Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Home Is Where the History Is

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Home Is Where the History Is

Article excerpt

Byline: Vicky Robson

STEEPED in history, it was this impressive property's chequered past that caught the imagination of owner Stephen Lovely six years ago. The detached house was built on the site of Boldon Hall, in South Tyneside, specifically for five spinster sisters and was "derelict" when the Stephen bought it.

He has since "effectively rebuilt" the property, transforming it into a truly contemporary family home with plenty of modern features.

"I bought the house in 2008 in a derelict state," explained Stephen. "It has been lovingly renovated and extended using bricks from the original Boldon Brickworks, making an older family home with a contemporary feel.

"I knew of this development when I was growing up less than a mile away in West Boldon. We couldn't afford it as a family then, but things have turned out well, so when I saw it up for sale I knew it was for me."

The property was built in 1949 by a local farmer called Lockey, who had five daughters and a son. When his son got married and took over the farm, Lockey is said to have built the house for the sisters, with five equal-sized bedrooms.

Entreprenuer Stephen said: "None of the sisters married or had children, and they lived in the house for 60 years until the last surviving sister, Hilda, died in 2008. Hilda's will stated that the house was not to be altered in any way.

"Hilda was a millionairess who had lived with partial central heating, one gas burner, damp walls and four empty bedrooms. She hailed from an era of austerity, but perhaps this was taken a little too far as was common with some in her generation.

"Luckily, this part of her will was not enforceable because the house was unworkable and needed complete refurishment."

Versatile accommodation includes four spacious bedrooms, two of which have en suites, an entrance lobby, generous entrance hallway with bi-fold doors opening out on to a back garden, double aspect lounge including access to the patio and gardens beyond, well-appointed kitchen/dining room, large utility and a family bathroom. …

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