Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Property Is Full of Surprises and Character

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Property Is Full of Surprises and Character

Article excerpt

STEP inside this week's Dream Home and chances are you'll be in for a surprise.

For what you thought you might expect behind the wooden front door almost certainly won't be what greets you.

For The Old Dovecote in the village of East Harlsey is as unusual as it is charming - and its owner has gone to great lengths to restore and renovate the tower shaped brick home, transforming it into a unique place to live.

It was, as its name suggests, once a dovecote. Dating back to around 1680- 1710, it was built to house pigeons. A water tank was added to the top of it in 1908 and that too carries with it a touch of local history.

"It was a pigeon home and was first built to provide food for the village," explains the owner. "There would once have been 1,000 pigeons living here although it hasn't been used like that for over 100 years.

"Back in 1908 a water tower was added to the top of it - when it came to restoring the property, we decided to integrate it as part of the building.

"I discovered it was made by Bolckow and Vaughan Ironmasters in Middlesbrough and I felt that it was part of the building's history so decided to make a feature of it on the top floor."

DREAM " The potential of the home simply appealed to him, he says, when he bought it in 2000. It took four years to renovate and was real labour of love, the owner searched out reclaimed materials and fixtures and fittings in keeping with its characterHOME In association including a Victorian style spiral staircase.

"It was evolved rather than planned," he smiles.

"We tried to put everything back in and spent a lot of time thinking about what would work. It was such an unusual building, we had to try and see how it worked. "For example, the windows were only used as access for the birds - we folded them back on the inside so they were shaped like lighthouse windows to let the light in. …

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