Soak up charm of medieval property with modern twist
Y OU will go a long way to find a house as charming as this or a property which has so much potential for development – a very long way indeed. Priced to sell because owners Alison and Alistair Collins want to be nearer their work in the East Midlands, this Grade II listed farmhouse is an absolutely stunning property. A perfect marriage between original features and modern comfort.
The couple have been at New Hall Farm House, in Hazelscross Road, Kingsley, for more than six years and have spent a fair proportion of that time bringing a medieval house into the 21st century.
As a matter of fact, they are not the first owners to do it because although the house dates from the 1500s a commemorative brick on an exterior wall reveals that a former owner also made some improvements – in 1731.
Alison says: "We wanted to do something that would be sympathetic and respectful of this building's history while also making it a modern home.''
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So, for example, you wll find stone fireplaces, some herringbone brickwork and plenty of exposed wooden beams.
There is also a lovely touch by the lounge where a section of the original wattle and daub structure has been uncovered and protected by glass. The only other time I have seen this feature is in an old coaching hotel in Nantwich.
It is clear that neither expense nor effort has been spared in their renovation.
Partly, this is due to the restrictions imposed with a listed building so that, for example, in some rooms the mullion windows are double glazed but with unusually thin sheets of glass, and partly because, as Alison says: "We wanted to do justice to the house.''
You will find new oak floorboards, doors and window frames and there is plenty of flagged stone flooring too, but made warm and cosy with underfloor heating courtesy of a back boiler fuelled by a log burner in the lounge.
The impressive hallway has a new cloakroom and leads to a modern fitted kitchen and beyond that is a lovely breakfast area which is a recently built extension overlooking a courtyard.
The lounge is warm from the log burner which Alison says does sterling service in the winter and the new oak flooring glows with a honey colour in the sunlight.
Further on is a very grand dining room with an imposing fireplace.
The feeling the rooms generate is of a beautiful old house which has been given a new lease of life and adapted to the needs of today's families.
Upstairs are three bedrooms but Alison says there is scope for two more and another bathroom in the loft space if needed.
The master room has an en suite shower/w.c. and built in oak wardrobes and the second bedroom, actually the biggest room upstairs, has the most enormous stone fireplace I have ever seen in a sleeping area.
The third bedroom has the herringbone brickwork and an exposed old chimney breast.
The family bathroom maintains some period features such as a cast iron bath but has a modern shower.
The house is on the market for £475,000 and I can understand a buyer being tempted to pay something approaching that for the house alone but it turns out that this property offers so much more.
F or one thing it has a huge garage built from reclaimed stone and there is enough room for around six cars. Opposite the house is an old two-storey barn.
Alison said: "What's more, we have got planning permission to convert them into two holiday cottages with an office/utility room.''
And she also revealed there is more included, with The Old Nurses Cottage which is used as a holiday let.
I had seen the pretty stone cottage as I drove up to the farmhouse.
But to discover that it is also included in the price took me aback.
This cottage is used for holidays but would make a lovely granny flat.
Completing the plot is a safe, enclosed garden and a vegetable patch at the front of the house.
This is an extraordinary property, superbly renovated and offering enormous potential for further redevelopment.
At this price it's a steal.