A home that was so in demand it had its own entrance exam
was a retired deputy headteacher at St Peter’s School, which is just opposite the house.
“They were very keen to make sure the house went to the right people. They asked us how keen we were on gardening and whether we were going to spoil the character of the place.
“We must have passed because we were allowed to buy it,” says Christine, who couldn’t promise to preserve it in aspic, as the property needed updating.
She and husband Martin completely modernised the house, and work included new plumbing and wiring and restoring the old sash windows.
The period features, including the cornicing, deep skirtings and fireplaces remain, as do the old servants’ bells, which have been very handy. “They were useful for calling the children down and very useful if you’re lying in bed and want a cup of tea bringing up,” says Christine, an awardwinning wine writer.
The house, which sits at the head of a leafy no-through road, is a short walk from the city centre. It has an impressive staircase hall that gives way to a drawing room with a working fireplace and a curved bay window. There is a separate dining room, a kitchen, cloakroom, and boot room.
Upstairs, there is a spacious landing leading to three large double bedrooms, one with en suite shower room, and a family bathroom. There is potential to create more rooms in the attic space, subject to the necessary consents.
Outside, there are mature gardens set behind secure railings plus an established wildlife pond, rose garden and a green house.
There is also a garage and offroad parking behind wroughtiron gates.
Christine and Martin have lived in the house for 13 years, but now their two children have left home, they are keen to downsize and this is only the second time that the house has been on the open market.
“It’s been a wonderful place to live, especially as the children were able to walk to their school, but this is a family house and it really needs a family to live in it,” says Christine who wants a smaller house with a big cellar, where she can store her wine.
“I don’t want to leave it, but my head says it is time to go.”