Val Kirkup regularly admired The White House while out walking in Old Ryton Village.
So when the beautiful mid-18th Century property came on to the market in 1971, she jumped at the opportunity to buy it.
The Grade II Listed property, overlooking the village green, has since provided a wonderful environment in which she and her late husband raised their two sons. Built around 1750, The White House is steeped in history.
Val said: “When I first got married we bought a bungalow in the area. I’d admired the house while out walking for many years. And when it came up for sale, it was a great opportunity.
“I loved the character of the house and its spacious rooms. In the 1800s it was used by the local miners to deposit pennies. It’s reputed to be the first penny bank in England which was set up in 1815 by Charles Thorp. It is also reputed that Wesley preached here.”
A wonderful four bedroomed family home, features include a grand entrance hall, and 21ft lounge with period coal fireplace.
“My favourite part of the house is the lounge. It overlooks the village green and there’s always something different to look at. It’s a lovely spacious room with a lovely coal fire. It’s a very Christmassy house.
“I also like the garden room which overlooks the courtyard. It’s light and airy and lovely during the summer months.”
There is a dining room, breakfasting room, and fitted kitchen with beamed ceiling. This leads to the garden room with exposed stone wall.
Upstairs there is a half landing with cloakroom. The first floor includes a 21ft master bedroom with dressing room, while the second bedroom has a period fireplace. The contemporary bathroom offers a touch of the wow factor. Features include a free standing bath and wet room. The second floor has an attic room.
Val said: “I’ve done quite a bit to the property but kept all the original features. The bathroom is a particular feature of the house. We knocked a bedroom and a bathroom into one to create a large contemporary space.”
The property has a wealth of quirky period features according to Val.
She said: “We haven’t found any treasures but my children used to search every nook and cranny to see if the bank had left behind any pennies.
“There are Venetian windows at the front of the house which are very quirky because although they look all the same from the outside, inside they are all at completely different levels.” We also have a tiny little long skinny quirky cupboard built into the wall in the breakfast room.”
The property is for sale with its own adjoining cottage which comprises two bedrooms, lounge, fitted kitchen, shower room and bathroom.
“I’m given to understand recently that the cottage was actually built before the house. It could either be suitable for elderly parents, teenage children, or as a rental income.”
As well as a driveway, the house benefits from an attractive courtyard and south facing back garden.
Val said: “The courtyard between the house and the cottage is beautiful in the summer.”
The house is ideal for families being well located for schools, amenities and the Metrocentre, according to Val.
Having called The White House her home for the past 43 years, Val is particularly sad to be selling up.
She said: “It’s been a wonderful family home, but my children have flown the nest and I’m now looking to downsize and move nearer to family at the coast.
“I’m going to miss everything about the house. I’m going to be very sad to leave as it’s been a very happy house and I love everything about it. It’s full of happy memories.”
- The White House, Ryton Village, is for sale through Your Move Chris Stonock at £645,000, tel: 0191 413 5051.