homemaker featured property - 25 April 2014

Built to be a spectacular family home, this luxury mansion has been put up for sale by Stephen and Kim Rankin

Built to be a spectacular family home, this luxury mansion has been put up for sale by Stephen and Kim Rankin.

Situated in Darras Hall, Northumberland, the property provides three floors of beautifully-designed and decorated accommodation and has been “a truly wonderful home” for the couple and their four children since 2000.

“The architect was very keen on the National Trust’s Cragside in Northumberland and wanted to incorporate some of the same features, so the property was constructed using reclaimed stonework and has similar steep roof angles,” said Stephen, who together with wife Kim, co-ordinated the build.

“Even though it looks like it’s been there for 150 years, it’s actually only been there 15. He was also able to design modern family accommodation with high insulation and comfort levels, so the overall effect is very striking.”

Aside from eight bedrooms, all with en suite facilities, an all-weather tennis court and spectacular gardens which stretch beyond a river, the property has some beautiful interior features.

The grand central reception hallway has an oak staircase and wrought iron spindles and a stone floor.

“A team of carpenters spent a fortnight handcrafting the oak and it was really impressive to watch,” Stephen recalled. “The plaster models used to create the hallway ceiling dated back to Tudor times and a team of decorators lay on their backs on the scaffolding painting in every detail for about six weeks. It’s beautiful.”

Other decorative features include deep skirting boards, period-style radiators, detailed cornicing, leaded window panes and vast bay windows with garden views.

There are also lots of modern touches to the extensive accommodation too, such as LED lighting in the family lounge, heated towel rails to the en suites and a hi-tech security system.

Several reception rooms have ornate focal point fireplaces and have provided plenty of recreation space for the large family. Four double bedrooms are located on the first floor, as well as the master suite which has a large walk in dressing room, plus luxury bathroom and wet room. There are three further double bedrooms and a family bathroom to the second floor.

“It’s been a great family house, especially for the kids, because they’ve each been able to have their own bedroom and en suite, and for having their friends stay over because there’s plenty of space to accommodate guests.

“It’s also great for entertaining. There’s a big kitchen and dining area which opens up on to a patio which is great for having a barbeque in the summer because it gets all of the sun all day.”

Immaculately-kept gardens are made up of rolling lawns, a large pond, an eight person hot tub and a Japanese garden.

At the back, the gardens run down to the River Pont where a bridge connects to a recreation area and all-weather tennis court. Pathways have hidden lighting which looks deeply enchanting at dusk and at night.

Electronically-controlled gates give access to the property, where a spacious courtyardprovides good parking space plus a large garage can house up to four cars.

“It’s been a great family house and I think it’s just a fantastic place to live,” said Stephen. “The gardens are stunning. You can cross the bridge and go over the river to play tennis in the summer. It’s also very handy for popping down to the village. There’s something for everyone here. I love it, it’s great.

“We put a lot of time and energy into making it a perfect place to live and we have a lot of great memories here, but it’s time for a change and we are moving on to another challenge now.”

The property is close to Ponteland village where there are pubs, restaurants, schools and shops. The area also has good transport links to Newcastle International Airport and Newcastle city centre.

:: 74 Runnymede Road, in Darras Hall, Northunberland, is on the market for £3.2m through Sanderson Young, tel: 0191 223 3500.

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