5 Bedroom House For Sale
Sitwell Street, Spondon, Derby, DE21 7FE,
STUNNING HIDDEN GEM, FULL OF CHARACTER AND POSSIBILITY As you drive through the village of Spondon, you will have no idea what awaits you as you walk up the drive of this unusual property. Often described as a hidden gem, this fascinating home is steeped in history, full of character and opportunity, and is not easy to forget. Walking around this beautiful house you realise how incredibly private it is. Although roadside, it looks out over the church and its elevated position means the views from the windows are above traffic level. The owner recalls to me the first time she saw the property "I had no idea it was here, I walked up the drive and turned to the estate agent and said 'I'll buy it', before I'd even gone inside!" It's easy to imagine why. A PIECE OF HISTORY The central part of what used to be a farm dates back to 1692 and is Grade II listed. It's had some modern additions since then though, which have been sympathetically built. The drawing room has a large brick fireplace with mantle piece beam and you can imagine enjoying a cup of hot chocolate on a cold winter's night sat in front of the fire. What would have originally been the farmhouse kitchen is now a family room with beams and opens in to the modern kitchen. If you look at the plates on the doors you get a real sense of the history of this home. The main changes to the farm were made in 1928, and the owner still has the original blueprints. We believe it was around the 1950s/60s when the current kitchen was added, and the owner has really put her stamp on the property by restoring the stable and creating a stunning kitchen garden, but more about that later. It used to be a bigger property with orchards, and has a long and interesting history. The owner tells me a story that takes me by surprise; "I'd only lived here a week and the Doyen of the Historical Society, a wonderful old guy in his 80s, came up the drive with two ladies from Australia who had a relative who used to live in the house. They asked me if we'd found the bust of the Kaiser, and apparently an ancestor to one of these ladies used to be the governess to the Kaiser's children prior to the First World War." SHEER ELEGANCE AND LOVE The house is elegantly decorated, and each room has little touches that give away a piece of its past. I asked the owner about her favourite room. "That is really hard. I love the big drawing room, because it's a really good space; it's very sunny, with windows on both sides, and it's just got a lovely warmth about it. I just love the whole house. Then there is my 'wing' - my own suite of rooms. There are three rooms that roll into each other, the bedroom, bathroom, and another bedroom that I use as a dressing room. There are great big old-fashioned locks with huge keys, so I can shut myself away from the kids in my own private suite. The master bedroom has shutters on the window, and it's those Art Deco touches that go back to 1928, it's these little details that I like... ...It's a fabulous house, it's just too big for me now. The garden is lovely. I've done a lot of work on the garden; the brick walls in the garden, and those arches into the kitchen garden, I love sitting in that open barn with the fairy lights on, it's quiet and warm; you can sit in the twilight having a drink, it's just lovely. I had the old carriage stable converted in to the kitchen garden 2 years ago and the greenhouse used to be in a different part of the garden, so I moved that into the kitchen garden. I've never grown veg in my life, but I've had loads of peas, and broad beans, and salad, and I've even got fruit trees". MANY POSSIBILITIES "The stable, which is next to the kitchen garden, has been fully restored and has water and power. It could be converted into a little teenage annexe or a gym, the house has so much flexibility," the owner tells me. Another area of the property that has so much potential is the 'party room', which can be accessed from the house. What used to be the threshing barn is now a large L-shaped room, nicknamed the party room by the owners as it has hosted many a party, sleepover, and even a wedding over the years. The current owner has various planning permissions to transform the space including to move the kitchen to provide a huge kitchen/family room with bi-fold doors onto the garden. A further opportunity is presented with the cellars, accessed off the entrance hall, providing generous storage and a secret tunnel. A HOME FOR ALL SEASONS You can just picture this home at Christmas, traditionally decorated with a large Christmas tree, the sweet smell of pine, the sound of laughter, friends and family gathered just enjoying the feeling that the festive season brings. "It's a lovely house at Christmas. The dining room looks straight across to the church, which is floodlit at Christmas and throughout the winter. When I've had friends here for dinner parties they always say it feels like they've gone through the rope barrier at a National Trust house, especially with that view across to the church." WHAT ABOUT THE VILLAGE? Spondon is a lovely village; the people are loyal and the community association is very active. Apart from the Co-op all the stores are independent; you've got a traditional butchers and a national award-winning artisan bakery. As the owner describes the village and the community, you get a sense of what it is like to live here and how much joy it has brought her and her family. "It's just that lovely feeling on a Saturday when I take my basket and walk to the grocers, bakers, and butchers, then walk back again." WHY IT WILL BE HARD TO LEAVE I asked the owner what living here has meant to her and her family. "It will be hard leaving this house because I do love the property so much. It's been a big, happy family house, spread over three storeys. There is a whistle hanging on the bannister, so I didn't have to shout when food was ready; each child had a different signal on the whistle to come down, it was all very Sound of Music. Precious memories like this will stay with me." ONLY PART OF THE STORY You can understand how this property can get under your skin; it's a home that has heart, character and yet continues to evolve as each family makes changes and renovates according to their needs and tastes. It's hard to describe the joy you feel as you sit in the kitchen garden, or how your mind races with ideas as you enter the stable and the party room. This is truly a special property, one that you need to see before making a judgement, because the photographs and this description are only telling you a small part of this home's story.
Sitwell Street, Spondon, Derby, DE21 7FE,