Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

From the Ground, from the Air, It's Magnificent

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

From the Ground, from the Air, It's Magnificent

Article excerpt

When Tony Gillman overheard a couple on a flight talk about the beautiful castle below, he was a little embarrassed but not surprised to discover they were talking about his home.

The property they were flying over was The Castle, a Grade II* Listed castellated country house in Castle Eden, County Durham, which has been home to Tony, his wife Susan and their children John, 19, and Emma, 16, for the past six years.

Now on the market for offers over pounds 1.75m, Tony, 47, and Susan, 43, bought the unusual nine-bedroom property in 2000 when it was derelict and have restored it to its Georgian glory.

"We came across the house by chance," said Tony, a property developer involved in land acquisition.

"My wife's late father is buried in the churchyard next door and we spotted the house when we visited his grave.

"The house had been on the market for a long time and needed everything doing, including a new roof, rewiring and plumbing."

After nine months, and at great expense, the major work was complete and the family could move in.

The house was built in the early 1700s and remodelled by architect Sir John Soane in 1780. It has many original features, such as Doric columns and castellations on the roof.

Tony said: "It was home to the Burdon family, including MP Rowland Burdon, for 200 years. It was originally part of a 2,500-acre estate, and in the late 1960s the adjacent parkland became a golf club and the woodland a nature reserve.

"After the Second World War the house became institutionalised then stood empty for many years before we bought it."

Now the house stands in 19 acres, including parkland, woodland and formal gardens. Although it is just two miles from the A19 and 10 miles from Middlesbrough, it feels nestled away in its own little corner of the world. Tony said: "All the rooms are accessed off the central hallway and galleried landing ( so they all look outwards. The house's main virtue is that it doesn't ramble. There are no poky rooms at the back end of dark corridors. They're all fantastically well proportioned, especially the drawing room, which is very special. …

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