Hidden from the road and in a superb setting, Breckney Bed Cottage sits in eight acres of land just half a mile from Birdoswald Roman Fort and with Northumberland National Park on the doorstep.

It is surrounded by glorious views and, like many houses locally, is rumoured to have been built of stone reused from Hadrian’s Wall.

Elaine Shepherd faced strong competition when she bought the stone-built cottage at auction 16 years ago, as she recalled: “There was such a lot of interest, you couldn’t move in the village hall where the auction was held and people were out on the street as well.

“A few of my soon-to-be-neighbours came up to me afterwards and said they hoped I realised that I had just bought a little slice of heaven, and they weren’t wrong.”

Having grown up on a farm in North Yorkshire, and working as a nurse, Elaine was no stranger to hard work, which was just as well, as her new home needed a great deal of upgrading.

However, the result is a charming property with a dining hall, fitted kitchen, sitting room, two double bedrooms and two bathrooms.

It is set in its own grounds a short way out of the village and a five-minute walk to Birdoswald Roman Fort. The A69 is a few minutes’ drive away, with a 10-minute drive to Haltwhistle and Brampton.

Elaine said: “The first job was to put in a driveway and drainage, then I started at the top of the house and lived downstairs while the roof was redone.

“I had new PVC windows put in and then started on the upstairs shower room where the window has exposed stonework with an oak beam. The room was fully refurbished two years ago and both bedrooms were also modernised with features made of natural stone lintels that had been covered up. 

“A local joiner made oak fitted wardrobes to fit to the contours of the walls and all walls were taken back to the stonework and then rendered and either plastered or plaster boarded with insulated boards.

“The house has also been totally rewired with central heating installed.

“It has been fully renovated and modernised, but I tried to re-use any materials where possible to be sympathetic to the building ”

To make the most of the views and the light, Elaine also asked her joiner to make and install a bespoke oak and glass staircase.

A large range was fitted in a new kitchen along with new windows and as the room was very large, a downstairs bathroom with double-ended bath was created in some of the space. 

“Over the window and door of the dining room are stone lintels that came out of one of the fireplaces,” said Elaine. “I cleaned them up with a grinder and sealed them.

“Next to the dining room is the the lounge which has a solid oak floor which has been lacquered and a granite slab inserted to form the hearth for the multi-fuel burner.

“Patio doors lead out of the lounge onto a large, natural stone patio and into the gardens.”

These are enclosed by a dry stone wall and post and rail fences and include shrubs, plants and borders, a vegetable patch, fruit bushes and two greenhouses while easily-maintained gardens wrap around the house. 

Elaine said: “The cottage sits in an eight-acre field which has a stream running its length which my dog loves to cool off in after a walk and there are lovely views from all aspects of the house.

“I know and love every square inch of Breckney Bed Cottage and while I will be very sad to leave, I’m fortunate in that I am moving to another beautiful area and am looking forward to new adventures.”