How two Rown­tree houses be­came one beau­ti­ful home

Yorkshire Post - Property - - PROPERTY -

4 Gal­tres Grove, Clifton, York. Price: £845,000. Con­tact: Blenkin and Co tel: 01904 671672, www.blenk­i­nandco.com THIS beau­ti­ful fam­ily home owes its ro­bust con­struc­tion and glo­ri­ous gar­dens to York’s best known bene­fac­tor.

It is a Rown­tree house built in 1927 in ac­cor­dance with the guid­ing prin­ci­ples of space, light and large gar­dens.

It started life as a pair of semis be­fore be­ing con­verted into one prop­erty 30 years ago and later re­mod­elled by own­ers Paul and Avril Webster.

The Web­sters bought it 11 years ago af­ter be­ing se­duced by its charm, its se­cluded plot and its prox­im­ity to the city cen­tre and St Peter’s School, where their daugh­ter was a pupil.

They also iden­ti­fied po­ten­tial for im­prove­ment. Knock­ing two houses into one had cre­ated lots of space, but the prop­erty came with two front doors, two small kitchens and rear win­dows that weren’t in keep­ing with its ar­chi­tec­tural her­itage.

The Web­sters, who moved from Hamp­shire to York, have com­pletely ren­o­vated the house to re­flect its Art Deco past.

The prop­erty was rewired, re­plumbed and now has a sin­gle front door. A rear ex­ten­sion cre­ated a large kitchen din­ing room with pa­tio doors on to the gar­den and the other kitchen was turned into a study. They also had a porch and pe­riod-style win­dows in­stalled, a new stair- case built and cre­ated new in­ter­nal doors to link the two build­ings. The re­sult is one large, seam­less house with 3,400 sq ft of liv­ing space and po­ten­tial to con­vert the boarded and Veluxed loft space.

The house has an en­trance and stair­case hall, cloak­room, 28ft draw­ing room, study, rear hall and sec­ondary stair­case, kitchen/break­fast room, din­ing room and gar­den room, five bed­rooms, two bath­rooms and an at­tic room.

Out­side there are two garages and off-street park­ing but the ex­ten­sive wooded gar­dens are a main fea­ture and Mr and Mrs Webster have cher­ished and en­hanced them.

A broad sweep of lawn has a rose and honey­suckle ar­bour or per­gola, there is a fish­pond with wa­ter lilies, a flagged ter­race close to the house and an or­chard of ap­ples and a green­gage.

Spec­i­men trees in­clude the In­dian Bean Tree ( catalpa bignon­ioides), a ginkgo biloba, and a zelkova.

“We have tried to be very sym­pa­thetic to the orig­i­nal houses when we did the work,” says Mr Webster.

“What we ended up with was a five-bed­room house with very large, spa­cious rooms.”

The prop­er­ties built by the Rown­tree fam­ily for them­selves and their work­ers are soughtafter in York thanks to their well­con­sid­ered de­sign.

They fea­ture large win­dows to max­imise light and the prin­ci­pal rooms al­ways over­look the gar­den. The ob­ject, ac­cord­ing to Rown­tree archives, was to: “se­cure an un­usual amount of sun­ny­ness, cheer­ful­ness, bright­ness and open­ness”.

“This is an idyl­lic place to live. Al­though there are other houses around, you feel to­tally se­cluded and pri­vate and it is very quiet,” says Mr Webster, who is down­siz­ing to a smaller prop­erty by the sea.

“We will be very sad to leave.”

IDYL­LIC: The ren­o­vated house has ex­ten­sive wooded gar­dens.

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