Mrs Doubtfire author hopes to sell Barnard Castle house

A POPULAR children’s author hopes to sell a listed house she bought from the proceeds of her most famous book.

Gray Lane House in Barnard Castle

A POPULAR children’s author hopes to sell a listed house she bought from the proceeds of her most famous book.

Anne Fine bought the Grade II Listed House in Gray Lane, Barnard Castle, County Durham from the proceeds of Madame Doubtfire.

The film about a family with divorced parents was released as Mrs Doubtfire in 1993, starring Robin Williams.

Anne, a former Children’s Laureate and author of more than 50 books, has lived at Gray Lane House for more than 20 years.

Two of the most notable books she penned there were The Road of Bones, written in a very icy winter, about Stalinist Russia, and shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal in 2007, and Flour Babies, a comedy, which won the medal in 1992.

This 18th Century period home features three reception rooms, one of which has become Anne’s book-lined library, the second a cosy sitting room, and the third, which she built herself, a light-filled study overlooking the garden.

There is a spacious family kitchen and a large workshop and garage complete the accommodation. Upstairs, there are two bathrooms and three bedrooms and staircases at both the front and the back.

Author Anne Fine

The setting for Anne’s Georgian Gem is its walled garden, with mature trees, lawns and beds, leading to open country and riverside walks by the Tees.

The 63-year-old author said: “I have loved living here, and the main reason we’re selling is because of the size of the gardens, but we will be definitely staying in the area.

“Gray Lane House has served as the inspiration for a number of my books, and was the base for the two unbelievably busy years I spent as Children’s Laureate.”

She added: “The house is so cosy and welcoming – a wonderful place to come home to after working abroad, or the hustle of major cities. It’s also been a fantastic family home with plenty of space for when our children return for extended periods of time.”

Sheryl Sowden of land agent George F White, who are handling the sale, said: “It is rare to find such a property in the town that combines such excellent family accommodation and potential with gardens, privacy, parking and convenience.

“We anticipate that enormous amounts of interest will be shown in Gray Lane House and are delighted to have been selected to handle the sale.”

Gray Lane House can be viewed by prior arrangement on 01833 690390.


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