Middleton Hall in Northumberland is a superb home that has been painstakingly restored over a six-year period – now, the owners are looking to move on. Penny Churchill reports.
‘You get a lot more for your money up north,’ insists Ryan Eve of Finest Properties in Corbridge, Northumberland and, having seen all that’s on offer at Middleton Hall at Belford, near Bamburgh, on the wild and wonderful Northumberland coast, who could disagree?
For sale through the Corbridge firm at a guide price at £3.95 million, the imposing Victorian house is set in 29 acres of wooded, historic gardens and grounds.
Both the main house and its ancillary buildings have been painstakingly restored and renovated by its owners, Brian and June Morton, who bought the core property in 2006, when the surrounding 2,300-odd acres of farmland were sold to the former tenants.
Although the earliest records relating to the Middleton estate date from 1107, the history of the hall itself goes back to 1857, when John Towlerton Leather bought the estate, which he later extended by buying the surrounding land and adding a substantial neo-Tudor wing to the existing two-storey farmhouse in 1871.
John Leather’s grandson, Col Gerard Leather, carried on where his grandfather left off, although his efforts were hampered when the farmhouse burned down in 1915.
Ten years later, in 1925, he started to rebuild the hall, using materials from nearby Haggerston Castle – a project that proved to be a financial step too far, resulting in much of the land having to be sold off.
In 1945, the estate was bought by the Greenwich Hospital Trust as a farming investment and, until 1960, became a convalescent home for naval officers, before it was finally sold in 2006, ‘by which time, the main house had more or less gone to rack and ruin’, Mr Morton reveals.
It took five to six years of intensive work by dedicated local craftsmen to restore the main mansion to its original splendour, but, at long last, in 2010–11, the Morton family were able to move in.
Now, with other projects in the pipeline, Mr and Mrs Morton are looking to downsize, leaving behind a testament to northern grit and determination, in the shape of the baronial Middleton Hall with its grand reception rooms and 10 en-suite bedrooms, the five-bedroom North Wing, five-bedroom coach house and several idyllic small houses on the estate – among them The Folly, Lake Cottage and The Boathouse.
Middleton Hall at Belford is for sale via Finest Properties – see more details and pictures.
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