'Charming' cottage-style home bursting with character
W HEN they came here 12 years ago Tony and Pat Gordon fell in love with the area and the obvious potential of this property which is a semi-detached stone built house so typical of the area.
Mill House, at Stanley, is absolutely charming and has a character you simply don't get in a modern house. It has been here for more than 250 years and, as the name suggests, was a working mill and once had a wheel on the outside of what is today the lounge and the adjoining property was the office and living accommodation.
There is a lot of history here yet when the couple moved in they found that a lot of the original features had been covered over and hidden. Now though it is a lovely mix of the original and the contemporary and works really well.
Entering through a big double glazed door into the cosy lounge, I was admiring the big wooden beams in the ceiling and Tony said: "When we came they were boxed in for some reason. We guessed there must be beams underneath and it was lovely when we uncovered them and put them on show again. In fact the whole house needed some tlc and it was in a bit of a state. What we have done is try to modernise it while being sympathetic to the original and keeping the cottage feel.''
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Central to the lounge is an open fire with its original surround and then a single step up takes you to the dining room/sitting room. Tony adds: "When our children were here we used it as the dining room but now there is just the two of us, we use it as a second reception room."
This too has a real fire, a long burning stove but a laminate floor – "there are quarry tiles beneath it but we found them a bit cold'' – says Tony, and leaded double glazed windows looking over the back.
I must make the point that the old wooden doors look superb and may very well be those originally installed when the house was built. The one into the kitchen is much wider than a modern design and I love the look and feel of them – something else you won't find in a modern home.
There is a little pantry and the kitchen has plenty of storage units, a boiler and space/plumbing for all the usual appliances and a door to the outside.
U pstairs all three of the bedrooms are easily double sized and have the original exposed wooden floorboards and the leaded effect double glazing is continued from the ground floor. The bathroom has a panelled bath with a shower attachment but there is a separate shower cubicle too.
Outside there is off-road parking and a detached garage and small gardens both in front and behind but to my way of thinking, Mill House has the most enormous garden – it's called the countryside all around it. Pat says: "We absolutely love this area which is so pretty and great for walks all year round. Stanley Pool is a stone's throw away and there are endless paths and lanes for walking.
"It is semi-rural yet Hanley is only ten minutes away in one direction and Leek about the same in the other.
"When we first came it was the attraction of this aspect, of having beautiful, quiet and unspoilt countryside literally outside the front door and yet being within easy reach of the towns too. There are good schools around here and it is a lovely area. I feel very peaceful and safe here. It has been a wonderful family home and a great location in which to raise our children but it is time for us to move to somewhere a bit smaller and let someone else enjoy what we have all these years.''