homemaker featured property - 26 October 2013

With more than 200 years of history packed into its four walls, there’s more than meets the eye to this former granary


Converted around 20 years ago by its previous owners, this exceptional home has undergone massive transformation over the years.

Current owners Melanie and Robert Dungworth have also added their own stamp by moving the kitchen - which was upstairs - back down to the ground floor.

Melanie, a global supply chain manager for a pharmaceutical firm in the region, said: “I believe that the building was once used as a grain store and it formed part of an old farm.

“When we first viewed the property we realised its potential immediately. We knew there was scope to shape it into what we wanted. It was just the perfect family home.

“We began by moving the kitchen back to the ground floor. The building work took around three months and we lived in the house while it was carried out.

“We wanted to move the kitchen because the children were young and it wasn’t practical to have them playing in the garden and be upstairs in the kitchen.”

Having added a more contemporary theme in the form of a fresh lick of paint and soft furnishings over 13 years, Melanie said it does tug at her heart-strings a little to be leaving.

She said: “We’ve given the house a more modern spin. When we moved in, the property had dark oak units in the kitchen, so we wanted to bring it up-to-date. It’s just lovely now and would definitely suit a family with children.”

This rural gem has the added benefit of being on the south side of the Tyne Valley with all its stunning scenery and around two acres of grounds. The grazing paddock has, in the past, even been used by the local cattle centre for livestock and also other farm animals.

Melanie, who has two children, Lara, now 16, and Luke, 11, said: “It was great for the children as it gave them close access to animals. Our son also used the paddock for quadbiking for a while. However it is currently being used as a football field. He’s really into football now, so it makes a great space for him to practice.”

Among favourite spaces indoors for Melanie is the spacious living/kitchen space which provides a stunning centre-piece to the property. Traditional features such as exposed roof timbers blend effortlessly with modern black granite worktops and white high-gloss units. Karndean flooring extends throughout the kitchen, conservatory and utility room.

Melanie said: “The kitchen is great because it’s somewhere the whole family can be together. The children can be doing their homework while I cook.”

Folding doors open out into the expansive conservatory which overlooks the garden.

Melanie said: “The house is great for entertaining. We had my 40th birthday here, and we’ve had up to 150 people here at times. The adults usually gather in the kitchen and the children in the lounge area. The conservatory makes for a great dance floor.”

A feature of the living/dining room is a stone chimney breast with open hearth, timber mantle and wood store. The room also has an attractive view over the landscaped gardens, courtyard and countryside.

Melanie said: “The living area really lends itself to Christmas. It just looks gorgeous once the tree and all the trimmings are up.”

A feature stone archway from the entrance hall leads to the six bedrooms. At the end of the corridor lies the master bedroom suite including a double bedroom with a range of built-in wardrobes and storage, two windows looks out over a private courtyard. There is also an en-suite bathroom.

On the first floor is a galleried landing with a view over the the main garden and a door leading out to stone steps down to the front entrance.

The grounds and gardens at The Old Granary are a particular feature of the property. The main garden has a pond with fountain, there is a summerhouse, separate paddock, stables and woodland.

Melanie said: “I think the location is definitely an attraction for families, there are some lovely walks to Hedley-on-the-Hill. It’s a really great little community where people really look after each other. Whittonstall has an excellent first school which our children attended. We also have the added bonus of being close to Corbridge for schools.

“Our favourite spots include The Anchor Inn in Whittonstall which puts on great events for families, such as fireworks for Bonfire Night which the whole community gets involved in.”

The Old Granary, Whittonstall, near Stocksfield, Northumberland is for sale through Foster Maddison at £795,000, tel: 01434 605441.


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