With a penchant for the great outdoors, the Burrell family couldn’t have chosen a better location to set up home.
Jill, Allister and their four-year-old son Samuel like nothing better than walking their dogs in Derwent Walk Country Park, literally on the doorstep of their Shotley Bridge property, in County Durham.
Its semi rural location is one of the reasons the couple fell for the historic house a decade ago.
Jill said: “We were attracted to the Derwent Valley because of its lovely riverside position. There are lots of countryside walks and it really suits our lifestyle being an outdoors family.”
Dating from around 1911, the house was built by local architect John Joseph Eltringham. Jill and Allister have sympathetically restored the house, making the most of its beautiful period features.
“We loved the fact the property had all its original features which were all in very good condition. We also loved the size and the stature of the rooms,” said Jill.
“It needed some work, so we’ve redecorated and modernised it throughout. We added new bathrooms and knocked down a wall to create a large breakfasting kitchen and we generally brightened it all up.”
The property has a large hallway with feature archway and impressive original oak staircase. There is a dining room with original stained glass window and period fireplace. The lounge has period cornicing and French doors leading to the garden. There is also a family room with fireplace.
The breakfasting kitchen is a feature of the property and includes Cumbrian slate worksurfaces, Belfast sink and Traventine tiled flooring.
“The property has big square rooms and high ceilings, so you can get a lot of furniture in. The sun pours into the kitchen and morning room first thing, so we spend our mornings there. The kitchen is probably my favourite room in the house,” said Jill.
Upstairs there are five bedrooms and impressive family bathroom with cast iron roll top bath.
Jill said: “We have some original drawings which were sent on by the Eltringham family. It’s sort of a semi-detached property, but our house takes up two thirds of the building.
“The other property was originally built for an unmarried sister of the architect and was purpose built like this.”
With spacious rooms and large secluded gardens, the house is perfect for families, says Jill. The property also offers scope to convert the loft and create three further bedrooms. There is also potential to extend over the garage.
“It’s been a lovely place to raise Samuel. The gardens are big and great for kids to play in. The grounds are very enclosed and very safe. It’s also within walking distance of the junior schools within Shotley bridge.”
There is a formal garden at the front of the house with steps up to the property. The rear gardens feature patio areas and fruit trees. There is also a large driveway providing parking for a number of cars.
Jill said: “I’m a keen gardener. The size of the plot is a huge selling point. We have three dogs, so we like a lot of space.
“We actually removed an air raid shelter from the garden. It was right behind the kitchen and you couldn’t see on to the garden. We replaced it with a nice big patio.” The location is one of the main things Jill and her family will miss about the house.
She said: “From the front of the house we have lovely views over Derwent Valley to Shotley Fields. It’s a lovely spot
“The house has a real warm homely feel, and the size is one of its best selling points.”
The family have decided to sell up due to work commitments.
Jill said: “It’s going to be a push to leave such a beautiful house. I’ll miss all of it. Especially the warm homely feeling, and the period features. It really is a one off.”
61 Queens Road, Shotley Bridge, County Durham, is for sale through Your Move Chris Stonock at offers between £299,950-£350,000, tel: 01207 504119.