Space may be at a premium down south, but further north it’s easier to find properties that provide more than enough room to roam both indoors and out. Penny Churchill takes a look at one: Springfield House.
In Northumberland, successful Victorian industrialists chose the towns and villages of the scenic Tyne Valley as the setting for many of their most impressive country homes. The ancient village of Corbridge — where Springfield House is for sale — sits on the banks of the Tyne, four miles east of Hexham and 16 miles west of Newcastle, was known to the Romans as Coria, the most northerly town in the empire.
Here, in 676, Saint Wilfrid, the founder of Hexham Abbey, is supposed to have built the village church of St Andrew, using stone taken from Hadrian’s Wall. And here, in the 19th century, a number of grand Victorian houses were built to house successful businessmen looking to commute to Newcastle following the arrival of the railway in 1838.
Such a house is Springfield House in exclusive Spoutwell Lane, Corbridge, now on the market through Finest Properties at a guide price of ‘offers over £5m’.
Built in 1874 and recently renovated to 21st-century standards of layout and comfort, the striking Victorian house stands in 2.8 acres of manicured gardens and woodland with views over open countryside.
The accommodation — an impressive mix of classic and contemporary design — includes five reception rooms, six bedrooms and seven bathrooms.
Contrasting with the period features of the elegant reception rooms is the dramatic open-plan kitchen, dining and family room, which is the real heart of the house.
Approached through a private pillared gateway with secure electronic gates, Springfield House comes with a detached, 8,100sq ft garage, an all-weather tennis court and zip-wire.
There is one more highlight, and it’s the pièce-de-résistance: an impressive twin tree-house erected by the builders of the famous tree-house in the gardens of Alnwick Castle.
The agents describe the house as ‘a home that is expansive yet warm and inviting’ and that is something well worth mentioning: it’s clearly a home designed and fitted out with entertaining guests in mind. The cinema and games room has a bar with a real ale hand-pump for pulling pints of proper draught beer, and the beautiful wine cellar suggests a real love of the good stuff.
Catch up on the best country houses for sale this week that have come to the market via Country Life.