homemaker featured property - 9 August 2014

This Corbridge home was built in 1937 and is a fantastic example of the Arts and Crafts movement of the time


It was second time lucky for Geoff and Eileen Craig when it came to buying their dream home in Northumberland.

The couple first viewed Orchard Gap, a stunning Arts and Crafts property in Corbridge, in the mid 1980s. Unable to buy the property then, they jumped at the chance to make it their home when it came on to the market again a decade ago. The detached house on Aydon Road has since provided a wonderful lifestyle for Geoff, Eileen, and their family.

Built in 1937, the property is a beautiful example of the Arts and Crafts movement and its period features remain virtually untouched.

Geoff said: “We first viewed the house in 1985 and I was attracted to it then. I didn’t manage to buy it, but when it came up again for sale, we were really interested and bought it.

“When I first walked through the door I thought it was stunning and I still do today. We still have the sales brochure from our very first viewing.”

The couple were attracted to the style of the property and the mature, easy to maintain gardens.

“We love the Arts and Crafts style. The dining room has stunning wood panelling, and there are beamed ceilings and original fireplaces throughout. We’ve restored things, including adding a new Aga oven but none of the original features have been touched since 1937,” said Geoff.

The impressive house is entered through a panelled hallway with beamed ceiling. There is a drawing room with large bay window and fireplace housing a wood burning stove.

The dining room, with period panelling and beamed ceiling, features a stone Minster fireplace. There is also a study with stone fireplace, square bay window, and French doors leading to a loggia.

The sitting room, also with a square bay window, has a quarry tiled floor.

At the hub of the property is the kitchen/breakfast room with oak units, granite worktops, Belfast sink and Aga.

The kitchen is a firm favourite with Geoff. He said: “The kitchen is one of my favourite areas. We often have friends around and sit round the table and have supper.

“I also like the sitting room with the beamed ceilings and fireplace. It’s a great house for entertaining.”

A galleried landing leads to a balcony with views of the rear garden. The master bedroom, with en suite, features original ceiling and wall light fittings, and five windows providing an abundance of light.

There is a guest bedroom with en suite, three/four further bedrooms and period bathroom with Delft tiles.

Orchard Gap offers flexible accommodation and will appeal to a range of buyers.

“The house is ideal for families or couples. It’s always full of people, but when there’s just the two of us, we aren’t rattling around. We use every room,” said Geoff.

The couple don’t describe themselves as keen gardeners which is why the low maintenance gardens suit them down to the ground. Features include lawns, paved terraces, and informal woodland.

Geoff said: “The gardens are surprisingly easy to maintain. We have a ride-on lawn mower which does the lawns in 10 minutes. The mature woodland doesn’t take any time at all.”

The house is for sale complete with detailed planning permission to build a house in its orchard area. The mature private plot has plans for the construction of a three bedroom home.

Geoff said: “When we bought the house the plan was to build a smaller home for us in the orchard. Unfortunately, Eileen has had some health issues and to carry on with that idea would be too stressful.

“That’s why we are selling, but we will be staying in the immediate area. It’s been a lovely for ourselves and the family.”

Orchard Gap and building plot, Aydon Road, Corbridge, Northumberland, is for sale through Finest Properties at £1.4m, tel: 01434 622234.


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