West Moor Farm has been the cherished family home of Carolyn and Tony Raven for the past 12 years and it wll be a real wrench when the time comes for them to leave.
Carolyn said: “I’m really going to miss it, it’s absolute heaven. I look out of this window every morning and I can’t believe how lucky I am. About three years ago we were about to put it on the market and when the estate agent came round, I burst into tears.
“He said, ‘You’re obviously not ready to sell just yet.’ I had to phone my husband and say, ‘I can’t do this.’
“I’ll never be ready to sell it but we just have to, it’s too much for me now but I love it so much. Everybody who comes here loves it, they all say they wish they had the money to buy it.”
The Ravens bought their home, at Longhorsley near Morpeth, when it was just a farm cottage and have transformed it into a superb equestrian smallholding with separate holiday cottage.
Carolyn ran an equine business from the main house and the grounds have a stable block, feed/foaling box, loose boxes and a tack room. However, her main energies were spent in developing a cross-country course which is used for competitions.
Carolyn said: “We used to live on the A697 but the road got to me and I wanted some peace and tranquillity. There are 40 acres of very good grazing here and it was so simple compared to how I used to run my horses on bits of land all over the place – this just works so well for horses and hay.
“We first of all moved into the original cottage and had plans drawn up to make what then became a holiday let our main house. We meant to leave the cottage as it was but then we suddenly saw the amazing views from our cottage and decided we had to start all over again.
“So we added on to the cottage, attached it to some buildings which made it a big L-shaped farmhouse and where there was a bit of garden there’s now an enormous kitchen. The bit we were going to live in we made into the holiday home, it’s completely separate but easy enough to make as part of the main house.”
Her daughters Hannah and Sam were teenagers when Carolyn and Tony moved in and the house was built almost in two halves.
The bedrooms are in two separate wings, one reached from the kitchen and the other from the sitting room, all on the ground floor. Two additional bedrooms are on this floor while the first floor has four more bedrooms, the master en-suite. There are two bathrooms and a shower room, second sitting room and two dining rooms.
Carolyn’s favourite rooms are the main sitting room and the kitchen. She said: “My husband used to own Newcastle Furniture Company so it is a phenomenal kitchen, very well-appointed with a five-door Aga. There’s also a lovely conservatory with amazing views across the garden and the fields to the south, a lovely stable yard and kennels as well.
“I love the open aspect, all you hear are birds, nothing else, it’s just beautiful.”
Carolyn is unable to continue running the equestrian business as she has a bad back and finds the work too much for her. The house is also too big now that their daughters have moved out, Hannah to Newcastle from where she helps her father with his new business, Blagdon Kitchen Design, and Sam to Spain where she lives with her husband.
The Ravens plan to downsize, buying another property in the vicinity and a second home in Spain.
“I will miss the views and the peace, I just love being here,” said Carolyn.
- West Moor Farm and Cottage, Longhorsley, near Morpeth, Northumberland, is for sale at £1.25m from Finest Properties, tel: 01434 622234.