Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Victorian Love of Space and Style

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Victorian Love of Space and Style

Article excerpt

Byline: Jo Blakemore

CLIFTON House is a large Victorian country home and it was the substantial space provided by its rooms and grounds that drew Crispian and Denise Strachan there.

They moved to the house, in Clifton near Morpeth, in 1998 to bring up their four children: "They've all now flown the nest and gone around the world," said Crispian.

"We're downsizing - we will decide where we'll move to once we've sold here. It's perfectly possible we will stay in the area. Having been here for 16 years we have a lot of life in the area and friends here, which is very nice.

"We were first attracted by the sheer space and grace of the house, there was space for the children to play in.

"They could go all the way down to the bottom of the meadow. We fitted up a zip wire between two trees down there, a play frame and what have you and it's just a huge space to breathe."

Clifton House was built in 1865, explained Crispian: "It was built by Mr Slater, the farmer at Clifton Farm at that time. He obviously wanted a grander farmhouse than the rather older construction which is still behind us and which is someone else's family home. Therefore, he bought the plans from a farmer at Ponteland who had built a similar house and he built this one here in rather nicer style.

"The outbuildings are from the working farm because at the time he would have kept a horse and cart and would have wanted an office, wash shed, cart sheds all built around the farmyard. All now in use, every single bit of them."

The house impresses from the outset, with a stunning entrance bounded by stone pillars and walls and double gates leading to the open courtyard and parking area.

Inside it has elegant reception rooms which have beautiful period features such as solid plaster work, ceiling roses and original doors.

Some of the old fireplaces were removed by the Strachans to eliminate draughts but fireplaces remain in the lounge and dining room where the couple burn logs. …

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