Country houses for sale

An amazing opportunity to go off grid in the middle of the Northumbrian countryside

This old gamekeeper's cottage on Threpwood Hill near Hexham already has fantastic views and planning permission — all it needs is a new owner to make the magic happen.

With the recent increases in bills (energy, water, just about everything else), the temptation to pack it all in and go off-grid has never been higher. Not only does it tick all the right boxes in terms of sustainability, but more often than not it will end up far cheaper than the absurd prices currently being charged by various energy companies. Plus, if you do it really well, then there’s every chance that Kevin McCloud will come and visit, wistfully staring into the distance and whispering ‘fabulous’ as you point at some solar panels.

Situated on a semi-elevated position, the site at Threpwood Hill benefits from 360º views.

On the sustainability front, what is even better than building off-grid from the ground up is to take an existing structure and drag it kicking and screaming into the 21st century. To that end, in his native Northumberland, Sam Gibson of Galbraith offers a unique opportunity to create a dream home around the shell of a former gamekeeper’s lodge. It sits in a far corner of the historic 3,000-acre Chipchase sporting estate in the magnificent North Tyne Valley, an untouched area of winding rivers and burns, rich and varied wildlife, tranquil woodlands and majestic hills.

For sale at a guide price of ‘offers over £375,000’, Threpwood Hill is located in a wonderfully isolated and peaceful setting just south of the ancient rural village of Birtley and a brisk walk from Wark on the banks of the River North Tyne, some 10 miles north of Hexham. The property, which comes with a south-facing walled garden and extra land for parking, has full planning consent to create a charming, four-bedroom family house, incorporating the existing stone buildings.

The property probably requires a dash of TLC. Single-glazing in Northumberland? No thank you.

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Per the planning document, the proposed house would be largely single storey, in which you would find three bedrooms, all en-suite, a sitting room, a kitchen and a garden/dining room with double width sliding doors to take full advantage of the sublime surrounding scenery. The top floor of the existing cottage would be turned into the master suite.

Approached along an estate track, Threpwood Hill is currently off grid with no mains water, although a connection to electricity and mains water is possible (if you are cowardly), thanks to its position within the Chipchase estate. The new owner will also need to replace the septic tank with a new sewage treatment plant, as stipulated in the approved planning application. Mr Gibson estimates the total cost of the redevelopment at about £400,000, after which Threpwood would be valued at some £850,000.

Threpwood Hill is for sale with Galbraith for offers in excess of £375,000. For more information and pictures, click here

Additional reporting by James Fisher

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