West Wing is a substantial property, arranged over five floors, set in a peaceful woodland location with exceptional views over open countryside and boasts many period features. The property was built in 1873 by Frank Caws for the Backhouse family of Quaker bankers. Originally Dukes House was used by the Backhouses as their country retreat but the property was extended c.1920 to create an imposing mansion, subsequently divided into three family homes c.1980. West Wing was created from the core of the original building and thus retains the main front door and grand staircase, as well as the ornate cornicing, decorative stonework, deep skirting, polished wooden floors, open fireplaces and shuttered windows typical of the High Victorian era.
The arched entrance door leads to the porch which in turn opens onto the baronial-style reception hall. This impressive area features the original grand staircase with turned balustrade and a double-height, barrel-vaulted ceiling supported by gothic-style stone arches and corbels. Other period features include wood panelling, parquet flooring and a period fireplace with original Delft tiles.
From the hall, a panelled door with gothic motifs leads to the elegant drawing room; featuring fine examples of period plasterwork, including dados, picture rails and cornices, as well as a stone fireplace with an open grate. Two large bay windows, facing south and west, flood this room with natural light. The dining room, also accessed off the hall, again has large south facing windows overlooking the gardens and countryside beyond, as well as period features including decorative plasterwork, a mahogany fireplace with open grate and a fitted, glazed display cupboard.
An original swing door leads to the inner hall, fitted with glazed display cabinets, and a cloakroom with WC and Belfast-style sink. The inner hall also leads to the kitchen which features a range of painted, Shaker-style cabinets (by Newcastle Furniture Company) with wooden work surfaces, incorporating twin stainless steel sinks and a four oven electric Aga. There is plumbing for a dishwasher and washing machine whilst two roof lights, along with large sash windows, make this a pleasant and bright breakfast room.
Returning to the main hallway, the staircase rises from the ground floor to the first floor landing. There is floor-to-ceiling adjustable shelving fitted to one area and a door leads to the master bedroom suite, which has both south and west facing bay windows, an en-suite shower room with shower cubicle, wash-hand basin and WC. A door from the master suite connects with the single bedroom/dressing room whilst a further double bedroom, with an original fireplace and far reaching southerly views, is also on this floor.
A half-glazed door leads through a feature stone archway to a bathroom, with bath, wash-hand basin and WC with high level cistern. There is also a linen cupboard and a walk-in box room under the second floor staircase. Halfway up these stairs, a short flight of wooden steps leads to the purely decorative turret with feature arrow-slit window.
On the second floor are two further bedrooms served by a shower cubicle secreted within a cupboard, and an adjacent, separate WC. In addition there is a second bathroom on this level with bath, wash-hand basin and WC. One of the second floor bedrooms has a secret staircase leading to the third floor and the sixth bedroom which has a vaulted ceiling with skylight windows, exposed roof trusses, and a narrow corridor leading to another room ideal for use as a playroom or teenagers suite.
Access to the service courtyard, where the oil tank, boiler house and secondary access to the property are located, is via a door off the kitchen. Also from the kitchen are stairs which lead to the lower ground floor where there are three arched wine bins and two substantial rooms; one is currently used as a home cinema whilst the other, fitted with a separate telephone line and power sockets, could equally serve as a workroom, home office or gym.
Dukeshouse Wood is approached via a long, tree-lined driveway leading through Dukes House Woods to a gravel area in front of the property providing ample parking for several cars. The gardens are to the south and west of the property and feature mature planted borders and several specimen trees. A magnificent, double-flight, stone staircase leads from the south facing formal terrace, to a large lawn and small woodland area which is separated from the parkland beyond by a stone ha-ha.
The property is ideally placed for all the day-to-day amenities offered by the bustling market town of Hexham. Besides a number of well-known supermarkets the town boasts several independent specialist shops such as a delicatessen, butcher, greengrocer, bookshop and bi-monthly farmers’ market. Hexham also has a good selection of schools, professional services and medical/hospital facilities whilst leisure opportunities range from a sports centre with an indoor pool to a cinema and theatre/arts centre.
The historic Hexham Abbey, one of the oldest churches in England, is at the heart of the town whilst the beautiful surrounding area provides innumerable opportunities for walking, cycling, riding and other country pursuits. Hexham is also noted for its close proximity to Hadrian’s Wall and Northumberland National Park as well as its golf courses, sports clubs and racecourse.
The nearby charming and historic village of Corbridge, offers additional amenities including an enviable array of antique and artisan shops while nearby Matfen Hall and Slaley Hall offer excellent golf, spa and sporting facilities. Newcastle city centre is also within easy reach and provides further comprehensive cultural, educational, recreational and shopping facilities.
For the commuter, the A69 provides excellent access to Newcastle and the A1 to the east, or Carlisle and the M6 to the west. The railway station at Hexham provides regular cross-country services to Newcastle and Carlisle, where connecting main line services are available to major UK cities north and south of the border. Newcastle International Airport is also within easy reach.
Hexham 1.5 miles | Corbridge 4.5 miles | Newcastle International Airport 20.0 miles | Newcastle City Centre 23.0 miles