Home sweet home
A craving for toffee led to the Rogers family enjoying almost two decades of blissful family life at Over Lethame House Key Facts
WHETHER or not you entertain the romantic notion that some houses are simply meant for some people, it is hard to deny the strange coincidences and connections that surround Keith and Natalie Rogers and their beautiful Strathaven home, Over Lethame House. From mysterious artworks and secret gardens to family ties stretching from Paisley to New Zealand, it is a fascinating story which weaves its way through more than a hundred years of history. Keith and Natalie, and their son Jonathan, have lived in the house for 18 years, but moved to Strathaven almost three decades ago as the result of a snap decision. “Natalie was pregnant and craved Strathaven toffee,” smiles Keith. “We were living in Busby at the time, and no idea where Strathaven was, so we set out to try and find the place and get some more of the toffee. “We ended up buying a house there that same day. It’s a lovely town, with plenty going on but you can walk for half a mile and feel like you are in the middle of nowhere. Strathaven lies a few miles south of East Kilbride in South Lanarkshire, with Glasgow and the rest of the central belt and beyond within easy reach. Keith and Natalie found out Over Lethame
WHAT Four-bedroom country house WHERE Strathaven, South Lanarkshire PRICE Offers over £650,000 CONTACT Slater Hogg 01355 530125
House, a property they had often walked past and admired, was for sale almost by accident.
“Once we had decided we wanted to move, we checked The Herald’s property pages every week, but we could see nothing we liked,” explains Keith.
“One day, we spotted a tiny advert for Over Lethame – if we hadn’t been looking so closely we might have missed it.”
Natalie says: “I fell in love with it as soon as I walked in to the porch. It needed a bit of work – the lady who lived there hadn’t touched it for 25 years but in a way, that was great – it meant we could see the period character of the place. It hadn’t been changed by a crazy do-er upper, it was still full of original features but it still had plenty of potential for us too.”
In fact, the couple’s painstaking renovations, including rewiring, replumbing and reroofing, have successfully added contemporary style and luxury to this impressive family home, without destroying the traditional charm of the original.
Set in secluded gardens of around 1.2 acres, with a secret garden and a guest this pretty country house includes a stunning orangery with original vaulted ceiling and Gothicstyle windows, a bespoke fitted kitchen, a home cinema room and impressive entrance hallway with original fireplace.
The ground floor also includes an elegant drawing room, comfortable sitting room and useful pantry and utility rooms while upstairs, there are four spacious double bedrooms, a family bathroom and a shower room.
Natalie, who is a keen baker, admits she will miss the kitchen the most.
“Standing baking, looking out into the garden as the sun rises, with those beautiful views, is stunning,” she says. “It’s a house for every season – I love it in the frost and snow, and in the spring when all the snowdrops and daffodils are out, and on lovely warm, summer evenings.
“It will be sad to go, but it’s time to start a new chapter in our lives.”
The couple are relocating to California for business reasons, but they admit it will be a wrench to leave Over Lethame.
“It feels like the house was meant for us,” smiles Natalie.
“My dad bought the old gates from the Coats mill in Paisley and when he died, we took them for Over Lethame.
“A gentleman from New Zealand, who was researching his family history, turned up on our doorstep one day, with old black and white photos of our house because his ancestors had stayed there.
“It turned out one of his relatives had worked in the same mills.”
Keith adds: “It was all the more remarkable because when we were clearing out just after we moved in, we discovered an old painting of a woman who looked so like this gentlemen, they had to be related.
“It was great to be able to give the portrait to him.”
The photos revealed another strange twist to the tale.
“When Natalie’s father died,
BACKSTORY: A visitor from New Zealand researching his family history turned up on the doorstep with images of Over Lethame dating from the early 1900s, His ancestors had once lived in the house.