Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Businessman's 'Oasis of Calm' on the Market

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Businessman's 'Oasis of Calm' on the Market

Article excerpt

Byline: Sophie Barley Content Editor

SIR Peter Vardy may be used to an avalanche of correspondence, but one message more than 20 years ago turned out to be particularly memorable.

It guided him and his family to magnificent Rainton House.

"The previous owner didn't want to advertise that house. He was a very private person so he wrote to me suggesting that it would be an ideal house for us," explained businessman and philanthropist Sir Peter.

"When I saw it I didn't hesitate. You know when you see a house and it just feels perfect. It's just lovely and it's been a delight to live there."

Standing in 1.7 acres of beautifully tended landscaped gardens, it is hardly surprising that Rainton House, in Houghton-le-Spring , County Durham, ticked all the boxes as a family home.

Built in the 19th Century as a vicarage for the church in West Rainton, the country house is within easy reach of the city of Durham and midway between the A1 and A19.

"It's a fabulous house in a great location," said Sir Peter. "It is so accessible. Just a few minutes from A1 and A19, halfway between Teesside and Tyneside, a few minutes from Durham Railway Station and 20 minutes from Newcastle International Airport."

But the cares of the city will be easily forgotten when you head down the private lane off the A690 and sweep through the substantial wrought iron electric gates to the block-paved driveway.

"The house is very private with magnificent grounds," said Sir Peter.

"It is an oasis of calm, just minutes from the town and cities of the region."

When Sir Peter and his wife, Margaret, moved in they embarked on an extensive programme of improvement and updating under architect supervision. The attention to detail is evident both inside and out.

"We have extended the house with a larger four-car garage and a large orangery," he said. "The roof was reslated and the house rewired. And a major investment was on the formal gardens at both the front and back, which are beautiful all year round."

English country gardens intermingle with Italian and Japanese-themed gardens, blending perfectly with extensive terracing. …

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