Historic Hotspur House in Allendale has seen many a toast in its 209-year history.
And a glass should be raised in honour of its owner, Jo Dixon, who has restored the stunning Grade II Listed former pub to its former glory. Many villagers will remember the imposing stone property when it was local watering hole, The Hotspur.
However when it went into receivership in 1998, Jo jumped at the chance to buy it. And with the help of late local builder Alan Newman, they transformed it back into a stunning family home.
Jo, who has lived in Allendale since 1995, said: “I just thought it’s such a lovely building. I had been in the pub and before I moved to Allendale I actually stayed there when it was a B&B.”
The party has always been at the hub of village life and was originally built as a family home.
“It was built in 1806 by a Dr Arnison, a doctor to the local lead mines. Five generations of his family lived there. It then became a gentleman’s club and then carried on being a pub. A lot of people have fond memories of it.
“Historically there were something ridiculous like 37 drinking holes in Allendale in the days of the lead miners, so the village was torn between temperance and drinking. I turned the five pubs into four and subsequently now there are only three pubs in the village.”
During the seven month restoration, slices of history were unveiled.
Jo, a non executive director, said: “It took an enormous amount of work and there were a lot of problems. The windows had all been broken over the years, the plasterwork was falling off the walls.
“A lot of the lovely original features had been either removed or hidden. Things like beautiful fireplaces were behind false walls and the shutters were there but they’d been boarded up. My vision for the house was to put it back to how it was.”
The property includes a sitting room with snug and fireplace housing a wood burning stove. The dining room has a period fireplace, window seats and original floorboards. There is a breakfast room with feature fireplace recess, and kitchen with flagged floor and Aga oven.
The extensive cellars provide additional storage.
On the first floor there is a bedroom with dressing room, bathroom and further en suite bedroom. The second floor features three en suite bedrooms, a further bedroom and sauna.
The house has provided the perfect space for entertaining family and friends.
Jo said: “Living in the house has been a lot of fun. It’s a brilliant party house and a great family house. I’m part of a big family and all my nieces and nephews have celebrated their 21st birthdays here.”
There is ample off-road parking as well as a large walled back garden with terraces and seating areas. The gardens are easy to maintain and offer a reasonable degree of privacy.
Jo won’t be moving too far from home and is embarking in another project within the village.
She said: “I completely love the Hottie and will miss the house enormously. However the property that I’m going to is a project and going to be so exciting. Allendale is a great place to live, beautiful community, wonderful countryside, and there’s lots going on.
“Hotspur House would lend to making a fantastic B&B or family home. It’s a very happy house and in its 200-year history, it’s certainly been very resilient. It’s also the best hide and seek house I’ve ever lived in.”
- Hotspur House, Allendale, Northumberland, is for sale through Foster Maddison at a guide price of £545,000, tel: 01434 605441.