Husband and wife Tony and Anne Lapping have lived in their beautiful country home near the charming village of Corbridge for the past two decades but are moving on to a new property development challenge.
Tony explained: “We moved here at the tail end of 1993 when it was more or less a derelict house. At the time I would drive to Hexham Racecourse by the back road from Blaydon and I always had my eye on this property which had been empty for a very long time.
“Eventually I plucked up the courage to ask the local landowners – it belonged to the Temperley Grange estate – if it was for sale and we managed to buy it. We bought the farmhouse and friends bought the steading next door and we developed them into two separate houses at the same time.”
The couple have made great changes to West Farm House, calling on their previous experience working on the Axwell Park Estate in Blaydon.
Tony said: “I bought Axwell Hall and the surrounding farm from the Coal Board and developed three cottages, a farmhouses and turned an old ging-gang into an office which our friends bought from us, turning it into a beautiful house.
“I’m not a property developer, I’m an accoutant specialising in the entertainment industry. The developing is all in the head, our favourite programme is Grand Designs.
“We’re downsizing and have our eye on a nice little bungalow near Slaley which we’re going to part-demolish and reconstitute so it will be exactly they way we want it.”
He may not be a property developer, but at West Farm House he and Anne have created a stunning and sumptuously appointed country home set in three acres and full of bright and well-considered accommodation.
He said: “I don’t think it had been lived in for 20 years when we bought it. We probably tripled it in size and turned it into a four-bedroom house, all the bedrooms are en-suite, we’ve added a dining room, a balcony outside our bedroom so we can just walk outside through French doors and have breakfast. Our main lounge is the old cow byre, it’s a very good size about 24ft long by 16ft wide
“Our bedroom is probably my favourite room. It has the French windows leading on to the balcony, it faces south so when you wake up in the morning in the summer the sun is shining through the window. It’s just so quiet and peaceful, it’s a huge room and we’ve got this massive superking bed.”
As well as the lounge, the house has sitting room, dining room, kitchen, snug, study and reception hall while upstairs are the four en-suite bedrooms, a large landing and bathroom.
“Basically we’re moving because we need to downsize, we’re not getting any younger, although the space comes in handy when our extended family comes to stay.” said Tony. “We have three daughters, seven grandchildren and one great-grandchild. They tend to arrive en-masse and you end up with children sleeping all over the place.
“They love coming here because we’ve got a two-acre wood attached to the property and it’s heaven for kids they just love it. The pines in there are about 50 years old and we’re just busy thinning them out.
“We’ve got an acre of gardens, a formal lawn an orchard and every plant that has been planted was put in there by my wife over the last 21 years, it’s amazing what she’s done. When all the flowers are out, the place is gorgeous. If we weren’t getting older, we would never leave.
“Anne is the driving force behind the move as she probably does most of the work around here and as you can imagine, with a huge garden and a huge house, it’s a lot of work. I’ve had to promise her a new landscaped garden
- West Farm House, Temperley Grange, Corbridge, Northumberland, is for sale at £1.3m through Finest Properties, tel: 01434 622234.