Stunning views from barn conversions
THEIR eyes met over the catalogues in a Tynedale builder’s merchants. He was working behind the counter, she needed advice on converting an old garage.
They got talking, discovered much in common and before long, he was helping her out with her new log cabin. The rest, as they say, is history.
Since then, Jamie and Petrina Mallinder-Leitch have transformed the redundant building that brought them together into a self-contained studio home they call The Shack.
They have also upgraded and improved the main property, The Barn, at Hamburn Hall in Hexhamshire, which has lots of character features and is set in large grounds, with stunning panoramic views.
It was bought by Petrina in 2009 when she relocated from Darlington to work as a consultant anaesthetist in Hexham Hospital. She hooked up with Jamie, who now runs his own joinery and property maintenance business, a couple of years later.
He said: “Petrina bought this house after falling in love with it. She’s all about the sun and the views and the aspect – it was a lovely, quaint barn conversion, but it was the outdoor views and the position, everything about the country life that attracted her to the house.
“The previous owner had done the original barn conversion and since then, I’ve spent months basically renovating the house.
“I’ve pulled walls down, made a small bedroom into a larger family bathroom, did a lot of insulating walls. There was just a mezzanine upstairs and I built a solid wall and put in Velux windows to make it a separate room.
“I knocked a utility wall out and made it into a new kitchen, put a brand new kitchen in with an Aga. We’ve also had a biomass boiler fitted.
“Running my own business, I’ve done a few house renovations anyway. I did most of the building work here myself, but sub-contracted for the plumbing and electrics.”
The Barn is now an impressive family home with cloakroom and entrance hall, which is currently used as a study, an open-plan dining kitchen, dining room with wood-burning stove and sliding patio doors to the garden and two ground-floor bedrooms, toilet and stylish family bathroom with freestanding bath and separate shower cubicle.
Upstairs is a lounge with open fire and double-height ceiling and French doors to a balcony with lovely views, plus the master bedroom which has an en-suite shower room. Steps lead up to the mezzanine level which Jamie and Petrina use as an additional bedroom.
He said: “We spend a lot of time in the evenings there with the fire on. I think that’s my favourite room and Petrina’s too.”
The Shack has a main living room with a kitchen and bathroom off and a mezzanine bedroom.
The gardens surrounding the two properties run to about half an acre and have many trees, flower beds, a patio and grassed areas.
Jamie said: “There are about 180 willow trees in there which we did in designs, so you’ve got a bit of an avenue, and others have been positioned so that when they grow, you can make an arch.
“It’s all fenced and when we sold the house in Darlington, we brought a wood carving from Tommy Craggs who is quite famous for tree sculpture – he carved a wood fairy and elf that we put in the garden here.
“We’ve got 360 degree panoramic views of Hexham town and racecourse, almost over to Allendale, all the hills, you can just see everything for miles around.
“We’ve put the house on the market because we have a dream of eventually moving west towards the Lake District, and maybe having a little business, like a holiday let.
“We’re thinking ahead, but we’ll definitely miss this place. If we could pick the house and move it somewhere else, we would, the house, the views, everything – we just love it all.”
The Barn, Hamburn Hall, Hexhamshire, is for sale at £499,000 from youngsRPS, tel. (01434) 608980.