time-capsule with items such as magazines and programmes for the Harrogate International Festival which date back 60 years still on the shelves.



Harrogate local historian, Malcolm Neesam, says the property was built in the late 1890s on land leased from the Duchy of Lancaster by a Mr. G. S. Saynor, although it is not known if he was the builder who then leased the property or if he lived there.

Pictured (L to R) outside the rear of the Bomanji family’s former mansion in Cornwall Road, Harrogate, are new owner, local businessman, Jason Shaw and managing director of Newtons solicitors, Harrogate, Chris Newton, whose law firms completed conveyancing in only seven hours
PINEHEATH: Pictured (L to R) outside the rear of the Bomanji family’s former mansion in Cornwall Road, Harrogate, are new owner, local businessman, Jason Shaw and managing director of Newtons solicitors, Harrogate, Chris Newton, whose law firms completed conveyancing in only seven hours

Newtons solicitors managing director, Chris Newton, said:

There was a lot of interest and a race to exchange contracts. Pineheath is very special and, to achieve our clients’ aims, two of our firms, Hodgsons & Mortimer, Darlington and Newtons, Knaresborough, exchanged contracts in a single working day. This was possible because of the size of our property team and the experience of our solicitors.

The property is awe inspiring and the sale became very special for each of our solicitors involved in it. It is touching how Mrs Jehangir allowed it to become a time capsule. One can only assume that, as she got older, she wanted to keep it untouched in memory of her illustrious parents.


One thought on “Lady Bomanji’s opulent family home acquired in multi-million sale

  1. Hi I have just seen this article on the internet. I have been trying to find my Grandmother without any success over the years all I had was a post card that she sent to the family and it had written in the corner
    ‘Pineheath’ Cornwall Road Harrogate and I do know that she was in some kind of service. At least I have a little more info now her name was Gladys Mary Holland her daughter is still with us but she didnt know her Mother either, it was and is so sad I think I may be clutching at straws but you never know. Prob the new owner might have some information.
    Anyway thankyou

    Kind Regards
    Margaret

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