Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

A Touch of Tradition

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

A Touch of Tradition

Article excerpt

Byline: Mieka Smiles

SOMETIMES a house captures your heart long before it goes on to the market. That was what happened to company director Noel Toft and wife Glenda when they first saw Rocklyn Lodge set within the impressive Darras Hall estate, in Northumberland.

"We knew the previous owners quite well and had been in the house before it was on the market. It was a house we'd always liked," explains Noel, 54.

The property was built by the previous owners in the late 1980s and initially needed little work according to Noel, father of 11-year-old twins Ryan and Jade: "It was in very good condition and it didn't need much doing to it.

"It was the style of the house which we liked. I liked the rustic brick."

Since moving into the property 15 years ago, however, the couple have extensively renovated and refurbished, as Noel explains: "We have re-done three bathrooms, three bedrooms and put in a new kitchen. We re-did the conservatory and changed the games room into an upstairs playroom. We also updated the decor in 2008."

The ground floor includes a reception hall with impressive staircase, two cloakrooms, a drawing room with bay window and fireplace, dining room - also with impressive fireplace - and a cosy family room.

The breakfasting kitchen, refurbished in 2007, includes granite floor tiles extending to the garden room and conservatory. The kitchen has a four-oven Aga and leads to a utility, laundry, boiler and boot room. The utility connects to the annex which includes gymnasium, a cloakroom, a cinema and playroom and adjoining kitchen. The annex could be adapted to accommodate an independent relative.

The first floor of the main property has four bedroom suites - two with en suites and the other two sharing a Jack and Jill bathroom.

There is extensive accommodation, but Noel says it's all used: "It's very much a lived-in property - not one that's just there for show. …

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