This charming cottage, named The Reading Rooms, also has an impressive history that owner Neil Slade has celebrated and incorporated into the property. He bought the house, now for sale for £295,000, two-and-a-half years ago after falling in love with its potential and its location in the pretty and well-served village of Appleton Wiske, which sits between Northallerton and Yarm.
After researching the background of his period home, he found that it began life as a single-storey building 350 years ago. In 1860, it was turned into a Mechanics Institute and stocked with books by a wealthy industrialist with the aim of “educating the working man”.
“It stayed in village ownership until the 1970s when it was sold to help fund the building of a new village hall and was converted into a house in the 1980s,” says Neil, who has framed a copy of the deeds from 1860 and who commissioned a bespoke opaque window for the first floor featuring an extract from them. They sit beautifully in the cottage, which has had a comprehensive makeover.
Neil has lavished time and money on the property with the aim of modernising it while retaining and exposing its historic features. The exterior has been re-rendered and the front garden re-planted. The oil boiler has been replaced with an air source heat pump and an open fire reinstated. A new Shaker-style kitchen, bathroom and new windows have also been installed. The decor is a super-stylish mix of old and new and includes pews and the old noticeboard from the local church and a vintage haberdashery cabinet.
Neil is leaving to relocate for work but will miss Appleton Wiske and says: “I did a lot of research before choosing this village and it really is idyllic. It sits between the Yorkshire Dales and the moors but it is also close to the A1 and A19 plus it has a really friendly community, along with a shop/Post Office, a church, chapel, pub, a village hall, a tennis club, recreation ground and lots of community groups.”
The Reading Rooms has a dining room, sitting room, kitchen, utility, WC and attached garage. Upstairs, there is a bathroom, two double bedrooms to the front of the property and a generous single bedroom to the side elevation. Outside there is a garden at the front plus a courtyard garden at the rear. The latter has a terrace with wisteria and honeysuckle.
The Reading Rooms is for sale with Liz Dennison Property, tel: 01609 748114, www.lizdproperty.co.uk